We Are Considering Homeschooling and Need Some Help

Our family is seriously considering homeschooling. I know, I just made half of you love us more and half think we just went off the deep end. Relax, both of you.

Why are we doing this?
There are many reasons why people homeschool. I have to be honest, some of you out there are a little crazy, as are your reasons. I still love you though.

We have many, but our main reasons are twofold 1) We think it fits our family. 2) We want to continue pursuing our kids being bilingual (maybe tri) without paying an arm and a leg. Currently they are in a language immersion charter school (which is FREE). When we move out of New Orleans (oh yeah, we are doing that soon), language immersion schools will be out of our nonprofit price range.

Questions for Homeschoolers
As I said above, we are considering homeschooling but we need some help. We have a couple questions we would love to ask our homeschooling friends.

1) Finances – How much do you pay? How do you give your kids a quality education without paying a ton? Again, nonprofit family here.
2) Roadblocks – What is difficult about homeschooling for you? What are some things that have been tough that you didn’t expect going into it?

We know homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but are excited about the possibilities of taking this journey. Any tips you homeschoolers might have for us would be appreciated.

Please leave your tips and answers to my questions in the comments section. Thanks!

Add yours ↓
  1. Jessi

    Hey, Adam–yay! We’re going to be doing it, too. This year, the 5 yr old will go to her church preschool program half days instead of kindergarten. I will supplement a little bit here and there throughout the year. But we are going gung ho until next year. You’ll find gobs of information once you start researching. You’ll want to look at your goals for what you want your kids to learn and go from there. I am a fan of classical education and of Charlotte Mason. You can spend as little or as much as you want. I know someone who spends practically zero dollars homeschooling all 5 of her kids, through allinonehomeschool.com. Then there are co-ops and pre-packaged, do it all for you type programs that will cost hundreds. I like the Facebook pages Practical Homeschooling and Simple Homeschooling for getting help from parents around the country on what they do. You can find discounted and used curriculum all over the place. For languages, there are tons of programs ranging in prices. I’d be glad to sit down and show y’all the stuff we have and maybe we can share it. Have y’all decided yet where to live? Give us a call. The prepackaged programs women I know love are Sonlight, My Father’s World, Abeka, some others I can’t think of right now. You can really go overboard if you aren’t careful. I get so excited I want to buy everything and then realize there aren’t enough hours in the day. Try to remember that homeschooling done well still only takes 3-4 hours in a day and that when they are little, keeping it simple is probably best–letting their learning style help you find programs that work for the family will be good, as well.

    August 8, 2014
    • adamsuter

      Awesome! Thank you Jessica! Michelle was telling me about a few of these resources recently, but we definitely had not hear about all of these. Will definitely touch base with you over the coming months. We will start the kids in school here in NOLA the week after next. Just doing research for once we move (by January). I really appreciate the reply!

      August 8, 2014
  2. aSprinkling

    I could give all kinds of info, but I’ll stick to your questions. As Jessica said, you can spend a little or a lot depending on what you want to use. I probably fall on the higher side and probably spend $500-600 a year on curriculum. For your second question, the hardest thing for me is dealing with character issues in my children. When you’re with them all the time, you see all the issues. That is great for knowing what to work on, but I find it hard to find the balance for correcting without being on their case ALL THE TIME.

    August 8, 2014
    • adamsuter

      Okay. Cool. Thanks. That does seem like it would be difficult. What’s your secret?

      August 9, 2014
  3. Emily

    Hey Adam! We are looking more at homeschooling as well. Here are a few things I’ve found to be helpful:

    1. Look at Georgia’s specific laws regarding home schooling and the requirements of home schoolers. For example, Arizona gives a specific list of what subjects MUST be covered by homeschool.

    2. Check and see what public school programs would still be available for your kids! For example, Arizona allows homeschooled students to participate in after school extracurriculars such as clubs and sports inside the public school that they would normally feed into. Check your state to see what would be available for your kids! No need to pay for extracurriculars is something could already be provided!

