Thinking about homeschooling your kids? Feeling like you have the passion, resources, temperament, and time to be a homeschool teacher? Or maybe you’re not quite sure if you can do it. No matter what, it can still feel overwhelming with so many decisions that need to be made regarding this step.
Keep reading this article to find out how to be a homeschool teacher, and our top tips for being a great homeschool teacher!
Requirements For Being A Homeschool Teacher
When it comes to requirements for being a homeschool teacher, there aren’t any set national qualifications. Depending on what state the parents reside in, the official requirements could vary.
Homeschool teachers are typically parents, retired teachers, or former homeschooling parents who want to earn some extra money. They may also be school teachers who want a schedule that’s more flexible. To become a homeschool teacher, you need to decide whether you want to work for a company or be self-employed.
There are homeschool teachers that focus on certain areas of study, while others address all subjects. In order to be able to fulfill your homeschooling responsibilities, you’ll need to use different techniques for teaching, develop an evaluation system, and create individualized lesson plans.
Public School Teacher Vs. Homeschool Teacher
When you’re a public school teacher, you follow lesson plans that are based on the state’s guidelines as well as the district’s. You have a class with many students and only 50 minutes a day with each class (for older students), which makes it diffficult to devote a longer periods of time to each student personally.
The public school system uses a one-size-fits-all approach. While this doesn’t work for everyone, it tends to work for the majority of students.
When it comes to homeschool teachers, they don’t have to follow a schedule or lesson plans dictated by others. They also rarely ever teach more students than their own children, unless they are part of a homeschooling co-op.
A smaller group makes it a lot easier for a homeschool teacher to provide undivided attention to the needs of each student. They can more easily adjust their curriculum as needed based on student progress.
Tips For Becoming A Great Homeschool Teacher
In this section, we will go over some practical and simple steps you can take in order to become a great homeschool teacher.
Research Requirements For Homeschooling
As we have previously mentioned, each state regulates homeschooling differently, and has its own rules regarding the process.
For example, if you want to homeschool in New York, you need to conduct standardized tests, submit reports on a quarterly basis, and maintain records for attendance. In addition to this, parents from New York need to submit an individualized home instruction plan and an annual letter of intent.
Make sure that you carefully research how different states regulate homeschooling and what the specific education requirements are in your state or district.
One thing you can do to improve your homeschool teaching skills is to read books about child development, learning and teaching styles or books about homeschooling specifically.
Even though a certain method for homeschooling might not fit your needs, there will always be tips and advice included that you can apply in some small way to your own homeschooling efforts.
We definitely suggest you read some of the following homeschooling books for inspiration:
- The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
- The Relaxed Home School by Mary Hood
- Teach Your Own by John Holt and Pat Farenga
- Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert
- The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith
- Home Grown by Ben Hewitt
- Homeschooling for Early Years by Linda Dobson
Besides books about homeschooling, you should also pay attention to any current topics on child development. Learning about child development will help you understand the different academic, emotional, and mental stages of the child(ren) you are teaching. You can then keep these things in mind while you’re setting goals and planning lessons.
You should also check out the local library and see what materials they have that will be helpful to your homeschooling. Books, magazines, activities, lectures, etc. are all usually a part of a local library program. You may find materials to help yourself as well as materials/activities for the kids you teach.
Besides books, you can also look for other opportunities to develop yourself professionally. You could take a professional development courses or attend homeschool conventions.
Find The Right Curriculum
It can be quite a challenge to find the right curriculum for your homeschool. If you have any questions about this matter, you can always call curriculum companies, read reviews, or ask a co-op or homeschool community.
Homeschool curriculum varies from more traditional workbooks and textbooks, to more unstructured curriculum that use an untraditional approach. No matter what type of curriculum you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find detailed approaches to units that can be individualized and guided by the interests of the child.
Doing research to find the curriculum (or you may use a mix of different styles and approaches) will take up some of your time, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run.
Join A Homeschooling Group
You will get lots of valuable information by meeting fellow homeschool parents in your area. By joining a local homeschooling group, you can assess your own teaching habits, find answers to questions you might have, and observe how homeschooling works for other people.
During the meetings of your homeschooling group, some parents may volunteer to teach a subject to a whole group of students, such as a science lab or a foreign language.Take them up on it! One of the secrets to successful homeschooling is finding other qualified adults to help you carry the load.
Create A Dedicated Homeschooling Space
Make space in your home that will be dedicated solely to your homeschooling. Will you need a desk or a blackboard? Do you need an empty wall where you can post calendars or schedules? Are you in need of computers with an Internet connection?
If you want to keep your workbooks and textbooks organized, make sure to get bookshelves and/or storage cabinets. You may also want to find containers for school supplies to make finding supplies (as well as clean up) a breeze.
Learning How To Be A Homeschool Teacher Is Easy!
You’re already halfway there if you’re wondering about how you can become a better homeschool teacher. It shows that you truly care about the education of your children if you’re frequently looking for ways to improve your teaching or enhance your curriculum.
While many parents think about the idea of homeschooling their children, many don’t foolllow through due to feeling incompetent or too inexperienced. Children model their behaviors after their parents. Put your best efforts into learning how to be a homeschool teacher and watch your children put their best learning efforts forward as you continue on your learning journey together!