Homeschooling seems to be gaining popularity again as an alternative to public or private schooling. Homeschooling is just that, school at home. An education at home allows a child to learn at his or her own pace, without social distractions, and in a manner that works best for them. Homeschooling also allows parents to have the complete control over the education their child receives, as well as teaching children accountability.
Homeschooling isn't always as simple as deciding that you would like to homeschool your child. Some states require that children still get the same amount of "credits" or "hours" as they would in public school. Other states dictate that they have a hand in the courses involved in the homeschooling process, especially when children go to high school at home. Yet, there are other states that will totally step back when a parent decides that their child will be attending school in the privacy of their own home. Before you begin the home school process you'll want to check on the law in your area. A lot of homeschooling families get a lot of criticism for their educational style, but if you know your legal rights to homeschool you can be sure that you are in the right, even if other people don't agree with your choices.
The best homeschooling programs are the ones that are well thought out, disciplined, and cater to the learning style of the individual. The issue of a curriculum needs to be addressed long before the education takes place. Parents can write their own curriculum, team with other parents for a well rounded lesson plan, or you can even buy full year lesson plans. If you are new to homeschooling, you might want to consider buying a curriculum just to make sure you are getting off to the best start possible. Putting together your own homeschooling programs can be very overwhelming, and sometimes it's best to have a guide to follow especially when you are just starting out.
Once you've gotten your home school program planned, you'll need to implement the structure. Typically, this is easy for younger children, because they are at the age where they fall into routine easily, and even crave structure. When you teach high school at home you may have more difficulties implementing structure because children are more defiant. While it may be a bit more difficult, most children will conform and do their schoolwork so that they can get out of the books and go socialize. Setting goals at the beginning of each school year or month usually works for home school students, as they tend to be very goal oriented as a result of their home school education.
Homeschooling should not necesserily take place within your house. In fact, many parents and students find supplemental courses outside to be very beneficial. There are usually a couple independent learning centers in every city where your child can take classes that you as a parent might not be comfortable teaching, or perhaps college preparatory courses. Supplemental courses outside of your house are also a great way for your child to meet new people, and experience a true classroom setting.
Internet home school programs are also a great way to supplement education, to teach computer skills, and independent learning. There are a lot of internet homeschooling options that work well for many homeschooling families. Internet programs can be used in conjunction with any of the other methods, as well.
Basically, homeschooling requires a lot of planning and follow through. Homeschooling gives children an option to experience many different forms of education, which will benefit them later. Homeschooling is a lifestyle choice, and as long as it's stable and consistent, most children will thrive.