Frequently Asked Questions

New and potential homeschoolers naturally have many questions. For most of them, the idea of bringing or keeping their children home is a new and perhaps radical idea – probably unlike what most of their friends and relatives are doing. While some questions are relative to each family’s own specific situation, other questions are common to most new families. A few of those common questions will be covered on this FAQ page and in the informative articles listed below.

Articles on Homeschooling FAQ

How can I prevent homeschooling parent burnout?


What is the best homeschooling method?


Are different learning speeds really okay?


Are homeschooling parents just being overprotective?


How can I find enough time to homeschool?


What are the different methods of homeschooling?


More articles coming soon . . .


Can I homeschool my child even if I’m not a certified teacher?
The answer to this first question depends entirely on which state you live in. Most states do not require a homeschooling parent to have a teaching degree or certificate, but it’s important to check your state’s regulations.
Do have to use a certain curriculum? Do we have to do what the public schools are doing?
Again, the answer to this question depends on which state you live in. Most states do not require a homeschooling family to use a specific curriculum, but it’s important to check your state’s regulations.
How much does it cost to homeschool?
This depends entirely on the choices each family makes. Some families spend hundreds of dollars per child every year on curriculum materials, outside classes, and other resources. Others spend very little, making good use of libraries, hand-me-down materials, inexpensive resources, used book sales, and opportunities to share and trade materials.
How do I know what my child should be learning each year?
That’s largely for you, the parent, to decide. It’s important to check your state regulations because some states may require homeschooling students to follow a certain plan of study or be tested at certain times. However, there is still a great deal of freedom for parents, as the people in charge of their child’s education, to determine what he or she should be and actually is learning each year. There are many sources of information available for families who are interested in looking at a “typical course of study” for any particular grade.
How can I homeschool my child if I have no talent in art and was never very good at math?
A parent doesn’t have to be an expert in every field in order to homeschool. There are many educational materials available to help parents teach subjects they aren’t proficient in themselves. Some homeschooling groups share talents by having a parent with strong skills in one area work with a group of children. It’s also possible to use outside classes and tutors, and older students can often enroll in college courses while still homeschooling. Also, parents can often learn right along with their children. It may be more challenging to help your child learn something that you’re not interested or proficient in yourself, but it’s certainly possible!
What about socialization for my homeschooling child?
This question used to be so common that it was humorously referred to as the “S word” among some homeschoolers. In fact, some families choose to homeschool their child specifically because of socialization issues. All children do have to learn certain social skills; however, they don’t all have to learn them at the exact same age and in the exact same way. There are many ways to learn and use social skills and to experience different social experiences, and many people believe that the home is a better place for this type of education.Homeschooling children may socialize with a variety of groups such as 4-H, Scouts, church, volunteer work, outside classes, business people, neighborhood friends, and homeschooling groups. Because homeschooling children don’t spend most of their time with one specific group of age-mates, they tend to socialize with more people from many age groups and backgrounds in a wide variety of situations. In addition, parents can be more aware of the kinds of socialization experiences their child is having, and make any changes they may feel are appropriate.
How can I make our homeschool curriculum fit my child’s needs?
There are entire books written on this subject, so only a brief answer is provided here. With homeschooling you have the flexibility to make the curriculum fit the child, rather than forcing the child to fit into a specific curriculum. One way to do this is to match the material to the child’s learning level, rather than age. For example, a 6th grade student may be ready for 8th grade math, but still be struggling with 4th grade reading material. Rather than sticking with all standard 6th grade work, you can move ahead quickly with math and slow down and review with reading, as your child needs.You can also choose methods that best suit your child–does she learn best by reading? Listening? Watching? Doing hands-on projects? Does he enjoy creative activities? Computer projects? Physical activity? Even small changes can make a big difference in how a child learns, such as letting him read on the floor rather than at a desk, or do lessons in the afternoon rather than first thing in the morning. Of course, everyone has to learn to do things they don’t enjoy and do them in ways that someone else determines. But there can be flexibility in when and how they learn those lessons, and young children don’t have to learn them in a way that actually conflicts with their learning other things.
If we homeschool, don’t we have to give up debate/football/band (or some other activity or class)?
First of all, your child may not have to give up his or her favorite activity. In some communities, homeschoolers have formed their own debate teams, drama clubs, bands, sports teams, and so on. There are often other options for students such as city league sports, church choirs, outside classes, and community theater groups. For example, a student who wants to work on the school paper may instead be able to work on a state or local homeschooling newsletter, or start his own publication, or get an internship with a local paper.Sometimes a homeschooling student does have to do without something that they could get in another school. However, this is true with any educational choice–there are always both advantages and disadvantages. No school situation is able to offer everything. A school may have a great sports program but not much in the drama department, or lots of new computers but only one foreign language. The student’s family has to decide what’s most important, and perhaps make some compromises. Many families decide that it’s worth it to give up one thing in order to gain something else that’s even more important.
Will my child be able to go to college after homeschooling?
Yes. Admission procedures will vary, depending on the university applied to. Many schools will require the same ACT or SAT exam that is taken by all applicants. Some may want to see a traditional-style transcript listing courses taken and grades received (which can be created by the homeschooling parent), while others will prefer a portfolio or narrative description of high school work completed. Financial aid is also available for homeschool graduates. It’s a good idea to check with universities your child is interested in during his or her high school years, to make it easier to plan and prepare for application.