How Much Does Homeschooling Cost?

One of the most common questions I hear from those interested in homeschooling is “How much does homeschooling cost?” The answer is always the same, “How much do you want it to cost?”

Homeschooling is a choice. You are choosing to educate your children at home. The reasons why you made that choice will vary, but the bottom line is when you homeschool, the ball is in YOUR court. You get to decide how much homeschooling is going to cost you.

Finish reading on Southeast Homeschool Expo.

 

What do I NEED to Teach?

When parents decide to home school, one of the first things many wonder is what do I need to teach? Or am I qualified to teach?  The teaching is one of the things parents are most afraid of when it comes to homeschooling. Don’t let fear rule your life! You are the most capable person on Earth to teach your child. You have been teaching your child since birth. You have already taught your child to walk, talk love, get along with others, pray, feed themselves and many other things I’m sure. Nothing changes when your child reaches school age. You are still more than capable.

 

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Should You Homeschool Preschool?

As you look at your active three or four year old, you may be contemplating what step to take next. Should you put them in preschool? Try it out at home? The questions may be swirling through your mind making you wonder if you should homeschool preschool?

Homeschooling preschool is a great option for a lot of parents. And it just may be what you are looking for!

 Read this post at Southeast Homeschool Expo

 

Online Public School Vs. Homeschooling

Homeschooling is growing with leaps and bounds! It is natural that because more and more people are homeschooling that many of the states are trying to jump in and get some of those children back. This is called online public school. Some of the online public school options are K12 or Connections Academy. When you decide to make the decision to homeschool a parent may consider an online public school as an option. Here are some of the pros and cons to online public school that may help you make that decision.

Finish reading at the Southeast Homeschool Expo

Can I homeschool if I am a single parent?

Homeschooling is becoming more and more mainstream. Years ago it would have been rare to see working moms in homeschool groups, yet it is happening more and more. It would have been practically nonexistent to see single parents at homeschool groups, yet again it is becoming more and more common. Homeschooling as a single parent is possible, it just takes a little more work.

 Read more at the Southeast Homeschool Expo 

I Have a Teaching Degree and Chose to Homeschool My Daughter

Guest Blogger: Meagan, Homeschool Mom

There are certain questions that you come to expect as a homeschooling parent. “What about testing?”, “How do you handle them all day?”, and the constant stream of “What about socialization?” don’t phase me at all anymore. I knew these questions would come up when the thought of homeschooling first entered my brain; I even prepared answers for these questions so I would be ready the first time they were asked. But the first time someone asked me why I chose to homeschool my children even though I had a teaching degree and “knew the benefits of a public school education”, well I was stumped.   I had spent hours preparing myself for a barrage of questions that would be asked of me when people found out about our decision, but this was one question I had never considered.

Yes, I have a degree in elementary education and yes, I still chose to homeschool my child. To put it simply it’s because I feel I can give my daughter a better education at home, but that’s a pretty broad statement. Honestly there are a ton of reasons why I choose to educate my daughter myself and not send her to public school, and I could spend pages and pages writing down different answers. But what it comes down to the most is that I have seen the benefits of public education first hand, and I do not feel they would be that beneficial to my children.

For starters you have socialization. I’m sorry but even if my daughter went to public school I would not send her for socialization purposes. In my opinion school is for education, not socialization. I educate my daughter at home and she learns socialization in our everyday activities. She is not locked up at home all day. She goes on errands with me, we go on field trips with other homeschool families, she does sports, is involved in local theater, and she even plays at the park with the neighborhood kids-both homeschooled and public schooled. Homeschooling does not automatically mean I am putting my child in a bubble, but for us it does mean that we feel that school is for education. Socialization is not something we believe needs to be taught, it is something we experience in our everyday lives.

I also feel that classroom sizes are becoming out of control in today’s schools. Budgets are being cut which means fewer teachers in schools and more students per classroom. Before I started homeschooling, I taught a kindergarten classes with 25 students in it. That’s one teacher trying to split her time to give each student individual attention and set them up with a proper foundation to follow them for the rest of their academic careers. My daughter is a very bright and very energetic little girl. She needs one-on-one attention in order to keep focused. At home she thrives with the one-on-one support I can give, but I fear that at public school the lack of it could have left her falling behind.

Finally, I do not believe that education should be the cookie cutter, one size fits all institution that public school has become. For every five students you show me I will show you five different learning styles. Some are kinetic, some visual, some auditory.   One student might lean more towards numbers, or writing, and yet another will have a hodgepodge of this and that; no two will learn exactly the same. So why then do we try to teach them all the same material, the same way? At home I can pick out curriculum and methods that go hand in hand with my daughters learning style, and in doing so I am able to help her learn the material faster and more efficiently.   If a particular curriculum didn’t work very well for us last year we can switch it up this year and move on.

