Why we homeschooled our son?
Homeschooling, or educating children at home, has been gaining popularity in recent years. Many families are choosing this alternative form of education for various reasons. In this article, we share our family’s journey into homeschooling and some tips for those who may be considering it.
When our family first arrived in New York, we did not consider homeschooling as an option for our son. However, after encountering a French mother who homeschooled her children in New York, we discovered the diverse opportunities that homeschooling could provide. These opportunities included creating a personalized schedule, taking vacations outside of traditional school breaks, integrating with homeschooling co-ops, taking courses from museums, and meeting historians, artists and scientists.
The first step to homeschooling is writing a Letter of Intent and submitting it to the homeschooling office in the city. Afterward, you must inform the previous school of their decision. You should then decide on a homeschooling style and curriculum, which may be based on the American or French common core (We are french) or alternative pedagogies such as Waldorf, Mason, or Montessori. Families may also choose to blend different styles or opt for self-learning or unschooling.
To comply with the regulations set by the New York State Department of Education, families must complete several forms throughout the school year. They must also submit an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) within 28 days of sending the Letter of Intent. This plan outlines the curriculum and materials to be used throughout the year. Additionally, families must submit four reports throughout the year, and an annual evaluation at the end of the school year.
To assist with homeschooling, we recommends the following resources: Laurie Block Spigel’s website, which provides ideas and activities for homeschooling families; the New York City Home Educators Alliance, which offers discounted activities for homeschoolers; educator cards from New York Public Libraries for borrowing books, and Different Directions, which provides à la carte courses.
We enjoyed the freedom to learn in nature and visit New York museums regularly, the opportunity to meet other homeschooling families, and the flexibility of the schedule. Above all, we cherished the chance to learn alongside our son every day.
Homeschooling is a personal choice that requires careful consideration, research, and planning. However, it can be a rewarding and enriching experience for both parents and children.