Homeschooling Do’s and Don’ts
Homeschooling styles are intensely personal. One family’s ideal day is another family’s disaster. But whether you set up strict schedules, or let your child’s needs construct your lesson plan, there are some universal guidelines to consider. 

• Do ... Join (or start) a support group. Just because you’ve left one community doesn’t mean you don’t need another. Create a new community. Help your child do the same.

• Do ... Be patient. Homeschooling doesn’t come together automatically. It takes time to figure out your style. Most parents say the first year is the hardest.

• Do ... Work with the school board. They want a lesson plan? Give them a lesson plan. They want to pay your home a visit? Let them come. By all accounts, the paperwork can be overwhelming. Being charged with truancy is worse.

• Do ... Keep a portfolio of your child’s work. The Board of Ed will want to see it and your child will treasure it.

• Don’t ... Leave your child’s feelings out of the decision. Some children truly want to be in a conventional classroom. It’s worth your time to listen.

• Don’t ... Isolate yourself. By all reports, homeschooling is challenging. Be willing to ask for help and to borrow other families' roadmaps. They’ve navigated this early ground before.

• Don’t ... Be afraid to get help. Hire a tutor, share lessons with another family.

• Don’t ... Be afraid to reevaluate. Homeschooling is not for everyone. The level of commitment can be staggering. If it’s not working, it might not be for you. There is no shame in going back to school.