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Getting Schooled: How Do You Homeschool? Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on September 21, 2016
Growing up homeschooled, these are the questions most people asked.
Growing up homeschooled, these are the questions most people asked. | Source

How Do You Round Out Your Kid's Social Life?

Unfortunately there is a misconception that all homeschoolers are shut ins. This just isn't true. There's also a misconception that public school provides all the social interactions necessary to a healthy social life. This also just isn't true.

Homeschool parents can round out their children's social lives by getting them involved with a local homeschool group and going places where other kids are present--parks, playgrounds, beaches. You get the picture. It's also important to realize that homeschoolers have the opportunity to make friends of all different ages as opposed to only those who are their grade. In this way, it seems that given the right circumstances, homeschoolers have an advantage in making friends with those they truly wish to be friends with.

Is Homeschooling Expensive?

It really doesn't have to be with how prevalent homeschooling is these days. A simple online search can pull up tons of free printable worksheets. Parents can also save money by doing unit or group studies with their local homeschool group, scouring the paper for free or cheap family events and utilizing sites like Amazon for used textbooks and educational material. Pinterest is also a great source for learning ideas, especially through elementary school.

What Do Homeschoolers DO All Day??

They learn, silly! They also take time to do normal things like use the bathroom, have a snack, and stretch their legs and vocal chords. While public school involves a whole lot of waiting in line and rushing from one class to the next, homeschoolers are able to use this "in-between time" to focus on their schoolwork and maybe even do some chores around the house...

Is Homeschooling Even Legal?

Yes, of course it is! That being said, each state has different regulations and rules regarding homeschooling and it's important to look up the ones for your state.

For example, in some states, homeschoolers and their parent(s) are required to check in with a certified educator once a year to go over their curriculum and ensure that the student is meeting state education standards. This sounds a lot more intimidating than it actually is.

What is Unschooling? Does That Mean The Child Does Whatever He Wants?

No. Unschooling refers to a style of homeschooling in which the student is encouraged and free to learn outside of a textbook. It does not mean playing video games or reading magazines all day.

The student must still maintain a sense of discipline in regards to his education.

For more information on unschooling check out homeschool advocate John Holt's website.

It's important for homeschool parents to expose their children to experiences outside of the "classroom." Simple outings like a trip to the farmers market or visiting the community pool can be made into mini field trips.
It's important for homeschool parents to expose their children to experiences outside of the "classroom." Simple outings like a trip to the farmers market or visiting the community pool can be made into mini field trips. | Source

How Can a Parent Be Qualified to Teach Without a Degree?

Tests, certificates, licensing, and observations are essentially in place to make sure that public educators have a handle on teaching large groups and what to do in situations of, you know, mass chaos. That's not to say that teachers aren't doing a lot of hard work day-to-day and that their collection of college debt was all in vain.

However, no college course is tailored to the specific learning needs of one child. For the most part, with a bit of studying before taking on the responsibility of homeschooling, parents are totally and fully equipped to educate their own child.

They do keep them alive, after all. Everything after that is sort of a piece of cake (sort of).

What If Your Child Has a Learning Disability?

Teaching any child with a learning disability can be tricky, but if a parent is up for the challenge, they shouldn't be discouraged. The truth is, no one knows a child better than their parents and this is where homeschooling can have a huge advantage over public schooling when it comes to a child who struggles with something like dyslexia. Say, for instance, that the parent understands that the child is a very kinetic learner, always needing to be engaged physically with whatever he's involved in.The parent can use this information to create a curriculum around the child's unique way of learning-- hopscotch math games, basketball spelling games, etc. instead of having the child learning exclusively from text books which would only prove to be frustrating and confusing for both parent and child.

Poll: Do You or Someone You Know Homeschool?

Do You or Someone You Know Homeschool?

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Aren't Homeschoolers Weird?

Yes! Yes, they are. So are public schoolers, and private schoolers, and charter schoolers, and unschoolers... everyone's kind of weird, don't you think? Homeschooling doesn't make a kid inherently weird just like public schooling doesn't make a kid inherently rebellious. We are who we are.

That being said, sometimes our environment fosters that nature.

Homeschooled highschoolers can dual-enroll in a local or online college to broaden their educational resources and meet other homeschooled teenagers.
Homeschooled highschoolers can dual-enroll in a local or online college to broaden their educational resources and meet other homeschooled teenagers. | Source

Don't Homeschoolers Have to Take Standardized Tests?

