Contrary to popular belief, parents make excellent home school teachers in most cases. A growing trend is sweeping the nation and in the 1990s, the number of home school families increased an average of 5 percent per year. All states require that a home school teacher be a legal guardian of the child, although some states allow other adults to participate in the home school education process. If you’re a parent, you’re legally entitled to be a home school teacher.
Find out the laws that govern home schooling in your state. Before you decide to teach your child at home, it’s imperative to know the rules. Contact your State Board of Education. In some states, you will register as a private school, but in all states, you must notify the state of your intentions and the names and ages of the children participating. (See Resources)
Become a home school teacher by preparing an educational curriculum for your children that matches or exceeds the standard of education in your state. This standard is also available from your State Board of Education and it lists the minimum educational requirements for a child in each grade. An exception exists for children with diagnosed developmental disorders.
Plan to spend a minimum amount of time teaching your children every day. Home school teachers must ensure that their children spend enough time participating in educational endeavors. Usually, this is seven hours of study and 50-minutes qualifies as an educational “hour.”
Arrange for your children to participate with other children in community sports and athletics in order to fulfill your state’s physical education requirements or develop your own fitness curriculum.
Maintain strict time records when home schooling. This is especially important if you are home schooling high school students who intend to pursue a college education. Most colleges and universities accept home-schooled students, but they want to see records of their course of study and the method by which you arrived at a grade.
Schedule times when your children can participate in standardized testing as required by your state. Some states require yearly testing to ensure that your children are learning while other states require no testing. In any event, high school students should take the ACT or SAT exams. Public schools must allow home-schooled children to attend during testing days.
Order entire curriculum sets or make a custom curriculum for your children. You can purchase all the materials you need online from numerous home school suppliers. (See Resources)
Enjoy your role as a home school teacher. There is nothing more natural than educating your own children, so relax and make school time fun.
Follow your state regulations carefully to make sure you retain the right to be a home school teacher.
Network with other home school families to exchange educational materials and ideas.
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