by emily on November 28, 2011

In the United States, homeschooling is becoming more and more popular with every passing year. As its popularity grows, so does the list of questions about it:

  • How do you get started?
  • When do you start (time of year and age of children)?
  • What do you use for curriculum?
  • What are the various methods?
  • What are the laws about it?
  • Is it for every family?
  • What are the pros and cons?
  • Can you homeschool children with special needs?
  • What if both parents work?
I will be addressing all of these questions, one by one, in future posts. For now, allow me to cover the basics of the topic: the definition, some advantages of choosing this method of education, and who should be involved.

The definition of homeschooling

Homeschooling happens when a child receives the bulk of his or her education at home and the community at large, rather than sitting in a classroom all day, every day. While there are homeschool co-ops that provide once-a-week group classes, such organizations serve mainly to supplement what the child is learning away from the group setting.

It may involve a formal curriculum, or it may not. It may cost a lot of money, or end up being a totally free education. It may occur during the traditional school year, on weekends only, or year-round. There are a variety of ways homeschooling can happen; what it all boils down to is the environment the child spends most of his or her waking hours.

Some advantages

  • No bullies or bullets
  • Freedom to use the toilet, drink or water, or eat when necessary
  • Flexible schedule
  • Easily tailored to the child’s needs
  • Less time spent on academic tasks
  • Freedom to explore personal interests
  • No forced learning of values that contradict those which the parents are trying to teach

Who should homeschool, or be homeschooled

What kind of parents or caregivers should homeschool their children? Parents with a lot of money? Who are self-employed? Who are college educated or have a teaching degree themselves?

Really, it’s much simpler than that. As a caregiver of children, you are qualified to homeschool if:

  • you love your children,
  • you aren’t in prison,
  • you are not insane, and
  • you can read.
What about the kids? Any child can receive a non-institutional education. However, complications do arise in the case of children with severe mental handicaps, and sometimes with severe physical handicaps. Sometimes, the parents feel incompetent to deal with their children’s needs, or simply need a break from taking care of them because of the intense work and large amount of emotional energy involved.


More often than not, economics come into play. If a child needs special therapy and/or skills training, parents can usually find such needs met for free through their local school system, whereas to make the choice to homeschool would require a lot more financial commitment.


All in all, homeschooling can be done by  most parents for most children. And in my opinion as someone who taught school for thirteen years, it is the most superior education a child could receive.

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