This really depends on the state. In some states, most standardized tests are not actually mandatory under homeschool laws. This doesn't mean a homeschool parent can't choose to still have their kids take part in tests like the SATs and ACT.

If you'd like more information on registering for these tests check out these links:

Can You Homeschool Through Highschool?

Yes, you can absolutely homeschool through high school. It's important to keep a record of your highschooler's day-to-day learning schedule so that a transcript can be put together before graduation.

Highschool transcripts, whether from private, public, or homeschool, are the determining factor in whether or not a student has actually completed all of her required credits in order to graduate.

Credit standards vary by state.

Schooling can take place anywhere in the home but it's nice for students to have their own little nook to study.
Schooling can take place anywhere in the home but it's nice for students to have their own little nook to study. | Source

How Will Homeschooled Kids Ever Survive the Real World?

This is probably the one question that irks homeschoolers most.

Though a public school experience may expose children and adolescents to "real world" circumstances that are often missed in homeschooling, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Case in point: bullying.

For the most part, homeschoolers have many of the same "real world" experiences as public schoolers, including negative social interactions, but they may not experience these things on a day-to-day basis. And really, is that such an awful thing?

Poll: What's The Scariest Part of Homeschooling?

What Intimidates You Most About the Idea of Homeschooling?

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How Do Homeschoolers Go to College?

The same way anyone else goes to college. During (or after, depending on the student's desire) their last year of highschool, students prepare for college by filling out applications, writing essays, and applying for scholarships. Just as any other student, homeschoolers may choose to attend a two-year college before transferring to a university.

Doesn't Homeschooling Hinder a Child's Development?

I recently read an article that said that homeschooling is "bad" because the schooling remains "confined" to the home, stunting the homeschooled child's social and emotional development.

No.


Homeschooling, but it's very definition does mean schooling within the home but that doesn't mean that the student is confined to four walls. Most successful homeschoolers have found that taking the learning outside the home and exploring the world around them along with their home-studies is the most effective way to homeschool.

Is Homeschooling Hard?

Yes, sometimes it is. Just like sometimes it's hard to get your kid to sit down and do his math homework. It's important that parents demand respect and authority as both a parent and an educator and while there may be some rough patches in the beginning, most families will find that the longer they homeschool, the easier homeschooling becomes.

Helpful Homeschooling Links

Uh, But Isn't Homeschooling Sort of Culty?

*Facepalm*

A lot of things are sort of culty.

The bottom line is that if the focus of a child's homeschool experience is on anything other than their educational well-being, there's always the possibility of things going awry. Though religion can be intermingled in a child's curriculum, it should never become an agenda. Those are the instances in which you see a homeschool family appear culty. But honestly, this would be the case whether the family chose to homeschool or not--that's a reflection of an individual family, not the concept of homeschooling itself.

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    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 4 years ago from United States

      Very informative hub and one that answers my questions about homeschooling and those moms who are thinking about homeschooling. Thank you so much for insights.

    • profile image

      Jennifer Suchey 4 years ago

      Excellent article on the common perceptions about homeschooling. As for social interaction and the "real world", while these are sort of separate, they are very much related and perceptions about these both always crack me up the most. After ten years homeschooling, my daughter attended a traditional setting private school last year. At the end of the year, one of her amazing teachers wrote her a note praising her maturity, which is totally amusing since she's such a hoot and "mature" was never a word I would have thought of in association with her! Anyway, the teacher noted how mature she was beyond her peers, and yet she is quite popular with her friends, very outgoing and totally fun to be around. She's weird and makes sure people know it. ;)

      Homeschoolers don't avoid the real world. They LIVE in it with their family. They are exposed to adult situations on a regular basis, which prepares them better for adult life than being around kids all day does. When deciding to homeschool in the late 90's, I read an article by James Dobson that spelled out exactly what I just described. Homeschool children interact well with adults because they're around them often. Traditional school kids act like the kids they hang around all day at school, which can be perfectly fine, but can also be negative depending on their social environment.

      Both my teenage daughters are well rounded, likable, mature, outgoing, and ready to face the world. They both got extremely good grades in a traditional school setting, proving I didn't screw them up educationally, and my oldest just graduated this year. She was all set for college, as every other student in her college prep graduating class is doing, but chose to focus on horse training as that is her passion and requires no college degree. The other is switching to a performing arts school this year, as acting is HER passion. Whatever their future, homeschooling played a huge part in cultivating them into the amazing young ladies they are.