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Friday May 24th 2024

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Are You an Accidental Homeschooler?

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Are You an Accidental Homeschooler?

 Please join me in a big ol’ Parent at the Helm welcome to our newest sponsor, Time4Learning, helping to keep

informative PATH posts in your homeschooler e-mail box or on your Facebook page throughout the seasons.

We’re happy to share this guest post by Nela Prado!

By Nela Prado

homeschoolerEven before they have children, some families already know that they want to homeschool, while others find themselves homeschooling based out of necessity or by accident. These “accidental homeschoolers” had their children in schools and – for many different reasons – decided that homeschooling was the best choice for their families.

Do any of these stories sound familiar?

  • “My kids were brought up knowing the difference between right and wrong, but they’re easily influenced by their peers. Last year I met with both teachers and school administrators about the ‘morally casual’ behavior they were picking up in the classroom. Instead of action, my concerns were met with excuses and the typical ‘we’ll look into it’ response, which just wasn’t enough. “


  • “Our school’s budget is tied directly to FCAT scores, so teachers teach to the test but don’t include the concepts behind the material. My kids are conceptual learners, so every night I’d find myself re-teaching what they should have learned in the classroom. Finally, I decided that it would be better (and less stressful for everyone) to do it myself. “


  • “I pulled my son out of school because he has ADHD complicated by some health issues. His class had 36 students in it, so his teacher spent more time babysitting than teaching. And because the only kids who got attention were the trouble makers, my son started picking up bad habits.”

What If You Are an Accidental Homeschooler?

So, what do you do if you find yourself an “accidental homeschooler”? Well, first off, try not to panic. Feeling overwhelmed, unprepared and backed into a corner are all normal. The endless array of curriculum descriptions, methodologies and wildly-enthusiastic homeschool websites are hardly helpful to a parent wanting an answer to what seems like a very simple question: “How do I start?”

As more and more families turn to homeschooling, the need for guidance and reassurance grows.  Time4Learning gathered some of our seasoned members to create a much needed “Welcome to Homeschooling Guide.”We asked these veteran homeschoolers to answer questions they had when they began homeschooling, and to include tips and advice that they wish they had received.

A few excerpts for the accidental homeschooler:

  • Understand your child academically. When starting to homeschool, many parents’ first instinct is to go shopping. Instead of buying expensive curriculum that might not work, make your first priority getting to know your child academically. We recommend spending two weeks working with your child across all subjects. Once you know what works and what doesn’t, it will be easier to choose an approach.
  • Learn the laws. Know and follow your state’s legal requirements. Use resources such as Time4Learning’s state-by-state section in their parent forum, where you will find state specific information, links to authoritative sites, and a place to ask how to interpret all these rules.
  • Use the right materials for the right child. Every child has different learning needs, so we suggest avoiding any program which claims to be THE COMPLETE SOLUTION. A new homeschooler usually starts out by trying different curricula, and often end up mixing and matching.

As an online curriculum provider, we understand the importance of a great education. We are proud to be able to offer a solution that can turn “accidental homeschoolers” into “happy homeschoolers.”

Visit Time4Learning to learn how our online homeschool curriculum can help your family.


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