Homeschooling is an increasingly popular educational option for families across the United States. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, homeschooled students have grown by over 60% in the past decade. While homeschooling is a great option for many families, it can also be a big decision with many moving parts. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked homeschool faqs.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.
Because some of the answers have longer versions, I’ve linked relevant articles or youtube videos so you can read the expanded version of the answer.
Let’s jump in and get started!
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What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is when parents teach their children at home instead of sending them to a public or private school. It’s a great alternative to public or private schools and is growing at a very fast pace. Learn more about homeschooling here…
Who can homeschool?
Any parent can homeschool their child, as long as they have a lot of love for their children. They don’t need a high school diploma or equivalent in most states. Indeed, my own mother never finished high school, yet she did a great job homeschooling my brothers and me successfully. Learn more about my story here…
What are the Benefits of Homeschooling?
Some benefits of homeschooling are:
- children learn more as they are relaxed and happier in a homeschool environment
- children can follow their interests
- testing is not as stressful
- no bullying, peer pressure, or bad school culture
- you can do self-paced learning
- you can give your children an individualized education
- gifted children can do a faster-paced program, while special needs children can do a slower-paced program
- there are more opportunities to spend time outdoors which is more refreshing for the whole family!
- no more wearing uncomfortable uniforms – you can do homeschooling in your pajamas!
- homeschooling is much more efficient, and you can do academics in 2-3 hours instead of taking all day and
- learning becomes a lifestyle as you teach children to teach themselves; therefore, children become more responsible for their education.
Discover 100 reasons to homeschool here…
How to Start Homeschool FAQs
When you start homeschooling, you want to start by:
- Checking out the homeschool laws in your state
- Learning about homeschool methods
- Choosing a curriculum
- Getting into a homeschool group
- Doing a short course on homeschooling, like the HPP
Learn more about how to homeschool here…
But, How Do I Know if Homeschooling is Right For Me?
One of the most common homeschool faqs is about whether home education will suit you and your family. Before we answer this question, it’s wise to note that it can take up to a year before you become confident in your role as a homeschool parent.
Some parents slip into the homeschooling role easily from the beginning. Others find it difficult, perhaps worrying about ‘educational holes’ or ‘socialization’ or other possible homeschooling problems.
This said, homeschooling is a commitment, and it’s important that you enter this role with realistic expectations.
When thinking about if homeschooling is right for you, you need to remember that homeschooling will mean:
- you’re different from those around you, and this can cause friction
- your kids will be around you constantly, so you will need to develop patience
- your house could be a bit messier than if kids go to school
- homeschoolers may not have access to things schoolchildren have access to, for example, sports lessons or science labs
- you’ll have more responsibility, and you won’t be able to fall back on a teacher…the buck stops with you!
- your bank account may be lower as you lose or reduce an income
Of course, these aren’t deal breakers for most people, and there are plenty of advantages of homeschooling that outweigh these factors, but it’s important to realize these things before starting.
What is Deschooling?
Deschooling is a rest period you and your children should go through after school.
It’s a time for you to get out of school’s way of thinking and try to start thinking about getting your children to learn how to learn (instead of spoon-feeding them information and telling them what to learn, which is what happens in school).
Learn more about deschooling here…
While you deschool, getting your children into audiobooks is a great option, so they learn great language skills while enjoying themselves. Here’s a complete homeschool booklist for Pre-K to 12th Grade…
How Can I Make Starting Homeschooling Less Overwhelming?
By doing the Homeschool Parenting Program.
This program aims to give new homeschool parents confidence to know exactly how to homeschool.
It teaches them about homeschooling methods, learning styles, curriculum, running a homeschool, preparing for college, and SO much more. Find out more about the HPP here…
What Curriculum to Choose Homeschool FAQs
Homeschool curriculum come in many different forms. I’ve listed some below you can check out:
- Popular homeschool curriculum
- Christian programs
- Online programs
- Kindergarten and Preschool curriculum
- High school homeschool curriculum
- Affordable homeschool curriculum
- Free programs
What curriculum is a good one to use?
