Frequently Asked Questions
Is it hard to homeschool in AL?
Homeschooling in AL is very easy. There are 3 ways to homeschool in our state. Be a certified teacher and use the tutor option, join a church school, or declare yourself a private school. The first option is rarely if ever used. Joining a church school has a cost and sometimes they have their own sets of regulations. These regulations are not required by the state, but some people like the accountability. The final option is FREE, there is a simple form to send in to your local board of education once a year! This is a hot button issue in our state so see our page on this topic for more details.
Is it expensive to homeschool?
Curriculum can be as little as FREE and as much as hundreds of dollars. There are many free complete curriculum websites that you can use, as well as free sites for specific topics and games. There are boxed curriculums that can cost you hundreds but come with all the books and extras that you need for the subjects. Many people use a combination of free resources and mixed and mached curriculum options.
What is the difference between DEschooling and UNschooling?
DESCHOOLING: Is a time for your child to decompress, and come back to the table refreshed. This doesn’t mean they have to be laid out watching YouTube videos and scarfing down Cheetos! Take this time to visit the library, museums, and exploreums in your area. See what interests your child has. Jump in on home school field trips and make friends!
UNschooling: Is a way to educate your child. Under this style parents take a child led approach to the schooling instead of using a set curriculum. Unschoolers allow children to gain knowledge organically and using their interests.
What are Learning styles?
Learning styles are the way your child learns, and retains information best! Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing Preference, and Kinesthetic. For more information on learning styles and how to find your child’s click here.
Will my kids be able to Socialize?
If you are along the coast of Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida you are in a rich home school environment. In our south Alabama area there are home school specific groups for 4H groups, Girl scouts troops, co ops, robotics, Jr Civitan, archery, art, sewing, bowling teams, choir, band, swimming, karate, horseback riding, skating,volunteer opportunities, classes at local Universities, and more. You also have many of the community learning centers stepping up to offer classes on their own, with our Exploreums, Art museums, historical sites, and environmental centers all adding home school specific classes to their calendars.There are also several of the standard proms and graduation options! You have to actively choose to be unsocial to be not social. Your best resource to find these groups are home school Facebook pages geared to your area, or here on this site.
How do I know what to teach?
Most of the curriculum you buy is broken up into grade/age levels. When it comes to upper middle and high school the choice broadens, much as it does in public school, as you start to choose a path. What you will find is the BEST way is to follow your child. You will find that one child may be on one grade level for one subject, and another on another. This is where the freedom of homeschooling really benefits your child. Choosing curriculum was THE most daunting part when I got started so I truly suggest gloaming onto a veteran HomeSchool mama and visiting Home school FB pages and just start asking questions! There are websites to help you choose curriculums, there are also sites to help you see what is traditionally required per grade level.
When do you know to test/move on?
Curriculums come with end of chapter and curriculum tests. You will probably find this isnt as important as you will be seeing when your child is getting the information and ready to move on, or if they need to spend a little more time to fully grasp it. While yearly testing isnt required of homeschoolers in Alabama you may find you want to. Here are some sites for you to give your child those tests.
How do you structure each day?
Every homeschool is structured differently. Some wake early and knock the day out early. Working parents many times school in the late afternoon, evening. Many seem to start around 9amish. You will find homes that stick to the public school calendar, and others that school year round to allow for greater flexibility in days off! No matter what your homeschool day shouldn’t be lasting the 7 or 8 hours a public school does. If you are finishing up in 3 or 4 hours that is perfectly normal! When I had a little and a big we planned science experiments and history projects during nap time when my hands were free. As he got older I was able to give him a list and as everything is completed that day he can do them in asny order he wants.
How do you balance being a parent versus being teacher?
This one threw me a little. The thing is you have always BEEN teacher. So has their dad, and their grandparents. There is no magic line once they turn 5 that suddenly means you can no longer be the teacher and the mom you have always been. Museums, Exploreums , arts and crafts, and nature hunts have always been a part of their lives. So I guess there is no versus. Parent is a teacher. Always
What do you do when they reach the level in a subject that is beyond your ability?
The best part if the vast curriculum options is that as they surpass what you are comfortable teaching there are curriculums that will teach it for you. For example Teaching Textbooks is a math that teaches the lesson, provides the practice, and administers the tests all the way up to Precalculus. There are also virtual classes taught online, in real time, by people who are experts in the subjects, and then you also have early enrollment in college options! Where in addition to taking the teaching out of your hands they are earning college credits alongside their high school ones!
Can my child go to college?
Short Answer. YES! Longer answer. Many homeschooled kids enter college with college credits already under their belt from early enrollment programs. Be prepared to have an ACT score and a good transcript, and as long a you are following the homeschool laws in the state your homeschool diploma is viewed as just as legitimate in state colleges and universities!
Will they/can they finish early and graduate early?
There is a flexibility to be able to move ahead and graduate early! As long as you attain the credits required of the college you want to attend. There are several stories of homeschooled children graduating VERY early!