While some families know from the start that they want to homeschool, others who may never have even entertained the idea of home education suddenly find themselves researching the option. The phrase “Accidental homeschoolers” encompass those families whose children were first enrolled in traditional schools (or had planned to be enrolled), but due to unforeseen circumstances, needed to seek an alternate educational option.
This page will help you begin to relax about the idea of homeschooling, when you realize that you are not alone in your journey. Read on to discover:
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What Is an Accidental Homeschooler?
Accidental homeschoolers is a term coined by Time4Learning to describe those who come to homeschooling unexpectedly, and often—suddenly. For any number of reasons, traditional avenues of education haven’t worked out for these students, and parents turn to homeschooling to fill the gap.
If this term describes your situation, you may feel overwhelmed and unprepared for the responsibility of taking your child’s education into your own hands. You are not alone. Many families begin the adventure of homeschooling under less than ideal circumstances, yet find that the option not only turns out to be a successful experience, but one that they decide to continue as their preferred educational avenue!
Reasons Parents Choose to Homeschool
Even if the idea of homeschooling has only recently appeared on your radar, you likely have much in common with other families who have come to homeschooling unexpectedly. Some of those reasons include:
- A student with a physical or mental health issue that cannot be accommodated within a traditional classroom setting
- A student with a learning difference that isn’t being addressed appropriately
- The realization that your local school’s curriculum is in opposition with your worldview
- A gifted student who isn’t receiving the education they need to thrive from a traditional school
- A safety issue that isn’t being addressed appropriately (bullying, school violence, heavy drug exposure, etc.)
- School budget issues that prevent a student from receiving adequate services
- A poor student/teacher fit
- Excessive state/regional/local focus on standardized testing
- Dissatisfaction with school or grade level curriculum and/or content
Benefits of Homeschooling
Initially, when turning to homeschooling as an alternate school option, you may feel uneasy about this unique educational path. But, soon, you will begin to recognize a myriad of benefits that will be almost as surprising as the idea of homeschooling itself! Before long, the question “Why should I homeschool?” transforms into “Why shouldn’t I homeschool?”
As with any educational option, homeschooling has its pros and cons, but some of the benefits that might surprise you include:
- The flexibility to align your homeschool goals and methods with your student’s unique learning style and interests
- A shorter school day—educating outside of a collective education model requires less transitional time, offers fewer distractions, and is streamlined to meet only the needs of the student(s) being homeschooled
- Freedom to explore multiple types of homeschooling to see which one(s) best fit your particular family, homeschooler, and value systems.
- Unique bonding opportunities between parent and student. Many homeschool parents report stronger familial connections upon starting to homeschool.
- The ability to create a curriculum adaptation for special needs or other learning differences.
- An increase in independent thinking due to opportunities for students to take a more active role in their own learning.
- The ability (and time) for homeschooled students to dream big by pursuing personal curiosities, talents, and passions with greater intensity.
Over time, many “accidental homeschoolers” transform into “deliberate homeschoolers” as they see how much benefit a customized, flexible education has for their child or teen. In fact, these very families often become homeschooling’s most active proponents!
Another benefit that new homeschoolers might be quite surprised by is the amount of information available to them. Experienced homeschooling parents are usually eager to help others who are finding their way. That’s where the “Welcome to Homeschooling Guide” comes in. This comprehensive ebook, written by seasoned homeschoolers, covers everything from how to get started, to planning your day, to what to expect during the different homeschooling stages.
Welcome to Homeschooling Guide
Download this FREE resource where experienced homeschoolers share their stories for how to begin homeschooling, understanding your child academically, planning your days, and much more.
How Time4Learning Helps Accidental Homeschoolers
When families come to homeschooling suddenly and unintentionally, they need a curriculum that not only covers the educational bases, but is designed to be intuitive and easy to use. Time4Learning can be a valuable partner to accidental homeschoolers by providing:
- Standards-based and award-winning education for grades PreK-12 with a low monthly subscription price and no contracts.
- Curriculum that keeps students engaged with animated lessons, interactive activities, unit assessments, and integrated printable worksheets for reinforcement.
- The ability to sign up and start using the program at any point in the school year (or summer!).
- No lesson planning or grading to handle; Time4Learning takes care of the homeschool recordkeeping so that parents can focus on helping their child better adjust to this new approach to school.
Helpful Resources for Accidental Homeschoolers
As you continue your research into homeschooling, there are additional tools and help that you may want to explore further.
- Online Parent’s Forum and Parent Facebook Group – Reach out to homeschoolers in your area, join discussions, ask questions and trade ideas on our online community of homeschooling parents. Having the support of seasoned homeschoolers can really help make your homeschooling journey a success.
- Homeschool Extracurricular Activities – Discover the additional education options your student can take advantage of while homeschooling.
- Videos for New Homeschoolers – Increase your confidence in this new educational alternative by exploring video tips, tricks, and insider info.
- Tips and Advice for New Homeschoolers – The Time4Learning blog is chock full of help and guidance for families in the first stages of their homeschooling journey. Browse the archives and spend some time reading posts that relate to your interests.