I use the BJU Press curriculum. This program is wonderful because it is high quality and very thorough. It also offers parents the option to teach the course via BJU Press video teachers OR parents can teach it themselves using teachers’ manuals. See a review of this curriculum here…
There is also Schoolhouse Teachers, which has a massive variety of homeschool options and is a great choice if you have lots of kids as you can get a homeschool curriculum for your whole family for the same price! See a review of this curriculum here…
Are there any Christian homeschool curriculum options?
Yes! Most homeschool curricula on the market today are produced by Christian writers and educators. You can check out the best Christian homeschool curriculum packages here….
How Do I Choose the Best Curriculum?
One of the most common homeschool faqs is how to choose the best curriculum.
But the idea of choosing ‘the best curriculum’ can steer you in the wrong direction. Rather, you want to educate yourself about homeschool methods and then choose a curriculum in line with that. You can read more about how to choose a homeschool curriculum in the video below.
Do I Need to Buy an Expensive Curriculum?
But if you get an expensive curriculum, you’ll usually find the books are better quality as more work has been put into them. They’re nicer to use and often easier to understand and use.
A purchased curriculum like BJU Press will often give you video lessons and send you manipulatives, which often means less work for you and more fun for your kids.
A bought curriculum also means you also have a lot of support at your fingertips if you run into trouble.
Statistic Homeschool FAQs
How many homeschoolers are there? What demographic do they fall into? How do they go after their school years? Find all the latest homeschool statistics here…
Will My Child be Socialized If They’re Homeschooled?
Yes! Many studies have been done at the National Home Education Research Institute on this question because it is such a common one! But, findings reveal homeschoolers are well-socialized – especially as homeschool parents are usually acutely aware of this issue. You can learn more about homeschool socialization here…
University/College Entry Homeschool FAQs
Can homeschool children go to college?
Absolutely! These days there are more options than ever before, and homeschoolers find it easy to enter university – even without a high school diploma!
The Harding family sent all their children (they had more than 10 children) to college before they turned 13! You can read about their experience here…
My two brothers and I were homeschooled and went to university. We all found it easy to enter college.
I studied a Medical Science degree. My younger brother studied Law and runs his own firm now. My older brother studied Architecture before training to be a Pastor. You can learn about how to get into college or university if you’re a homeschooler here…
Is Homeschooling Legal?
Yes. In most countries, it is legal. For example, in America, Australia, England, and New Zealand, homeschooling is legal.
However, it isn’t legal everywhere. For example, it is illegal to homeschool in Germany.
Laws About Homeschooling FAQs
Before buying a homeschool curriculum, make sure you look into the homeschool laws in your state. These can usually be found by googling ‘homeschool laws [your state]’.
A government website pops up which gives you information on registering for homeschooling in your state and the requirements for registration.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, make sure you join a homeschool group and ask other homeschool parents how they dealt with state homeschooling registration requirements.
Support Options for Homeschooling
When you start homeschooling, getting into a homeschool group is a great idea. A homeschool group gives your children socialization opportunities. It’s also a great place to find a homeschool mentor (in the form of a more experienced homeschool parent).
A mentor can provide encouragement and support for you when you have endless homeschool FAQs you need help with. Mentors can also be a good support to children who can learn from their wise ways.
How do I find a homeschool group around me?
I find the best way to find a homeschool group is by going to Facebook, going to the group’s section, and searching your city/area, followed by the word ‘homeschool group.’ Example ‘Wollongong homeschool group’.
A group near you usually pops up. If nothing comes up, try typing in a broader search range, or change the word homeschool group into home educators.
I don’t have Facebook. How can I find a homeschool group?
If you can’t search for a homeschool group on Facebook, try going to your local church and asking the pastor if he can put you in contact with homeschool families that might be in the church.
