Should we homeschool again next year?

If you are like most homeschool parents you will most likely revisit the thought of whether your choice is right for your child at different intervals. For some parents they decide year by year what is right for their child. Parents realize that their children change and so do their needs. Most parents just want what is best for their children and their education and that may or may not be us from time to time. Here are a few key things to think about before you decide whether or not to proceed as you have.

  1. Is your child developing at a normal pace physically, mentally and emotionally as well as socially? A good person to talk to about this is your pediatrician. Just be sure to understand that they may have a very biased opinion of what educational platform you choose for your child. Take the better part of what they say and leave the opinion behind unless there is medical information to support it.
  2. Does your child interact with others in a socially acceptable way? As homeschool parents we realize that socialization isn’t everything but you also don’t want to raise a child that does not know how to interact with the world around them. As homeschool parents we have a stewardship to give our kids the opportunities to blossom socially. Homeschool students typically get along with a more varied age range than do traditional school students. Take this into account when you analyze your student’s behavior.
  3. Is your child at grade level? While there are some that “unschool” their children or do not use a grade based homeschool curriculum you may want to keep in mind that if anything were to happen to you or the other parent (who could possibly fill in as the homeschool parent) your child would most likely have to be integrated into a school system somewhere. You do not want to make that period harder for the student than it has to be. Making sure they are prepared for such a change will make it easier on them and it will also give you piece of mind that your student is meeting state standards (or most likely exceeding them).
  4. What is your motivation? Do you only want to stop homeschooling because of the peer pressure you feel? Is this the right motivation? It is always good to question motive when you are deciding anything for your children.
  5. Are you able to keep yourself positive and feeling good about homeschooling? If you have had a chronic six months of nothing going right you may want to consider changing your ways, either at home or by sending the student to traditional school. If you feel burnt out look for homeschool support groups and homeschool co-ops. Think of how nice it would be to drop your child off for science if that is a subject you have a hard time with. There are generally resources in most areas so be sure to utilize what is all around you.
These are just a few things to consider. Naturally this is a major parenting decisions that entail more than five factors. You know your family best and you have the choice. It is always a good thing to remember that if you really don’t have a strong opinion one way or another then it probably is not the time to make a decision. Wait for clarity, it will come. Patience is the key in all things homeschool.