Is homeschooling legal?
Yes. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. However, each state has their own laws regarding education and homeschooling in particular. Some states require forms to be submitted along with meeting a certain curriculum and testing measurements while others simply require notification within your school district. Be sure to check the laws and regulations within your state before you begin homeschooling. You can find links to your state’s laws within our homeschool resources page.
What are the benefits of homeschooling?
One of the main benefits of homeschooling is flexibility. The instruction your child receives is not confined by a schedule, by time, or by place. You can take your lessons into the real world to better apply concepts so your child can experience their education first hand. If an exhibit is in town, you can easily take your history lesson to the museum. Furthermore, if your child needs extra time with a lesson, you can provide it without the requirement of moving on to the next subject. This ensures that your child fully learns the material that he or she is studying.
Another benefit of homeschooling is personalization. Every child learns best in their own way thus you can tailor each lesson to match your child’s learning style and interests. You can relate concepts to their world to reinforce their understanding. And your child will be able to have all of their questions answered without the limitations of a classroom schedule.
Increased family time is another strong benefit. Parents and children will spend more time together. This naturally creates stronger bonds.
How much does homeschooling cost?
This all depends on your personal choices. There are numerous resources available - free or for-a-fee - that you can access to create the best homeschool curriculum for your child. Libraries, the internet, and museums can provide learning experiences for free or minimal costs. Textbooks and workbooks vary in costs and there are many options available that will allow you to choose an entire bundled curriculum or customize your curriculum by buying each subject individually. In general, elementary programs are less expensive than those for middle and high school.
Most importantly, be sure to make a budget and plan your homeschool curriculum for the year. And don’t forget to budget for extra-curricular activities too: music lessons, sports lessons, dance or art classes.
How do I monitor my child’s progress?
Initially, since you will be working closely with your child, you will be fully aware of their progress. You will observe how well they are understanding the material through the questions they ask and those that you ask. As they move into more independent and self-directed study you may want to use other homeschool assessment tools. Most programs offer some sort of assessment with the curriculum. It can be as easy as using the practice questions within or at the end of each chapter, or you can administer your own tests to assess their progress.
Are there grants available for homeschoolers?
Unfortunately, there are no federal or state funds directly available to homeschool families. Some states may fund lending libraries for homeschool families or provide other resources. To find funding for your homeschooling efforts, contact your local or state homeschooling agency for suggestions. You can search for your state agency from the drop-down menu on our Homeschool Resources page.