You’ll find that once you’re in contact with one homeschool family, you’ll often find connecting with other homeschool families easier as everyone has everyone else’s contact details!
What is a Homeschool Co-op, and Should I Join One?
A homeschool co-op is like a homeschool group that offers education and socialization opportunities. Homeschool co-ops vary considerably and may be either very formal operations or very relaxed operations.
Some focus on trying to fill gaps in children’s education. Or they may try to teach subjects parents might find difficult to teach if they tried to teach them at home alone (for example, debating).
Depending on the roster, homeschool co-ops often require parents to teach a subject each time they come or rotate. Or they might hire teachers who know the subject well. You can read more about homeschool co-ops (and how to start a homeschool co-op) here…
Other Schooling Options vs. Homeschooling FAQs
Online School Vs. Homeschool
Online school is very different from homeschool as an online school is accredited. That means the online school institution is responsible for your child’s education, not you as a parent.
A homeschool is different because you, as the parent, are responsible for your child’s education. The authorities also can’t accredit your homeschool.
“But,” I hear you say, “I’m studying with an accredited homeschool curriculum.”
Technically, you’re not actually homeschooling…you’re doing online school. And that’s because homeschools can’t be accredited. Only institutions can.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still say you’re homeschooling if you’re studying with an accredited curriculum!
Online Public School vs. Homeschool
An online public school is an online school that’s funded by the state and is a replacement for a public school. These programs are generally no or lower cost than private schools. These are accredited.
Online Private School vs. Homeschool
An online private school is an online school provided by a private institution. Private schools are accredited. An example is BJU Press’s accredited version of their homeschool curriculum.
Virtual School vs. Homeschool
And then there are virtual schools which are usually provided by a non-accredited homeschool curriculum provider. An example of this might be Schoolhouse Teachers. These will be much more flexible than an accredited program because you can’t modify accredited programs.
Do I Need An Accredited Homeschool Curriculum
No. No states require parents to use an accredited curriculum.
But is having an accredited curriculum comforting? It can be for parents who are anxious about having an accredited curriculum as they feel they might not have ‘holes’ in their curriculum.
An accredited curriculum is also useful if you’re planning on only doing short-term homeschooling and you want to send your children back to school shortly.
(It’s useful to note that homeschools can’t be accredited – only institutions can.)
How Long Does Homeschooling Take?
Children who are younger take more work to supervise, but their curriculum takes far less time. A kindergartener will only take around 20-30 minutes to homeschool.
When children are older, or you have teenagers, their curriculum work can take hours, but they can often do their work themselves without any supervision from you as the parent!
Really you want your children to learn how to teach themselves. If you do this, you’ll be creating lifelong learners. We talk a lot about this in the Homeschool Parenting Program.
How many homeschool hours is normal?
Homeschooling hours vary widely depending on parents’ standards, children’s academic inclinations, and the curriculum being used.
This said, most homeschooling children average 2-3 hours of formal study daily.
How many days do I need to homeschool each week?
It’s also becoming increasingly popular to have a four-day homeschool week instead of a five-day one. Learn more about a four-day week here…
Don’t forget that some states require you to keep a log of homeschool hours and days you do with your children. This isn’t the case in most states, but some of the stricter states require this.
Do I Need a Teaching Degree to Homeschool?
No, you don’t need a teaching degree to homeschool your children. In fact, a teaching degree is usually very little help except that it usually gives the educator extra confidence that they know what they’re doing when they homeschool their children.
A college degree can help children as holders of college degrees usually have extra education they can use to teach children.
Do I Need a College Degree to Homeschool?
In rare cases, you may need a college-level degree to homeschool. But, I’ve only found this is applicable in one American state and no Australian states.
And then, if you do happen to live in a state requiring you to hold a college degree, you can still homeschool if you live in that state…only you’ll need extra supervision from a qualified teacher.
It’s sad because this is one of the homeschool faqs that is so easy to answer but deters so many people who don’t know the answer.
