With so many current unknowns in the public and private school system we have been receiving multiple questions every week about parents wanting to transition into homeschooling but wondering if that is even possible. The most popular question we have received is, “can I homeschool my child after they have been in public school?”
The short answer is a resounding yes!
The long answer includes the many reasons why this works. I’ve split my reply into sections below:
- Earthschooling Fulfills Your State Standards: The first concern that many parents have is if a home curriculum can fulfill the requirements the state has for their child’s education. The good news is that fulfilling these requirements is easier than you might think. While the state standards allow for the time it takes a teacher to share the information with a large class, you can often teach these same concepts in a much shorter time span. You can see how Earthschooling measures up to state requirements here. Earthschooling also provides documentation that reviews the material you are using so you do not have to spend time preparing the documentation yourself.
- Earthschooling Allows Your Child Personal Attention: I spoke to a parent the other day who said the best thing about having her child home from school this past month was being able to help her in math. She had not realized that her daughter was struggling so much in math and since being able to give her one-on-one instruction her daughter has excelled and made ‘leaps and bounds’ in this subject. Homeschooling your child allows them to learn at their own pace. This allows them to excel in subjects they have been held back in as well as get extra help in subjects they strive to understand.
- Earthschooling Opens New Possibilities: Does your child love art or music but does not have enough time for them in school? Do they wish that all those dance or gymnastics classes they take could count towards their PE requirement at school? Do they wish that they could take some classes online instead of in a classroom? Does swimming in the local river sound like a lot more fun than a locker room and a chlorinated pool in the basement? Homeschooling allows both the parent/teacher and the student to be creative in the way they teach and learn. Lessons can be adapted to the student’s interests, abilities, opportunities, location, and even personality.
- Earthschooling Offers an Easy Transition: Earthschooling lessons offer a scheduled option for the beginning or busy parent/child so they can just “open and go” with the lessons instead of worrying about learning how to homeschool. Our lessons take you gently through the process so you are learning along with the child. As time progresses you will find yourself gaining confidence and even the ability to create some of your own lessons. Transitioning is simply a matter of figuring out what your child’s needs are in each area – reading, math, writing, and science – and choosing a curriculum to fit those needs. We can help with that. If you e-mail us at: CustomerService@TheBEarthInstitute.com and tell us your child’s current grade, what books they read, what kind of writing they enjoy, and what lessons they were doing in math and science, we can let you know what grade (or mix of grades) would suit them. We offer a flexible program that allows you to mix grades when needed.
- Earthschooling Leaves Space for Plenty of Social Interaction: Another big concern with parents who homeschool is social interaction. It may surprise many parents to realize that their children need a lot less social interaction than they have been getting. In fact, for many children a high degree of social interaction is quite stressful. A good way to measure this is to ask them how they have felt since being in quarantine. Are they asking when they can see friends multiple times a day? Or are they only asking a couple times a week? How do they feel about it when you ask them? Homeschooling allows you to take their needs into account. You can plan (or not) as many social events for them as they need. A highly social child may need daily nature walks with friends, group classes in sports, or a spot in the local orchestra or choir. A less social child may enjoy just one play date a week or one class a week, while an even more socially cautious child (who needs more time to ease into a larger social circle) may find their needs adequately fulfilled by trips to cafes, museums, and zoos where they will be around other people but not necessarily need to constantly interact with them. Ultimately, all their social behavioral needs (such as learning manners, conversation techniques, etc.) are all fulfilled by the parent(s) and/or siblings. Even pets can contribute in this area by teaching the skills of compassion, insight, and social interaction.
- Earthschooling Excites the Child: Children are naturally curious about the world around them and they want to learn. A child that shows little interest in their lessons (at school or otherwise) isn’t learning-challenged or not interested in learning. They just need to be excited about what they are learning! When teaching a child to read, for example, there is no rule that says they have to learn using traditional readers. Maybe reading instructions for furniture assembly or data about bird calls or how to kayak excites them. Earthschooling provides exciting subjects and the option to expand on those subjects with topics that your student loves.
- Earthschooling Enjoys Legal Support: Parents who are not already part of the homeschooling community may be surprised at how far it has come in just the past 15 years. Most school districts now have home school support organizations. Some school districts even allow students to attend special classes at school part time. Homeschooled children can easily apply for college and easily re-join the public school community if they want to. Homeschooling was already becoming a ‘mainstream’ method of education even before the COVID-19 school closures. And now, after the lockdowns, homeschooling has gained even more status. Moving forward homeschooling will not only enjoy the current status it already had as a legal and accepted way to educate your child; homeschooling will also gain status in some areas as a preferred way to educate your child.
- Earthschooling Offers Teacher Support: Once a week a Waldorf teacher comes to our forum to answer questions. This offers reassurance to parents who may want to check in with an experienced teacher from time to time. We also have experienced members in the forum who are always ready to help. Additionally, you can e-mail us daily if you have a question. We also offer a large number of audio webinars and video tutorials to help you get started and to help you progress on your homeschooling journey.
- Earthschooling is Used by Schools: Even before the COVID-19 situation Earthschooling has been used in many schools around the world (see some of them here). Parents are not the only ones that appreciate help in planning! I can confidently say from experience that having lessons planned out for me definitely makes teaching more fun. Without all the stressful and long hours put into research and planning, I can focus on actually teaching and being creative and having fun with the lessons – and that’s what I’m here for! That’s the part of teaching that I love!
Let us know if you have additional questions or concerns you would like us to address by writing to us at: CustomerService@TheBEarthInstitute.com