Initially, for an acting child, making the education work around an acting schedule is the goal of homeschooling. Once that is underway, you really need to sit down and map out your goals beyond just getting started. Possible homeschool goals can be as diverse and varied as different homeschool families, so let’s consider the options:
How long do you plan to homeschool?
Most people homeschooling for the first time tell themselves and others that they will be homeschooling for a year, and then making an assessment on whether or not to continue. If this is the case, you should be using a public school at home program so the child can transition back into public school if the need arises. If you are saying the one-year thing just to throw other people off, then feel free to explore other options.
Is your academic goal just literacy?
Excuse the word “just”. Literacy is important, especially when you are talking about reading and writing at a high level and having financial literacy to be able to manage finances and business. For a person whose long term goal is to be an actor, focusing on literacy is a great goal. For me, the bar in literacy is reading fluently for pleasure and information, the ability to write a professional letter, and understanding math well enough to engineer things (geometry), and to understand managing money and growing wealth. Literacy also means learning science and social studies as well.
Do you want to be college ready?
For me, the default is college ready, whether or not the child’s goal is college. (Both of my kids went to college.) At some point, they might change their minds and you as a parent won’t want them to blame you for them not being able to get in. To be college ready, your child’s program needs to match what is taught in a competitive high school, or what a top college says will be necessary.
Do you have an educational philosophy?
Once you have decided what you will teach in your homeschool and for how long, you need to decide how you are going to go about it. In my homeschool, I had some very basic ideas that I followed. First, we wanted to run a peaceful household where we found ways to resolve conflict besides arguing, and where we laughed easily and tried to not let little things stress us. Second, we believe that every child has a level of genius in some area, and it is the parent’s job to help them find it. Finally, we wanted to have trust in our household, we wanted to trust our children and we wanted them to trust us.
The items I touched on above are just a starting point to help you really consider how you want to run your homeschool from how stringent or relaxed you will be, to being in touch with your academic goals for the long term. Homeschooling might start suddenly for your family as a need you have, but with proper forethought, mapping out a plan, even if it changed, will set you in the right direction.
Andrea Hermitt is a veteran homeschooler who has taught her two children from early elementary through high school. Both were accepted into several colleges and received scholarships. One holds a Bachelors degree, and one has a Masters degree. Ms. Andrea, as she is affectionately known, counsels homeschooling parents in setting up a program that works for their children, and helps students work toward their college goals.