Why are more parents than ever choosing homeschooling?
There are a lot of reasons families choose to homeschool their children rather than enroll them in a traditional classroom setting. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 15% of parents who had homeschooled students report that they chose to homeschool due to their dissatisfaction with instruction in public schools.
Parents also choose to homeschool their children because of flexibility in scheduling, concerns about safety in schools, and being able to provide responsive instruction that is aligned to a family’s core values and educational philosophy.
What do you know about the homeschool process?
MTT’s very own School Partnerships Specialist, Rebecca Vega, currently homeschools her children while being employed full-time. We interviewed her to learn more about how homeschool and utilizing a co-op has benefited her family.
Q: Rebecca, why did you choose to homeschool your kids?
A: In our situation, we chose to homeschool based on a few factors. Our kids had been in private school which was becoming increasingly challenging and frustrating for the kids, plus the cost was a big financial sacrifice. We also wanted more time to be together as a family – not always be rushing to and from school, working on hours of homework, and then going to bed. The faith element was a huge factor too because we wanted to give our children a firm Christian foundation that they would not receive in the public school. I know families who have looked into homeschooling to simply avoid public school’s pitfalls, but the majority of my friends do so for faith, family, and community reasons.
Q: Based on your experience, what are the main benefits of homeschooling?
A: I know my kids best, and I can differentiate/ tailor everything we do to fit their specific needs. Also, we are free to study what we want when we want! The county requires that we report our academic progress and what we have completed in each content area, but there’s so much freedom. I love that we can skip school once in awhile for a playdate, or take a vacation in the middle of the school year and just pick up schoolwork when we get back! Our co-op is also amazing, and it is so nice to be in a community with like-minded families all striving to give their children the best education they can!
Tips for beginning the homeschool process
Does homeschooling sound like a great fit for your family? The first place to start is to learn about your state’s and county’s laws regarding homeschooling, as requirements can vary depending on location.
Next, you will need to select a curriculum that aligns with your family’s goals, values, and schedules. Homeschool curricula vary by cost, so be sure to check the pricing as well as consumer reviews!
Once you know the legal and academic requirements, make sure to connect with other homeschooling families in your community through social media groups or your local library. Consider enrolling your child in a homeschool co-op, where they receive additional academic support, as well as strengthen their peer relationships through socializing and group projects. Co-ops can provide new and exciting opportunities while increasing your child’s social-emotional learning skills!
Co-ops are amazing homeschool supports
Choosing the right co-op for your family can be an overwhelming process. Once you find the perfect fit, your homeschooling experience will improve drastically! Here are just some of the benefits of a co-op homeschool arrangement:
- The social aspect! Both students and parents get a chance to connect with families who are on a similar homeschool journey. Students create long lasting friendships, and parents gain a strong support system within their community.
- The flexibility! Math and Language Arts are key components of any county’s homeschool curriculum requirements, but with a co-op you have the flexibility to add any other subject, such as STEM or Art, in order to support student’s interests and creativity. Because you can create your own schedule with a co-op, you are not tied to the traditional public school year calendar should you want to take a vacation.
- Finding a niche of what you love! Want to find a homeschooling group that focuses on hands-on projects? the outdoors? a cultural aspect you have been missing in traditional classroom settings? Co-ops are a great opportunity to meet families that have similar values to yours!
Looking for a homeschool co-op in Maryland?
Look no further! Let us take the stress out of home-instruction with the MTT Homeschool Co-Op! It’s more than your average co-op, in that it utilizes a tutorial method, wherein tutors who are certified teachers facilitate and teach all lessons.
Our model allows families to supplement their homeschool curriculum with support in ELA/Literacy and Math from a certified educator in a small-group classroom setting. Students have a chance to connect with other students in mixed-age groups in order to build long-lasting relationships with peers. Parent involvement is encouraged but not required. Learn more about the MTT Homeschool Co-Op here!
Tiffany Verhoosel is currently a Computer Science teacher in the Baltimore City School District. Coming from a background of business she joined the Baltimore City Teaching Residency over ten years ago to make the career change into education and has never looked back. Her degree from Johns Hopkins, a Master of Science in Digital Age Learning and Educational Technology, helped propel her from Special Educator to her current teaching position where she teaches Kindergarten to eighth grade students how to code.