Homeschooling and homesteading are different and difficult in their own ways but they can also go hand-in-hand. There are disadvantages in both but the advantages far outweigh them. That’s why you should give each one a try. And if you’re one to take on a challenge, why don’t you try to homeschool at the homestead?
In homesteading, you live with self-sufficiency in mind. Simply put, you depend less on corporations or other resources for your food, water, energy and other needs. This is quite a difficult lifestyle but, as many people have proved, is entirely possible.
Homeschooling, meanwhile, is a progressive type of education in which the children are thought outside of a school setting. They are not confined to classrooms and traditional curriculum. Most homeschoolers do their classes in their own homes or anywhere outdoor the parents find conducive.
If you’re already living the homestead life, you can give homeschooling a try. But as Morning Chores stressed, the laws on homeschooling are different from state to state. Check the local laws before you take a dive. Also, you must understand that there other things you need before you can homeschool at the homestead.
Qualifications for Homeschooling Parents
There are only eleven states in the country that require parents to be qualified before they can homeschool a child. A high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement in Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. In Washington, you should have earned credits in college or completed a course in home-based study.
The states that weren’t mentioned do not require any educational attainment for homeschoolers. Basically, you can teach your children at home even if you didn’t graduate from high school or grade school. In California, Kansas, and New York, however, you simply need to be “competent,” “qualified,” and “capable of teaching.”
Responsible Homeschooling adds that parents committed crimes that would prevent them from being hired as teachers in a school should not be allowed to homeschool their children.
Requirements to Homeschool at the Homestead
The most important thing you have to purchase if you wish to homeschool at the homestead is a curriculum. A homeschooling curriculum is basically what a child needs to learn and what you, as the homeschooling parent, needs to teach.
In choosing a homeschool curriculum, you shouldn’t be thinking of what the best is. As The Homeschool Mom suggested, you should be looking for what curriculum best resembles what you want for your child.
We have included five of the most popular homeschooling curriculums on Amazon. Hopefully, they give you an idea on what to look for if you’re buying.
Another option that will likely appeal to homesteaders is to make your own homeschooling curriculum. Noodle suggests gathering every piece of information you can from the internet, catalogs, reviews, and from people who are into homeschooling.
You will then use what you’ve learned as basis for your own homeschooling curriculum. The books and other resources you’ve collected during your research will be the main tools you’ll use to homeschool your child.
Ideally, there should be something about music, art, language, reading, writing, history, math, science, health, social studies and occupational education. These, in fact, are the eleven main subjects in homeschooling. If you wish to have an idea on how to deal with these main subjects, take a look at how The Prairie Homestead handled Year 3 of doing homeschool at the homestead.
You can incorporate other fields as you may deem fit. For example, you can add gardening, farming, and food preservation, which are perfect since you homeschool at the homestead. Homestead Lady even included manners, service, and religion in her homeschooling curriculum.
Looking for a place to hold your classes is actually not an issue. If you wish to have classes indoors, just pick a room in your home. You can repurpose the room and make it look like an actual classroom if you wish but a wide enough space inside your house will work wonders.
If you really need space, just look outside. Your whole homestead can be your kids’ classroom. And if that is still not enough, you can take them to trips outside your property so they can experience more stuff.
One supposed issue with homeschooling is the lack of socialization. That shouldn’t be the case. You can talk to other homeschool parents and arrange days in the week when the children can get together and learn together. This is an ideal scenario when it’s time to take field trips.
When you homeschool at the homestead, you have the advantage of having lots of things around you that you can use to teach a lesson. As An Off Grid Life pointed out, the homestead is the perfect venue to teach children different life skills.
If you want your children to learn the value of time management, they should know how to plan their day and follow a routine. As they day unfolds, you and your children will be performing homestead tasks that are part of their homeschooling.
When it’s time to tend to the farm or start a garden, the kids are learning about science. Since you’re growing food through the said methods, you’re also teaching about basic survival. The same goes with other life skills such as raising livestock (basic animal husbandry), cooking, baking, and fishing. If there is no nearby lake, you can “hold your classes” in some fishing hole.
Do you want them to enjoy Math? Teach them how to calculate the quantity and cost of materials needed for a homestead project. Turn every homestead task into a learning experience. Show them how to troubleshoot when your pickup truck or tractor breaks down.
Qualities You Need to Homeschool
Time and Commitment
If you wish to homeschool at the homestead, you need to commit your time. It’s not something that you can do whenever you feel like it.
Fortunately, you have complete control of your time when you’re homeschooling. You’re not limited to a strict schedule like traditional schools do. What you have is the freedom to hold class whenever and wherever you wish.
Still, you have to plan everything out. You have to make your own schedule so the children can learn about proper time management, the importance of routines, and commitment, as well. Base your homeschool schedule on your homestead routine. This way, you kill two birds with one stone.
Homeschooling is to be taken seriously. If you lack discipline then homeschooling is not for you. Teaching your own child does not only take your time, it also takes energy.
That means you have to get proper rest at night so you can be ready for another day of homeschooling. At the same time, you should be responsible for your actions. Your children already look up to you as a parent. They will not have the luxury of having a second parent that many children find in their teachers at school.
Once you start homeschooling your own spawns, you’ll learn to appreciate what teachers do particularly their patience. You should be patient since with yourself and with your students.
Give yourself a little leeway to make mistakes since you’re just learning how to homeschool. At the same time, little children will always be hard to handle so a lot of patience is necessary to homeschool at the homestead or anywhere, in general.
If you want to succeed in something, you have to put your effort into it. In other words, you have to work hard. This goes with homeschooling, as well. As mentioned, homeschooling is no easy task and many have failed for various reasons. Don’t let your reason be a lack of effort.
Remember, your teaching your own children. Their future will depend on you more than ever. For homeschooling to be successful, you have to work hard on developing your skills as well as theirs. To do so, you need to continue to learn through research and by reading as many books about homeschooling as you can. We have showcased five of those books. Take the time to check them out as well as others.
There are a number of other qualities that are necessary for parents to become effective homeschoolers. Aside from those mentioned, you also need to be flexible, dedicated, and eager to learn. Plus, you have to have an imaginative mind. This will help make homeschooling at the homestead fun and adventurous.
If you have other suggestions on how to be successful in homeschooling, please feel free to share away. Follow us on the Gentleman Pirate Club, too, if you wish to know more about homesteading.
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