Everything you should know about homeschooling

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The ‘homeschooling’ or education of children at home becomes a lifestyle for families who choose this teaching method. We explain what it is, and its advantages and disadvantages.

What is homeschooling or educating at home?

Homeschooling is the term used to refer to school education taught at home. It is an alternative that consists of unifying all educational fields in the family context outside educational institutions, both public and private.

Educating at home, without going to school, is a possibility that for some families becomes the best option. 

Boys and girls who are educated at home following a homeschooling program do not go to school because their relatives, usually their parents, are the ones in charge of providing them with the training that makes learning acquisition possible. 

This type of education is an ancestral method used centuries ago, in a stage prior to modern schools, when knowledge was imparted generation after generation within the family.

Teaching at home implies that the family assumes the education of children in an integral manner, without delegating any of the functions inherent to this task in other institutions, and the family becomes the institution that transmits values ​​and principles, that deals with the affective and emotional development of children, and which also assumes other functions in the transmission of skills and knowledge necessary for the formation and complete development of minors.


Why families choose homeschooling

Homeschooling ends up becoming a lifestyle for families who opt for this option. The implication in the education of the sons and daughters that it supposes makes necessary the dedication of a very valuable time and space, which we do not always grant to our little ones. 

This entails the experience of unique moments, with an important emotional charge, which strengthens affective ties and transforms family dynamics.

Families that carry out homeschooling expand their functions, recovering part of the natural and inherent functions of the family system. 

It is not just about academic training, but about the involvement and dedication to the harmonious development of boys and girls. 

Although the reasons for choosing this educational method are very diverse and respond to the characteristics and needs of each family, among the most common reasons for opting for this teaching method we find:

  • Religious and ideological.
  • Live in rural areas where the school is far from home.
  • Families who do not agree with the training provided in schools.
  • Families who do not like the teaching of the schools close to their home.
  • Being against some values ​​that are transmitted in traditional schoolings, such as competitiveness.
  • The search for a more personalized learning process that can be adapted to the characteristics of each child.

The homeschooling in the world

Homeschooling is a controversial topicThat is why this educational modality is not well accepted in all countries, although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in its article 26.3, includes the right Parents have the preferential right to choose the type of education their kids deserve: “Parents have the preferential right to choose the type of education their students deserve.”

In the United States, homeschooling is a recognized and fairly widespread alternative; In Europe, some countries also recognize the right to homeschooling: Italy, France, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Hungary, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and Ireland.
In other parts of the world, such as Australia, New Zealand, or Indonesia, it is also a legal modality.

Everything you should know about homeschooling

Everything you should know about homeschooling

Is it a viable option?

In the United States, it is not only allowed, but it is a widespread practice.

The countries that do regulate homeschooling subject this system to inspection by the educational authoritiesTherefore, parents or legal guardians must provide their children with an educational program that meets the educational needs of their children.

They should also regularly monitor the program and how their children fit into it.

home schooling

Can they have socialization problems?

Critics of this type of education emphasize that children in school normally spend an average of five hours socializing with other children.

And, that this fact is fundamental for a minor since it develops his way of creating balanced and constructive relationships with his environment.

For this reason, it is highly recommended that all children who are educated at home have leisure activities with other children outside of teaching and training hours.

street children

Do children who study at home develop their cognitive ability better?

One of the arguments that parents and teachers use to defend this alternative is that the personalization of education is total.

Depending on the child’s learning pace, you can advance faster or stop, momentarily, so that the child understands the subject better, instead of just memorizing it, as happens in schools.

There are no studies that support the fact that the practice of homeschooling ensures greater intellectual development, but what is certain is that some of the best universities in the world reserve certain places for this type of student.

Information of interest

  • The Organic Law of Education establishes that basic education (between the ages of six and sixteen) is compulsory.
  • The family that decides not to send their child to school may be exposed to social services alerting the authorities of the minor’s “risk of abandonment”.
    To avoid complications, it is best to have a lawyer who advises you throughout the process.
  • Children who study at home obtain their high school diploma on their own at the age of 18, two years later than the rest of the students who are in school.

How to educate your child at home legally? State Requirements

In the United States, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and regardless of the reason, parents can homeschool their children as long as they comply with the laws of their state.

The most common motivations for distance education are:

  • Religious.
  • Parents are dissatisfied with public and private school options in their area.
  • Their jobs require them to travel and move frequently.
  • They want a more flexible system for their families and do not depend on schedules and schemes.

Parents can decide to educate their children at home themselves or opt for the tools offered by new information and communication technologies applied to education.

Parents who do not want to use traditional education today have many options available if they wish to keep their children at home. For example:

  • Hire a private tutor to carry out face-to-face education at home.
  • Enroll your children in a virtual modality, whether public or private, that provides a comprehensive educational service over the internet.
  • Set your own way of learning where your child has their own pace.

What are the requirements for homeschooling or virtual education?

In the US, laws and requirements for homeschooling and virtual education vary from state to state, so it’s important to research what you need to do based on where you live.

The first step is to contact the local school district superintendent’s office and ask what is required to homeschool your child. You can also get advice from local groups that are dedicated to working with virtual courses.

The education authorities of each state usually update their website frequently about news and changes in the laws related to home education, virtual teaching (“e-learning”), distance education, and other supplementary options to educate their son.

The Department of Education is the government body that regulates everything pertaining to education in the US, including public, private, and online schools.

In summary:

  • 11 states do not require you to notify your school district if you choose to homeschool your child. But, these states maintain their laws on compulsory education for minors, regardless of the educational model pursued.
  • Students between the ages of 6 and 16 are generally expected to have some form of education approved by the state in which they reside.
  • 39 states require notice if your child is being homeschooled and notice must be sent. But most states do not require parents to have any special degree of formal schooling.
    Parents simply make the decision to educate their children themselves at home, or through virtual platforms and begin to do so without any school district regulations or requirements.
  • Not all states require parents to produce their children’s education records, but it’s important to keep them in case someone makes an allegation about whether or not their children are attending school, or that the parents are negligent.
  • Some require parents to conduct assessments and submit student scores to school authorities, and follow state training programs, among other professional measures of student progress. This can be annually or more frequently.

photo 1581092582520 3da64a3c0d4c Everything you should know about homeschooling

Children with special needs and virtual or home teaching

Parents of children with special needs often also choose to educate their children at home, or through the virtual classroom.

Although there are no additional requirements imposed on these families, it is advisable to document the educational process of your child, even if it is not in a classroom.

In order to avoid future questions and problems about your arrangements to educate your children, it is important to evaluate them regularly.

It is also relevant to seek the help of specialists, be it educational consultants or specific therapists in order to meet the needs of your child and her own pace.

What do state laws in the United States say to legally homeschool?

Below are details on the regulations for educating your children according to the laws of each state.
Information on higher education is not included here, this is a process that follows other regulations.

The learning process you choose for your minor children is a very personal decision, and these data should be taken as a reference. You may also want to check directly with your state, district, or local school department of education.

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