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IPFS News Link • Education: Private Secular Schools and Home School

Where Do I Start with Homeschooling?

• The Organic Prepper by Linnea Johnson

You made it through the school year "homeschooling" your children and either you're saying "never again", or you are now considering homeschooling this next school year.  There are differences between coping with an unplanned and potentially chaotic quarantine school at home and planning for a homeschool experience in the fall.  If you've questioned your ability to homeschool based on your experiences with this recent lock down, don't. There is no comparison between having something ill prepared and untested foisted upon you in addition to all the other stresses and planning for your own successful homeschool.

What will schools look like?

There are good reasons to consider homeschooling in the fall given the current requirements for children to return to school. The CDC has issued recommendations for reopening schools and they include having children wear masks all day, bringing their own food to school, discouraging sharing of supplies, staggering arrival and drop-off times, and students remaining 6 feet apart at all times. We've already seen stores install arrows directing movement through the store and it wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to see this in schools as well. We've also seen adults "peer" policing for wearing masks and no doubt, children will follow suit.

Your school system will decide how to manage these recommendations, but I suspect we'll see some pretty consistent implementation methods. Following the CDC recommendations for strategies to prevent COVID spread gives schools some perception of legal cover. If they follow CDC recommendations, lawsuits are less likely to result from re-opening the schools. We live in a litigious society and there's institutional safety in implementing procedures that are consistent across the country.

What are the laws?

As you make the decision to homeschool, check your state and local requirements for homeschooling. Use this searchable map for homeschool organizations and laws in every US state. The Home School Legal Defense Association also has a searchable map for your state and shows options for how to manage in states that are more highly regulated.  If you're in Canada, check out this resource.

How do I begin to figure out how to homeschool?

Just as there are a score of teaching methods, there are many ways to homeschool. Perhaps the reason why you want to homeschool defines what method you choose for your children. Parents choose homeschooling for various reasons. Some choose to homeschool for religious reasons. Others choose homeschooling to ensure their children are challenged or are better supported in their learning. Others choose homeschooling to ensure their child's safety or to help them escape bullying. Some families homeschool because they can't afford a private school.

There are many valid reasons to homeschool. Some parents choose a predetermined curriculum with videos and grading done by the issuing school. Others choose a more modified version in which the parent grades assignments. Still others research and put together their own curriculum, while others choose unschooling. What is unschooling, you ask? This site can answer your questions.