4 Signs It’s Time to Make the Switch from Homeschool
Homeschool can be an effective alternative to public and private schools, but it isn’t always right for every family. Not only is homeschooling a huge time commitment for parents, but also it can make it difficult for children to stay motivated and on track. If you’re wondering if homeschool is really the best option for your family, here are four signs it may be time for a change.
You can also hear from a real parent who made the switch in our blog post “Four Reasons I Switched from Homeschooling to Virtual School.”
1. You’re Starting to Feel Burned Out
If you feel overwhelmed with homeschooling, you’re not alone! Homeschooling can be exhausting for parents, especially when you’re trying to juggle other responsibilities like work, caring for younger children, and maintaining a household. Teaching multiple subjects to one child is challenging enough, but when you’re trying to cover a variety of subjects with multiple children at different grade levels, things can get hectic fast.
If you are feeling tired and stressed all the time and other family members are unable to lighten your load by assuming some of the homeschooling responsibilities, you may want to consider a less demanding way to provide your children with a high-quality education.
2. You’re Struggling with Self-Doubt
Teaching is equal parts art and science. Without formal training, being an effective teacher can be a challenge. Many parents who homeschool find themselves doubting their abilities. Feeling this way doesn’t mean that you aren’t well educated or don’t understand the subject matter, as teaching involves a lot more than just knowing the material.
Certified teachers spend years in college studying topics like child psychology, cognitive development, teaching theory, instructional design, and more—and for good reason. Things like figuring out which curriculum to use, adapting materials to your child’s specific learning style, keeping your child challenged and motivated, and overcoming learning difficulties can often be overwhelming for those without formal training.
Additionally, even parents who successfully homeschool for elementary grades may find themselves wishing for a teacher’s assistance when their child begins taking more challenging courses in middle and high school. Many choose to find a new educational solution to ensure that their students can learn algebra, calculus, world languages, physics, and other higher-level courses that will help them gain admission to college.
3. You’re Worried Your Child Is Falling Behind
When researching and developing their own curriculum and learning materials, parents can become overwhelmed. When the subject matter increases in difficulty, it can be easy for some concepts and skills to fall through the cracks. If this describes your concerns, you may be more comfortable with a virtual school that offers a curriculum developed by education professionals to ensure your student receives a complete education and meets important benchmarks. A high-quality online school will provide you with access to your student’s lessons, grades, and teachers, so you can continue to be as closely involved as you wish.
In addition, an alternative option like virtual school may offer a higher level of structure and academic support than you’d find with homeschooling. (Learn more about the differences between homeschool and virtual school: “Homeschool vs. Online School: What’s the Difference?“)
4. Your Child Is Unhappy or Unmotivated
Finally, your child’s own feelings could be a sign that homeschooling just isn’t working. Tears, anger, confusion, and lack of motivation can all indicate that it’s time to switch. These things could happen occasionally with any form of education, but if you’re dealing with these on a consistent basis, it may be time for a change.
When it comes to how your child feels about his or her education, trust your gut. You’ll be able to tell if your child is just having a difficult day or two, or if there really is a deeper underlying issue that could be addressed by switching to a homeschool alternative like virtual school.
Homeschool Not Working for You?
If you ultimately decide homeschooling is no longer working for your family, there are other options. With virtual school, for example, your child is taught by certified teachers online, from the comfort and safety of your home. This way, you can still be involved by monitoring your child’s progress and supporting the learning, but you’ll have a reduced time commitment (learn more in our blog post “Top Reasons Why Online Schools Work for Parents“). Plus, your child can benefit from working with an experienced certified teacher.
Making the switch from homeschooling to virtual school may be easier than you think. For many families, virtual school offers the same lifestyle perks they’re used to enjoying with homeschool, plus a few new ones. Learn more in our blog post “Homeschool to Online Learning: An Easy Transition.”
Have you made the switch from homeschool to virtual school? Tell us your story in the comments below!