Home-schooling is essentially an educational setting where parents serve as educators to their children, rather than sending them to a public or private school. Obviously, parents play a role in educating their children in a more general sense, but home-schooling is a situation where parents or guardians facilitate an academic curriculum and prepare their children for future educational endeavors. Many factors should be considered, however, before parents take on the challenge of education.
Equipped for education. When parents home-school their children, they have the opportunity to build and shape a curriculum. The parents can make all the decisions on what, when and how their children learn. What parents have to decide is whether they feel motivated and equipped to administer a curriculum, even if it is packaged and designed for a wide variety of individuals to facilitate. According to Mitchell Stevens, author of the book “Kingdom of Children, a History of Homeschooling,” an increasingly diverse group of people have been drawn to home-schooling for this and other reasons.
Work status. For many parents, home-schooling may or may not be an option due to employment status. If both parents need to work in order to make ends meet, home-schooling may not be an option. In order to home-school, parents must be in a financial situation where one parent can stay home. Or, if home-schooling is a priority, families may need to adjust their budgets to accommodate this desire.
Relationship with children. Some parents enjoy spending large amounts of time with their children. Others may want a break from them during the day. This doesn’t necessarily make them bad parents, but they must consider the reality that some parents do not necessarily fit the role of teacher with their children.
Social setting. Home-schooling is a unique social situation for children. When children are not in a public or a private school with other children, they may miss out on opportunities to develop social interaction skills. At the same time, school settings are not always ideal relational environments, since children can be cruel and form cliques.
Not alone. Parents who decide to home-school their children can certainly do it on their own. However, networks and associations of home-school families are available. These associations can be opportunities for group work, academic support and networking. It is obviously up to the parents to decide if they want to participate, but overall, home-school families do not need to embark on their educational journey alone.