Homeschooling is defined as the education of children at home by a parent or guardian rather than in a public or private school. Parents who home school their children believe that the quality of education or the social environment they desire for their children is unattainable in the schools. Parents assume full responsibility for their child’s education and have more flexibility and control over what their children are taught.
There was a time when parents who chose to home school were responsible for designing the entire homeschooling curriculum for their child. Some parents may still choose to do this, but for those who would prefer not to reinvent the wheel, homeschooling resources are available.
The first step in choosing a homeschooling curriculum is to determine if one would like to follow an accredited plan or a nonaccredited plan. Nonaccredited plans offer parents the most freedom but do not have verification that certain standards have been met. Accredited homeschooling curriculum plans have been inspected by an outside agency and have been determined to meet acceptable standards for schools. Accreditation is important because it documents certain standards have been met and makes credits easier to transfer.
Another thing to consider when choosing a homeschooling curriculum is whether one wants to have a faith based or secular program of study. A Christian homeschooling curriculum, for example, centers its instruction on Christian beliefs. Other commercially available faith based homeschooling curriculums cover the core academic subjects but also include a bible study component. If one is not interested in a faith based homeschooling curriculum, there are many other options available. Public schools, for example, are now beginning to offer virtual schools. A virtual school is operated and overseen by a public educational institution. Instruction takes place on line and computers are provided to parents for their children’s use in the homes. Completed work is submitted to the school and grades are recorded. A parent’s role in this type of home school set up is to monitor their children’s work completion and encourage them to complete their necessary lessons. There are many commercially available curriculums that are secular in nature and some allow parents to customize a homeschooling curriculum package to meet their child’s individual learning needs.
When choosing a homeschooling curriculum, it is important for parents to decide if they want an accredited or nonaccredited program of study. Parents also need to decide if they want a faith based or a secular program. Whatever decisions are made, parents will find there are many homeschooling resources available to them.