    3. Online public schools are free! If you are generally okay with the state’s curriculum but want to be able to supplement with other things (foreign language, religion, etc), this could be a good way to go. It is computer based, but a friend I have who teaches online said that he finds online school works well when there is a parent assisting the child at home. Online public school also allows children to move more at their own pace then they would in a classroom. The teachers online are certified teachers, and from what I have heard from other homeschooling families, they seem to really enjoy it. K12 is one of the better known ones. Many of students at my private school did this along with religious instruction at home and were well prepared academically overall for jumping into a rigorous curriculum when they joined in.

    4. You can use as little or as much as you like. Curriculum can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are really lost as to what you SHOULD be teaching your children, looking at your state’s department of education site would give you a general outline of what each grade levels focus should be. Often times, specifically for social studies, language arts, and science, a full curriculum may not be needed. There is SO MUCH online and so many resources available at libraries to supplement these areas. In terms of math, I know MANY homeschool families that I know really like using Saxon as their math curriculum. We use it at our private school as well, and I think it is really great too! If you are good at looking around online, you may be able to find many curriculums for free or really cheap.

    August 9, 2014
    • adamsuter

      Awesome! Thanks Emily. That is extremely helpful.

      August 10, 2014
  4. Stephanie

    Hi Adam,
    I’ve been homeschooling for 4 years now, even though I thought I would never do it! I love it!
    The cost is really dependent on how many kids you have and if you’re going to teach them separately or together in some subjects. There are some curriculums who give discounts for those in ministry–you just have to check with them first. But I would say $200 per child is average.
    Also, like someone commented above, you are with them all the time, which means you see them in all their sinfulness, and they, in turn, see you that way as well. It is a fantastic teaching opportunity once you get past the frustrations of the moment. 🙂
    My biggest struggle is that I am a very disciplined person who likes a schedule, so I nag my kids way too much to get their work done diligently. The Lord has been teaching me to enjoy my kids as I teach them and to relax!! They will learn so much better with an easy going mom who doesn’t worry if we don’t get through everything I wanted for the day.

    August 16, 2014
    • adamsuter

      Stephanie, thank you for the tips and encouragement. This is really helpful. My guess is that you are exactly what your kids need. Grateful for your comment.

      August 16, 2014
  5. Jack Whedbee

    Adam, we considered homeschooling years ago. But because of certain organizational limits within my family at that time, we couldn’t swing it. Then we moved to Forsyth County, and were fairly pleased with the school system here, so decided to do our best with the county schools. However, we have lots of friends and relatives that do homeschool, and we have used lots of the methods within our own family to supplement their public schooling.

    There is a wealth of info and resources out there, so you are Blessed. But one observation I have made over the years is how —some families do homeschooling effectively, some do it ok, and some of the families just aren’t organized enough to make the education very thorough or balanced. SOme have re-entered the public schools.

    When our kids were in elementary school, they took gymnastics. We always had them in at least one sport, or dance, for the girl. The gymnastics instructor for our middle boys was a very mature 17 year old guy from a family of 7 kids, homeschooled. The quality of his character just shined brightly. We got to know him a bit. One time, we were discussing homeschooling, and though he loves his background, he said that —Often the homeschoolers were harder to teach and discipline, because they were only accustomed to receiving direction from their parents. With some of them, it seems that the homeschooling experience missed teaching the respect for other teachers, outside of the family. That was only his own experience, and it was rare for such a bright, young guy to speak about others in that way.
    I am not sure how common this phenomena is. But I have also seen other families that remedy this possibility with intensive involvement in scouts, church youth groups, maybe even competitive sports. IT is something to monitor and to adjust along the way.
    Is it a paradox that we want our kids to have some relative independence from the ways of the world, and yet, at the same time learn to respect other “outside the home” teachers, pastors, coaches, eventually employers? The wisdom of discernment is usually only gradually attained.
    Pave your unique calling and still be part of community.

    January 18, 2016
    • adamsuter

      Jack, that is interesting. Thank you for the heads up. I will definitely touch base with Michelle on this so we can keep an eye on it.

      Love your last sentence. It is important to help shape our kids toward their unique calling AND be part of the community. I think both are possible.

      January 20, 2016