Now as I stated before, there are a lot more reasons why I choose to homeschool my daughter other than the ones stated above. These three are just a few pertaining to the public school side of the equation in particular. As a parent my goal is to give my children the best foundation possible to help them to achieve their dreams and goals later in life. In order to do that I must give them the best educational opportunities that I can, and I feel I can do that at home. Is homeschooling for everyone? Probably not, education is a personal choice and I do not put down other’s choices to send their kids to school outside of the home. But for my family and I this is what works. My daughter is thriving and that is what really matters in the end.

-Meagan

(2011). Dillon, Sam. Class Sizes Rise As Budgets Are Cut.

 

Just Breathe

Guest Blogger: Meagan, Homeschool Mom

There was a social media meme making its way around the internet a few months back where a homeschooling mom was complaining to her friend about her day.

“There was yelling and screaming. The kids were crying, I was crying…” said the mother.

“Maybe you could start your day with Bible time?” suggested her friend, to which the mom replied, “That was Bible time!”

I remember laughing and shaking my head while reading this, because in more ways than one I connect with that crying, screaming, yelling mama and her kids. More often than not our day starts out with good intentions but then I get caught scrubbing the breakfast dishes or my daughter drags her feet while tidying her room. Before we know it the baby is up from his nap and we are still only three problems into our math work. At six years old my daughter still needs me to sit next to her for most of her work, but with her little brother trying to grab her paper, screeching because mama had the nerve to set him down to help Sissy with a problem, or crying because he’s hungry and mama just isn’t feeding him fast enough. Well, it’s hard to concentrate under those conditions.

Before you know it that 6 year old can’t hold her emotions in any longer. Suddenly, 2+3=____ is too hard for her little mind to grasp when ten minutes prior we were subtracting 7 from 20 without a problem. She cries and pouts, doesn’t want to write, doesn’t want to sit in the chair, or even in the room. It isn’t long and this mama is ready to cry and pout too!

I have found that this situation is not a unique one, in fact every homeschool mom I have talked to has been in one exactly like it or very similar. But what’s next? What do you do when you want to throw in the towel and tell the little guy to pack it up, they are going to ‘real’ school tomorrow? Do you yell and scream, and stomp your foot? Do you slam the workbook shut, grab Sissy by the collar, and stick her in the corner until she is ready to do her work without complaint?

Ephesians 6:4 tells us ‘provoke not your children to wrath but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.’ So no, you don’t let your anger swell up and crash around you. But what do you do instead? You take a break. You separate yourself from the situation and have your own little timeout. In my house that means putting the baby in his crib with a distracting toy and sending my daughter to her room to read; then mama grabs a cup of coffee and just breathes.

Sometimes I open my Bible and read a passage, sometimes I pray, sometimes I even cry and wonder if I am really cut out for this homeschooling thing. But more often than not I just sit with my coffee in my hands and breathe. After a few minutes my thoughts start to become clearer and I can look at the situation for what it really was. I can think about what I can do to make this situation easier, and I go from there. I call my daughter back into the room and we talk about what we both did wrong. That’s right, I admit my mistakes! I feel it’s important for kids to know that parents are not perfect; it makes them feel less pressure to be perfect themselves.   Then we talk about how we can fix it the situation.   Sometimes she will ask me to write down some of the answers for her, she knows the answer but she hates to write and her hand gets tired. I will ask her to vocalize with me when her hand gets tired or she is feeling frustrated, because it’s easier to solve a problem when we are both calm and collected. This goes back and forth until we both feel that we have said our peace; then we always end our talks with a hug and a prayer.

After I have talked with my daughter and developed our game plan we go get her brother out of his crib. We’ll spend a few minutes playing as a family and get back to work. We start over and forget that the prior meltdown even happened. We move on, we don’t dwell on the negative, because if we don’t allow ourselves to move forward we will always be stuck.

Homeschooling is hard. As parents we are taking on the job of not only the parent, but also the teacher, mentor, counselor, lunch lady, janitor, principal…the list goes on! I wonder if I am messing up my children and their futures at least 50 times a day, and if we go two days in a week without having to take one of our little breaks I feel like we have accomplished something great! Yes, what we are doing is hard, but it is vital not to forget that it is also important. We are taking on all these roles because we love our children, and we want to give them the best we possibly can. We want to and we are. So next time you feel like the stress is getting too great, simply step back and take a break. Just breathe. Remember, even public school teachers get lunch and conference breaks throughout the day; and sometimes the best way to nurture our children is to nurture ourselves.

-Meagan