Homeschool Method FAQs
How is a Learning Style Different from a Homeschool Method?
Learning styles are ways children learn best. These include visual, kinesthetic, and mathematical/logical.
Homeschool methods are styles or ways parents use to teach children. Let me tell you more below…
What are the homeschool methods?
Many people start homeschooling thinking they need to teach a curriculum the way a school does. When you homeschool, you don’t need to do this…in fact, you don’t even need to use a curriculum at all if you don’t want to!
Classical, Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, and traditional curricula are the most popular method among homeschooling parents.
Cost of Homeschooling Questions
One of the most common homeschool faqs is ‘Do I have to spend a lot of money on a curriculum?’ and ‘How much does homeschooling actually cost.’ As discussed below, curricula and costs associated with homeschooling vary tremendously.
How much does homeschooling cost?
The amount is variable, depending on how many children you have, state requirements, and possible state funding help with home education.
But, I wrote an article and compared three other articles on this question. Answers varied significantly from $700 to a whopping 4,800USD per student.
How can I make homeschooling more affordable?
Learn more about the cost of homeschooling here…
Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Learn From Me!
When your children have ‘schoolwork refusal,’ the best option is to start (or re-start) deschooling your child (see above homeschool faq on the process of deschooling). This will give them time to relax and make friends with you once again.
The deschooling period is when you get to know each other again so that you’re both on the same page about how homeschooling will work. That way, homeschooling is collaborative.
Also, you want to get into interest-based learning or education. This way, children won’t even know they’re being educated and will learn how to teach themselves.
If they do this, you’ve succeeded and taught yourself out of a job (and if you’ve done that – well done!).
What’s the Difference Between a Homeschool Schedule and a Routine?
Both a routine and a schedule give you an overview of your day.
However, a homeschool schedule is more strict and has time slots to put your subjects in. Sometimes your day can be stressful if you feel you need to do exactly what the schedule says to do.
If you rub out the time slots where you have your subjects, you’ll have a routine…which is a lot more flexible!
I recommend parents use a homeschool routine instead of a homeschool schedule as (in the video below) a homeschool schedule can break you, but a routine can make you.
Why Do So Many People Homeschool?
One of the most common homeschool faqs I hear is, ‘Why on earth are there so many homeschoolers these days…it feels like everyone is thinking about it!’
These days, the most common reason to homeschool is the public school system’s failure. Because many students are graduating without learning how to read, so many parents are choosing to homeschool.
They can also homeschool due to differing religious or philosophical beliefs.
For example, public schools no longer allow prayer and discourage the Christian religion. Christian parents don’t want their children to walk away from the faith – so they homeschool.
Public and private schools are also stressful places for many students, especially those with special needs. Homeschooling is a more relaxed environment, so children learn much more!
Gifted children often fail to develop their talented brains in school as most classrooms require gifted children to wait for the rest of the class. Teachers often give students busywork which frustrates children or just doesn’t challenge them. So they homeschool
There are plenty of other reasons to homeschool. You can read about the most common reasons to homeschool here…
My Child is Gifted or Has Special Nees like ADD/ADHD/ASD. Will Homeschooling Help?
Yes! Many parents find homeschooling tremendously helpful for children with special needs or giftings. Homeschooling allows parents to individualize children’s education.
- parents teach children according to their learning style.
- parents teach children using the best teaching method (or homeschooling method) for their family.
- children have a break from all the intense socialization that happens in school. This is especially good for children with autism/Aspergers.
Almost all children learn better in a homeschool environment. But homeschooling especially suits children who don’t fit into school’s cookie-cutter framework.
How Can I Keep Learning About Homeschooling?
By subscribing to the How to Homeschool Youtube channel. This channel is designed to give new homeschooling parents all the information they need to start homeschooling strongly. It aims to answer all your homeschool FAQs in a fun, informational way, keeping in mind that you probably don’t have time to watch long videos. You can subscribe to the channel here…