Homeschooling your children is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make – it means taking full responsibility for your children’s education and, implicitly, their future.
Do it right, and you’ll benefit them enormously. Do it wrong, and you’ll likely ruin their chances at a successful career.
However, doing it wrong is really unlikely.
That’s because homeschooling isn’t extremely difficult. It might be demanding, true – but if you love your children, you’ll love homeschooling, too.
In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of how to become a homeschool teacher – including qualifications and a few educational options.
When it comes to teaching qualifications, there’s one misconception that seems to be quite common: you need a college degree to be able to teach something.
This is false. Especially with kids in primary and elementary years, you don’t actually need to know everything about a subject to teach it. That’s because 1) the subject itself isn’t all that complicated and 2) there are plenty – and we do mean plenty – of resources to take advantage of, both online and offline.
However, some states do require you to hold some formal qualifications – usually a high-school diploma or GED. Those states are Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Washington is the only state that requires either a course in home education, or college credits.
While you don’t need a tutoring certificate to homeschool your children, getting one will actually help you teach better. You’ll understand the basics about pedagogy and child development – and those are really important when it comes to educating your children.
Of course, you can always get educated by yourself – simply look up books and online resources on the topics of homeschooling, education and pedagogy. If you’re determined, you’ll pick up the basics pretty quickly, and you’ll have lots of chances to apply them live.
If you’re not certain you can cover certain topics, hiring tutors is another option, especially during the high school years.
The second thing you’ll need to be able to provide is socialization. People are social creatures – it’s pretty straight forward that children need plenty of socialization in order to develop as fully functional members of society.
If public school children – and their parents – take socialization for granted, their homeschooled counterparts don’t.
Socialization is vital to children development. It teaches them how to interact with others, helps them practice basic skills like giving, taking, and sharing, gives them the chance to practice different behaviors and see what works and what doesn’t – in short, it’s their first contact with the real world of people.
While socialization happens at home, too – until the end of three, for instance, that’s where it mostly happens, really – getting together and interacting with their peers is essential for all children.
If you’re going to homeschool, you need to make sure you can offer your children enough opportunities to socialize.
One way you can do this is by getting in contact with a local homeschooling group. This way you’ll get the chance to join in different group learning experiences – having other children join yours, or sending your children to other homeschools – take part in different field trips, or simply schedule afternoons out in the park, in the pleasant company of other like-minded people.
Signing up your children to different classes – sports such as karate, judo, dancing, football etc are extremely beneficial to your children’s development – is another way to make sure they’re honing their socialization skills.
Finally, socialization is a great way to learn better, too. While group work may not be the best learning alternative for all students, most children will benefit from some type of peer interaction while learning – even if it simply means explaining a concept to a friend. Setting up live labs and having your friends’ children over is a great opportunity to engage your children in memorable learning experiences.
Homeschooling might be challenging – but you don’t have to fear the prospect of educating your children.
You’re going to need some basic knowledge in most academic fields, true – but they’re not that hard to get, really, and you’ve got plenty of resources to use. You can even use tutors whenever you feel you’re not fully prepared, and learning alongside your children may also be a great experience.
When homeschooling, make sure you offer your children enough opportunities for socialization. They’ll learn to develop valuable social skills, have a chance to test what they’ve learned, and learn -and teach – better. And if those aren’t what homeschooling is all about, then what is?