Home schooling

How Home Schooling Works

Many parents who consider educating their children at home want to know how home schooling works. This can be a question of what homeschooling accomplishes, or the process by which it is accomplished.  We will discuss both of these here. 

Without realizing it, most parents begin homeschooling their children well before they go to school. Many children already know their alphabets, the names of animals, colors and other bits and pieces of reading, writing and math before formal schooling is required. This is mostly due to the time a parent has chosen to spend teaching the child in the home. Home education is just a natural progression from there. Instead of sending their children to a public school, parents choose their own curriculum and teach in ways that best suit each child. Although there are several situations that motivate parents to school at home, at it's most basic, this is how home schooling works.

How homeschooling works

What does home schooling accomplish?

Those desiring to homeschool always have things they hope to accomplish. High on the list of most homeschooling parents are things like creating an environment where the child is free to learn at their own pace and style and removal of negative influences such as other students who do drugs, talk with disrespect, use foul language, etc. Many of these parents also wish to see strong character development and family bonding occur in their children.

Homeschooling accomplishes academic learning to whatever degree the student and teacher wish to take it. Teaching is a continuation of your own learning process along with your children. Thankfully, with the help of the internet, various books and support groups, all the information you could need is at your fingertips.

What is the process?

The success of any endeavor depends on the level of determination and clarity of purpose of those undertaking it. Once the parents have come up with a clear and intentional idea of what they want to accomplish, it is time to consider the practical side of what homeschooling involves.


Expense is a good place to start. While home schooling does not require the tuition of a private school there is still some cost involved. Depending on the curriculum chosen it may cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand every year. Parents may choose to buy courses for their children that are completely developed and require only supervision and tutoring, or they may create their own classes from scratch with the aid of a wide variety of resources to aid them. Some families may even wish to start some sort of home based business in which the children can participate, in order to supplement the household income and aid in expenses.

Also part of the process are scheduling, picking curriculum, deciding which parent will teach what subject, and other such details. The process of how homeschooling works can be as simple or as complex as a parents or guardian choose to make it. The supreme advantage of having a school at home is that it can be flexible and completely determined by the individual family needs. There will be certain regulations which must be followed, and these vary from state to state. These regulations involve who can homeschool, state requirements for reporting and testing (if any), and sometimes certain academic subjects required, but beyond these the choices are up to the family.

How do you start?

The first part of this answer is that there are as many places to start as there are families who want to school at home. Since it is literally that varied, it is important to choose the method that works best for you and your children. The first thing is to determine what kind of structure would work best for your home school and map out a flexible schedule for the week. All families that home school need at least a loosely structured schedule or there will be chaos and frustration and you will accomplish very little. So you must decide if you want all your schooling to take place in the morning, or if you prefer to spread it out over the whole day? How many hours in the day it will require to accomplish that days goals? Do you want to school every day or take a day off in the middle of the week? Will you have regular outings planned with other home schoolers or schedule activities as they come up?

To give an example, if you have a first grader, your hours of sit down book-work will be less than if you have a high schooler. Thus you might have a very light schedule for that child, say from 8am. to 9am. with workbooks, a 1/2 hour break, and another hour of hands on activities such as using math in cooking or doing simple science projects. If you have several children of different ages, you may want to make a schedule for each child individually. After you work out the specifics, these schedules will often work nicely for repeating week after week.

Where to look

If you are just beginning to homeschool, or for any reason you lack the confidence to create your own style of homeschooling, ready-made A to Z directions,  helps and fully developed homeschooling plans are available.  Two sources for varied plans are Home Studies International at hsi.edu, or the Sower Academy at  810-714-5853.

If you are opting for creating your own homeschooling plan, a wide variety of curriculums and supplies can be found at Alpha Omega Publications at AOP.com or 800-622-3070.  Of course there are many more sources for both of these needs.

Two good books on how homeschooling works are Home Style Teaching and Home Spun School both by Dr. Raymond Moore, one of the major pioneers of homeschooling.

How home schooling works, as you can see, can be as varied as there are imaginations, and as exacting as you make it.