Should You Homeschool?

by Heidi Wickersheim

The idea of homeschooling was introduced to my parents before I was born. Originally, my parents planned to put their future children through the public schools like everybody else. In fact, they had not considered other options. My newly wed parents were greatly influenced by some very good friends who were planning on homeschooling their children. After my parents had seriously investigated homeschooling as an alternative form of education, they made the decision with enthusiasm. When our family and friends found out that my parents had decided to homeschool, they thought that my parents had lost their minds. For years afterward, people continued to doubt if a home based education could actually work. Only now, thirteen years later, are people beginning to concede.

This brings up a question. Could homeschooling work for you as it has for my family? This is a question that only you can answer. However, if you are considering the possibility of homeschooling your children, there are a few things that you should think about.

First, this should be a decision that both husband and wife make together. I believe that the responsibility of home education should not rest on the mother alone. It would be wise for both parents to be highly involved in the actual teaching of the children. Having the support of both parents will prevent undue frustration and discouragement in the future.

Second, do you have the time that is needed to properly educate your children? When parents think about homeschooling, few realize that a substantial time commitment is involved. This is particularly important if you intend to teach young children. During the early years, it is vital that you devote a generous amount of time for school work and quality interaction with your child. As your child grows older, they will become more independent, and you will see the benefits of your love and devotion.

Third, do you have the financial means necessary to purchase curriculum? Many people do not understand that homeschool materials can be expensive. Because homeschoolers are independent of the public schools, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have the proper materials to teach your children at home. Some homeschool materials that are available for purchase can be costly, and careless spending can easily drain the family budget. Even though there are many companies who sell discounted books, it can still cost more than you might think.

Finally, is this something that you will want to continue doing even when it gets tough? The education of your children is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Even the most seasoned homeschool teachers will tell you that they do not know everything. They would tell you that their journey has not been easy. Nevertheless, even when homeschooling does get tough, it is still one of the most enjoyable experiences that a family can share.

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Note: Heidi wrote this article just before the end of her "senior year" in school. She is now a student at Florica College.