Contemplating Ditching Public School For Homeschool?
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
COVID 19 caused nation wide school closures for the 2019 - 2020 school year. As new guidelines are set for the idea of school openings in the fall, many parents are not loving the guidelines. Guidelines include students, staff and visitors wear masks. Social distancing must be practiced, a tracing system must be in place and the State of NJ issued a 104 page school opening guideline book for districts to figure out how to reinvent the wheel. As parents process all of this new information and wait patiently for their particular school district to announce the new school model, many parents find themselves questioning if public school is the best source to obtain an education.
As families received a small taste of what an education outside of a typical brick and mortar school building would entail as they scrambled with distance learning for three months of the previous school year, families are deciding, we can do some type of distance learning / education elsewhere in the form of homeschooling or a virtual learning academy as our families new education option.
Moving forward for the 2020 - 2021 academic year parents need to be ready to take the reigns in their child's education at any given moment as part of the new public education model. Parents will never know when the switch to distance learning may occur. Many parents have decided we might as well fit that into our lifestyle now to eliminate schedule conflicts and mass chaos at a later date.
What exactly is homeschooling and virtual academy's?
In every state across the nation parents have the right to decide on their children's education. Some decide to run with the public or private school option. Gaining in popularity is the option to educate elsewhere, this option is homeschool or a virtual academy.
Homeschool - Parents are the teacher of their children and decide what type of education they want to introduce to their children. Christian or secular. Parents decide on a curriculum, materials and / or unit studies that they will teach.
Virtual Academy - Virtual academy's are an online "school" that teaches your child for you the curriculum they utilize all from your computer.
There is no one size fits all. Families have the flexibility to create the education experience they want to achieve for their children. Every state does have it's own set of laws that must be followed for an education elsewhere experience. It is always best to only seek homeschool law information from the state you live in and only from the state's Department of Education directly. Here is the link to NJ Homeschool Law https://www.state.nj.us/education/genfo/faq/faq_homeschool.htm
With so many different ways to "homeschool" do your own research and you will figure out what works best for your families unique lifestyle and most importantly, your child's style of learning.
Any curriculum can be utilized as a resource and any resource can be utilized as a curriculum. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy the journey!
Overwhelmed? Don't be! Anything new is a challenge but there is no better way to educate your child but by teaching them how to overcome a challenge. You got this!
Curriculum worth investigating-
Selecting a curriculum that is a right fit for how your child learns and how you teach will take a little research, patience and trial and error. The beautiful thing about homeschooling our children is we can customize curriculum to fit not only the guidelines recommended by The State of New Jersey but, our child's interests and how they learn individually. We can utilize multiple curricula and multiple grade levels in one year. Below is a list of curriculum ideas.
You can utilize a complete curriculum and simply follow along the daily assignments to keep life simple. Discovery K - 12, Easy Peasy, Time4Learning and many others.
Duolingo - Learn a new language for free
Brain Quest Workbooks - Grades PreK - 6
Discovery k - 12 - Online homeschool just follow along the daily assignments. Super simple Easy Peasy Homeschool - A complete free curriculum for K - 12th Christian based however you can skip the bible courses if you wish. This site is highly recommended as it has a ton of great courses offered for free. This curriculum is online and a workbook version is available to purchase.
Education.com - A very low cost hub of information for PreK - 5th
Khan Academy - A free online curriculum for grades PreK - High School that includes many electives
Kids Health - A free online health curriculum for children and teens
Rosetta Stone - Learn a language.
Saylor Academy - Great opportunity for high schoolers to earn college credit early. Many great certificate courses or free non certificate courses to utilize as high school electives. Story of the World
The Good And The Beautiful - Grades Prek - High School Free version, text book version and online extras version available.
Time 4 Learning - A great affordable online curriculum with PDF lessons and worksheets for grades PreK - High School.
Virtual Academy's woth investigating -
If homeschool is not the right fit for your family, you still have options for education elsewhere other than public school or private school. You can select an online academy. An online academy will teach your child for you. Assign work and grade your child's work. Here are a few great online academy options.
Resources and Supplements
Barnes & Noble gives your child the opportunity to earn a FREE book (from a selected list) after reading eight books. Book Adventure is Sylvan Learning Center’s FREE reading incentive program. Your child reads a book, then takes a simple comprehension quiz to earn points. There are hundreds of books to choose from in all reading levels, and they are books that can be found at your local library. Once they have earned enough points they can trade them in for prizes! BAM A summer reading program. Read four books online from the list and receive a drawstring bag. Chuck E. Cheese has a certificate available. Parents print out the form here and turn it in after reading is completed to a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant for free tokens. There are other incentives on their website as well, but only one reward per day, per child. iPlayAmerica We missed the deadline but keep your eye out and check the site regularly for the next dates to be announced. Pizza Hut Book-It is not just for Public School Kids. Homeschool families can register and get in on the free pizza action, too. Check it out and register your K-6th students today. Scholastic Summer Challenge begins May 1st every year. Kids read, log their hours, and spin a wheel for prizes. Six Flags Read to Succeed Students in grade K-6 can earn one ticket for free admission into a Six Flags park. Each family registers and follows the guidelines. You will get your tickets via email in May. The tickets are usually valid from mid-June to early in August. Mark your calendars to check the sites above for all summer reading program dates to be announced soon. This list was compiled prior to the health crisis. Here are twelve super cute reading log FREE printables