Yesterday I gave six reasons why parents should consider homeschooling, or at least getting their children and teens out of the public school system.
But for most people, this doesn't seem possible. If you and your spouse both work or you're a single parent, you simply cannot stay home and teach the kids. Or perhaps you don't feel qualified to teach them.
Private school is expensive and doesn't actually solve all the problems with standard schooling models.
Usually, homeschool conjures images of children sitting around a table, doing schoolwork, as if transported from public school to a home environment. Maybe they are wearing Amish-style clothing and referring to their parents as Ma and Pa.
Let's leave that image behind.
The entire point of removing your offspring from public schools is to benefit them.
So first off, do they even want to stop attending public school? If the answer is no, then that is where you need to start. Forcing them to part with friends and teachers they like, and activities they enjoy will seem just as oppressive as the public school itself. It would miss the point of giving them back their freedom to use their own time as they see fit, and personalize their studies.
But that's another whole subject. For this list, let's assume your child or teen loves the idea of getting the hell out of that dystopian institution called public school.
Now the question is, what are they interested in? This will vary wildly. For some students, it will be obvious where they will channel their interests and energy. For others, it will require some digging to spark the first interest that can replace the wasted classroom hours.
You don't have to be a genius professor. You just have to be a supportive facilitator of their own natural quest for knowledge. That knowledge does not have to come directly from you. But the tools and will to find and explore their passions might.
Keep in mind that some states have requirements for testing and other proof that students are learning enough from homeschool.
But 27 states have minimal or low requirements for homeschoolers. The stricter requirements of the other 23 states can generally be completed using online resources in a relatively short amount of time.
These should be minor obstacles compared to 30 hours per week in school, plus homework and studying. No matter where you live in the USA, homeschooling can still increase the student's freedom to tailor their education better for their individual needs.
1. "Hey, teacher. Leave them kids alone!"
I use the term homeschool, but feel free to substitute "unschool." That means you aren't designing a lesson plan so much as allowing them to pursue their own interests.
Let's start with the most obvious and simple solution.
Are these young adults we are dealing with, who could be left home alone?