In the USA, the minimum educational requirement to homeschool is a GED. Individuals who have a high school diploma may homeschool.
Do you fear your educational level may hinder your efforts? After thinking through available options, you may decide you are up for the challenge.
Are You Qualified to Homeschool Your Child
- Are you eager and excited to learn new things?
- Are you motivated because you want your children to have a better opportunity than you did?
- Are you able to read on a 5th grade level? (Most everything today is written with a 5th grade reading level in mind.)
- If not, are you willing to use audiobooks and videos from the library?
- Will your math skills allow you to grade your child’s work? Are you willing to learn how?
- If not, will a friend or family member help?
- Do you have anyone who will help you teach your child (in states that permit this help)?
Remember: In this day of calculators, grading is not as complicated as it sounds. The HomeSchool Answer Mom will provide helpful tips and resources about grading work in future posts. Make sure you don’t miss them.
Understanding Online Public School-Homeschool Options
Many families with less education do opt for an online educational portal. Each state has computer-based homeschooling options offered by the public school system. The names vary with every state.
Most require your student be logged in by a certain time each school day. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the program or truancy issues.
Most online public school options do not allow new registrations after the 1st semester of the year (during 3rd and 4th grading periods). If you begin homeschool during the 2nd half of the year, online public school options may not be available to you.
- Are you comfortable using an online public school with your student?
- Do you have a computer and printer, etc.?
- Do they provide free computer equipment and work texts?
- What are the attendance requirements, and how is your child counted present, etc.?
- Will those requirements work for your family?
- What times of year are new students allowed to enroll?
- If you have computer issues, what will the impact be if work is not completed?
Understanding Other Online Homeschool Options
There are non-public school, computer based options as well. Some charge a fee. Others do not. Many are self-paced. Some require attendance during certain days and times much like public school options. None of these provide computer equipment for you.
Consider these resources as you consider educating your child at home:
- Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool is a free online portal. They offer academics and electives for K5 through graduation. You need to be able to use a computer and manage your child’s progression through the courses your student takes.
- Another cost efficient, computer-based program is Time4Learning. They have both a free and paid version. Each offers different benefits. Be sure and compare both.
- You might also check out Skrafty. This platform began as a safe place for homeschooled students to play Minecraft. In addition to the gaming platform, they now have many educational classes for all ages. Some are self-paced. Others are live just like online public school platforms. The cost varies per class.
- Some families use options like IXL to supplement what they do at home.
- Kahn Academy offers free classes for high school students. The material is average to advanced academically. If your student struggles, this platform may not be the best for your family.
Understanding Traditional Textbook Options & Costs
- Can you afford hard-copy curriculum purchases?
- Do you have the financial resources to use programs such as homeschool co-ops and classes? Are any available in your area?
- Do you have the time and energy to plan out daily assignments, explain new material, grade work, go over corrections, and monitor your teen’s school hours?
- Are there opportunities to meet with other homeschool families and teens in your area for activities like field trips, book clubs, etc.? Can you afford any fees involved?
What About Managing Paperwork?
- Are you good at organizing your home? Do you have room for school-related resources? Having an organized home provides a sense of peacefulness while you create new routines.
- How well do you manage record-keeping, paying bills, and managing clutter? Homeschool parents always have paperwork (lesson plans, grading and attendance sheets, etc.) to manage.
Homeschooling requires time and management skills. Be honest with yourself about these areas.
Should You Homeschool Without a College Degree?
With the number of online portals available for schooling at home, your educational level may not be the obstacle you fear.
Many ‘GED-only’ parents have successfully homeschooled students. Some students have created and run successful businesses or attended 4-year colleges and trade programs.
What matters is your willingness to learn along with your students. In many ways, doing so may inspire your children to be more engaged learners. I call that a win-win, don’t you?
Need more help making a decision? Have only a GED or high school diploma? Use this free 4-page checklist to think through your homeschooling decision. Homeschool with a GED Checklist
Homeschooling high-school aged students brings unique challenges. Read Should I Homeschool High School if you are considering homeschooling your teen.