Homeschooling is legal and thriving in all 50 states. In Hawaii, any parent can homeschool and no permission is needed. The parent is responsible for what to teach and how to measure progress. We need only notify our school principal of our intent to homeschool and send in a report at the end of the year of what we did. The Department of Education is very supportive of this alternative, even referring families to us so they can find out more about what it involves.
How one goes about homeschooling depends upon one’s resources, philosophy, interests, and the learning style of the children involved. Some families buy a ready-made curriculum and school their children at home on a set schedule. Some use a curriculum but are more flexible about following it and about the hours. Some develop their own curriculum and others allow life and their interests to provide the next learning experience. Some parents do virtually all the teaching, some use tutors, some organize small classes in which parents take turns teaching. Most families participate in community activities: drama, art and music classes, sports, festivals, and such. This is one of the greatest appeals of homeschooling — you can do it in a way that suits your family. Most will do a combination of approaches over the years.
Another advantage of homeschooling is the quality it provides — quality of education and quality of family time. In a family setting, with few students and few distractions, children have time to read, learn math, do art, be outdoors, do hobbies, relax and all the rest and without rushing to bed at night or rushing to school in the morning. The family works and lives as a unit and this gives the highest quality experiences in socialization, community responsibility and feelings of self-worth. Studies uniformly demonstrate the excellence of homeschooled children both academically and socially.
We homeschoolers find that the more we are with our children, the more we enjoy them. Just as we thrilled to their first words and first steps, we now take joy in seeing them learning to read, learning more fully the skills of homelife, and growing in character traits. And with their growing ability to help with the running of the family comes more free time for the family to spend enjoying each other and socializing with other homeschoolers.
If school isn’t providing your child with the education or good influences you wish or if you feel that life might be less hectic and if you’d like more time to enjoy your children and your family life, contact one of these groups and find out how homeschooling might work for you.