Thinking about homeschooling? As a homeschooler, you’ll have to do a little bit of extra work to make sure things like high school graduation and college applications go smoothly. You’ll also be more responsible for designing your education and making sure you finish your schoolwork on time.
These are just a couple of reasons why it’s important to understand characteristics that make successful homeschoolers. Diving right into homeschooling will only cause you a lot of catching up to do if you don’t do your research first. Here’s a list of things you’ll need in order to get the most out of being a homeschooled student.
Self-motivation. First, a homeschooled student requires a ton of motivation to function efficiently. There are too many potential distractions: texting, lurking on Reddit, camping noobs in World of Warcraft, etc.
To succeed as a homeschooler, you need to WANT to succeed as a homeschooler. Self-motivation is key. Homeschoolers usually have a similar amount of homework as a public school student. If you are taking classes online, you won’t have a physical teacher involved to give you constant reminders about upcoming due dates. Even if your parents are going to be heavily involved, you’re the one responsible for making sure that you finish your work and meet deadlines.
A passion for learning. Homeschooling is a unique and wonderful thing that allows education to be customized to meet each student’s needs and interests. In order for that to happen, interests have to exist in the first place. As a homeschooler, you’ll have the freedom to take classes that aren’t offered at your local public school. You can participate in co-ops, online classes, or dual-credit courses at a nearby college.
Take advantage of this freedom by pursuing your passions! If you aren’t interested in your schoolwork you’re going to have a hard time. You will end up procrastinating and get behind schedule, risking deferred graduation or other terrible and unfortunate things. Stay in school if you don’t think you’ll have the motivation to finish your work.
Patience. Next, not everyone is going to understand why you’ve chosen homeschooling and many will question your judgment. You have to possess a significant amount of patience to deal with these people. There will be quite a few of them. Some will question you especially aggressively. Try to learn from these encounters as well as to politely educate the aggressive party. Usually, these people aren’t well-informed about homeschooling. They will repeat various untruths about homeschoolers and their social or academic failures.
Arm yourself with a few facts about how well-adjusted and academically accomplished homeschoolers typically are. Sometimes, no matter how sound your argument is, the other party will refuse to consider it. It’s easy to understand why people find it difficult to change their views about something as important as education. Try to be patient and understanding.
Organization. You’ll need to understand your state’s homeschool laws as well as its graduation requirements. If you’re planning on applying to colleges or universities, you’ll need to act as your own college counselor of sorts (unless you plan to hire one or your parents know a lot about applying to colleges). It’s not as difficult or complicated as it might seem, but the laws and requirements can vary greatly by area. In Texas, you don’t have to keep any records and there aren’t many rules you’ll have to follow. Other states require a certain amount of hours to be logged or conduct annual evaluations. To better understand your local homeschooling laws, check out your state’s department of education website.
For this reason, organization is crucial as a homeschooler. You’re going to be in charge of these sorts of things. And you can do it. There’s tons of free help available in the online homeschooling community, you just have to seek out the information.
Perseverance. You’ll need to constantly work to maintain your social relationships. If you went to public school, you’d probably be around hundreds of kids within a few years of your age every day.
Homeschooling is different – you won’t usually be surrounded by peers for upwards of eight hours a day. Homeschoolers have to actively seek social interaction. You can do that through an athletic team, a homeschool group, an interest-based club, or a job, just to name a few options. Either way, you’ll need to put in some initial work in order to create a social circle as a homeschooler.
To conclude, homeschooling isn’t for everyone! If after reading this you’re having second thoughts, you might consider getting a second opinion. Talk to someone you know who has experience with homeschooling. If you’ve read through this list and you feel like homeschooling would be a good fit, do some more research and then pitch homeschooling to your parents if you haven’t already. Good luck!