by LAURA CZERWINKSKI
It’s not ‘new news’ that more families are choosing to educate their children at home, especially since the throes of the pandemic. In fact, there are currently over 96,000 registered homeschools in NC today. For a plethora of reasons, there are many that wonder if schooling at home is worth considering. If you are one of those people, have been curious about what homeschool families DO all day, or simply want to know what some of the basic ‘rules’ are, take a journey with me over the next few months and explore Simple Schooling At Home.
All the Questions!
When people discover that our son learns at home, they are often intrigued and naturally have questions. Here are five of the most common questions people ask.
Was homeschooling always your plan?
Nope. We had no idea we’d end up on this path. One day, while at a story time activity at the library, I met a mom that homeschools her kids. I asked her some questions, attended a few seminars and started trying things out at home while our son was still very young (2) and it just fit. After all, aren’t we already all our children’s first teachers?
What about socialization?
This is one of the top questions (and concerns) for many when it comes to schooling at home. I get it. But rest assured, there are plenty of opportunities for your kids to socialize with their friends. Our son has friends from similar homeschool activities like PE class or his swim team. Some of his classmates from his music classes attend local public schools. There are so many events to participate in, you may even find it hard to be sure you are making enough time to get the basics in! (More to come about fun activities in the Lake Norman area in a future article!)
So what happens…do you have to just give your kid a test every year or something? According to NC state law, your child must take a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measurement on an annual basis. You must notify the state that it has been administered by logging it online. (More on this later!) We choose to hire someone to administer the Woodcock Johnson exam each summer. We also have this person return in January to do an abbreviated version of the test to give us a quick glance at where our son may have more growth opportunities.
Can you homeschool and work at the same time?
One of the huge benefits of schooling your kiddos in a more personal environment is that there are no set times as to when school happens each day OR on which days school happens for that matter. Some families take advantage of time on the weekends. Others ‘do school’ in the late afternoon or evenings. It simply needs to be on a consistent basis for 9 months out of the year except for reasonable vacations and holidays. (Laws vary from state to state – visit NCADMIN.nc.gov for more info.) I only worked part time when our son was younger and started on a more full-time basis recently now that he is able to work more independently. Many families have more than one child and often the older ones help out the younger ones.
Do you just get to stay home in your pajamas all day?
Well, technically we could. But we don’t. We get up, make our beds and get dressed. It’s just a more productive way to start our day. Even though the common term is called HOMEschooling, our son has activities and lessons that often take him outside our home where PJ’s are not ideal.
The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong way to educate your children. It’s all a matter of what works best for your family. There are excellent schooling choices available and educating at home is just one of them.
Next month, I will share some simple steps towards having a smooth start in schooling at home. For those that want a bit of a head start before then, feel free to check out: NCHE.com and NCADMIN.nc.gov
Consider it your first lesson on learning at home.
Join me next month :
Simple Schooling at Home: Smooth Starts