For some high school students and their families, homeschooling is a godsend. Some students suffer from prolonged illnesses that make regular classroom attendance difficult. Others live too far away from a traditional school. Many simply possess a learning style or temperament that makes homeschooling the best choice.
Whatever the reason, homeschooling is simply too important to your child's future to get it wrong. So plan carefully before you dive in and avoid these key mistakes:
Mistake 1: Not making a schedule
The freedom of homeschooling can be a bit overwhelming. Suddenly, you and your family are no longer tied to the strict schedule of your local school district. But don't think that a year's worth of knowledge will find its way into your child's head without some discipline. At the start of the school year, sit down together and decide when and where your child will study – and stick to that schedule.
Mistake 2: Developing your own homeschool curriculum
It may be tempting to try to develop a curriculum on your own. After all, you know your child's likes, interests and abilities better than anyone. But tread carefully. Homeschooling laws vary from state to state, and unless you're a licensed educator, it can be challenging to develop a curriculum that meets all of your state's criteria for graduation. There are plenty of online courses designed for homeschool students – choose one that meets both your child's and your state's requirements. And make sure that it's licensed and accredited.
Mistake 3: Forgetting parental supervision
High school aged students are well on their way to adulthood and must be trusted to make more and more of their own decisions. But teenagers are also notorious for being shortsighted and sometimes making bad decisions. That's why it's so important that you supervise your child. Don't hover or become overbearing, but make time each week to answer questions and discuss what your child is learning.
Follow these three steps to start your student on the path to a successful homeschooling experience.