Sounds pretty simple right? Nope. From personal experience here in Thailand, it’s a big change.
There’s a whole lot of things to consider before making this transition, starting with the ‘why’ switch to homeschooling. Then there’s the question of who is going to teach what, and what curriculum to use? And then the question of…. are we suppose to inform some official or register something?
Let’s take a look at some of these questions.
Why Switch to Homeschooling?
First and foremost, give yourself an answer to this question. Why would you switch to homeschooling and is the reason significant enough to warrant such a change? Here are some of the major reasons families decide to homeschool instead.
- Health concerns – mental and physical health
- Learning differences and special education needs
- Athletes or child actor/actress, etc
- In order to provide a non-traditional or new approach for child’s learning (such as unschooling)
- Other reasons particularly for that family, such as temporary illness or relocation
What Are We Going to Teach?
I’m not sure about other countries, but here in Thailand there is a standardised curriculum that consist of 8 subjects. You could either follow this standard curriculum, officially referred to as The Basic Education Core Curriculum B.E. 2551 (A.D. 2008), or choose to modify it to meet each individual child’s needs and education plan. There is a separate guide that explains what you can and cannot modify.
In Thailand, homeschool families create a learning plan that get submitted to the education district either based on one of the two options: a learning plan focused on subjects just like at school, such as Maths, Science, Social Studies, etc, or one that is focused on experience groups that is more about actual life experiences such as health education that is centred around nutrition and cooking.
As for what is taught for each subject and group of experiences is up to the parents/guardian to write up a plan for each grade. ….Or take a look at some available homeschool curriculum and adapt from there.
How Are We Going to Teach?
For some families, the parents teach everything by themselves, while others have tutors or join several courses that aligns with the learning plan.
As for the method of teaching, this is very case-by-case depending on the teacher/coach and student/learner relationship. It can be the traditional sit-down and listen to explanations, or through various projects, as well as a variety of other methods. Learning and teaching materials can range from print-outs, books, videos, visits to museums and much more.
What’s important for families transitioning to homeschooling is the make sure you’re ready to tackle this question of ‘How are we going to teach?’ It will take up a lot of your time and there will be decisions to make about other areas of your routine, such as work. Will someone be home all the times with the kids, or is your work flexible enough to allow homeschooling simultaneously (such as freelance work, or your own gig).
Is Our Child Ready to Transition to Homeschooling?
Now this is a very important question to ask yourself. Even the best intentions can go awry. For the small person, this transition can be a very big change. There’s the question of ‘what about my friends? Will I get to meet them often?’ and a bunch of other things to consider.
Of course, if your child initiated the idea of homeschooling; prefers to study as a homeschooler, this process becomes much easier.
But I would recommend to make sure from the very early stages that your child’s understanding of what entails being a homeschooler matches with what you had in mind. For example, does it mean waking up late and doing less studies? Or, does it mean: ‘yes you can wake up late, but I expect the same level of dedication to every subject and yes, there will be ‘homework’ for the evening’.
Am I Ready to Transition to Homeschooling?
Besides checking in with our child if they’re ready for the transition, we also have to check in with ourselves whether we’re ready for that transition. Homeschooling requires a high level of self-discipline from the parent/guardian as well. It’s literally a job that requires us to prepare the week’s learning content, check and give feedback, make sure projects are done, etc. Getting our child to join their courses on time or checking in with the tutors. In other words, the parent or guardian becomes the teacher.
It does require a high level of dedication, discipline and responsibility.
You might have to consider changing your career or job to be able to manage both worlds. Or, for some families (such as mine), one of the parents completely leaves the workforce, to instead work as a homeschool educator for their child.
Embracing the Change!
Finally, just embrace the change, trust in yourself and work on each issue and improvement as they come up! Don’t expect too much from yourself, or that you should have everything figured out from the start. Stay flexible and open, and before you know it, you’ll have found yourself settled-in with the new routine.