*Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking through, The Unexpected Homeschooler may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read full disclosure policy here.
Did you barely pass English? Or did you fail Geometry? I almost did! Perhaps you didn’t catch on to reading until you were well into second or third grade, or you just couldn’t understand chemistry. You most likely experienced one of these situations in school. Does this mean you don’t meet the homeschool qualifications to teach your child? Absolutely not! So what qualifications do you need to homeschool your child?
I have spoken to so many parents who say they could never do what I do. They think they have to have a teaching degree and been a straight-A student in order to teach their child. I always want to ask how a child learns to do everything he does by the time he enters kindergarten. Most children are counting, know their ABCs, and have acquired many other skills, which they learned at home from their parents. It IS possible for you to teach your child because you have already been doing it. You just need to gather some more information and make it official.
I am going to cover some questions and concerns you may have when considering homeschooling your child, and hopefully, this will clear up some misgivings you may have.
Homeschool Qualifications and Questions To Consider
What Are the Homeschool Laws for My State?
Every state has different laws for homeschooling. The parents are responsible for learning them. This is essential because not all school boards stay up to date on this information and you need to know your rights and when they are in the wrong. It happens! The Homeschool Legal Defense Association has a great tool right on their homepage where you can click on your state and find out everything you need to know.
There are at least eleven states that have a parent qualification requirement of having a high school diploma or GED. Most of the other states have no parent qualification requirements at all. Just because a parent may not have a requirement to teach, does not mean there aren’t regulations to follow and methods to assure learning is taking place. Some states may require your child to participate in state testing or give the option of having a portfolio review done by a certified teacher. It’s important to learn this so you know what your requirements are and when they need to be completed.
Isn’t the School System Best Prepared to Teach My Child?
I have news for you! No one knows everything about educating a child, not even the teachers at school. But what you do know better than anyone else is your child! In addition, you love your child unconditionally and are willing to do anything to make sure he succeeds. This means you will invest the time it takes to learn what you need in order to do that. No well-intentioned teacher is going to take the same interest as you, even the best of them.
Because you know your child so well, you probably don’t even realize you know how he learns best. Does he love to listen to music and remember the words to songs easily? Is he artistic or likes to write? Perhaps he is very active and doesn’t like to sit still for long periods of time? Or maybe he’s the type of child that has to touch everything and take it apart to understand it?
These are all clues about how your child learns and I bet you already knew a lot of these things about him. Understanding your child’s learning style gives you a huge advantage over the school system. Once you know the best way your child learns, you can cater his schooling to that approach. That’s not going to happen in a classroom of twenty children. And definitely not with only one curriculum to choose from. If your child doesn’t learn in the manner in which the information is presented, chances are good he’s going to struggle. I have a whole article on the different learning styles in children you can read if you are interested in learning more about this.
A benefit of homeschooling is you have a wealth of curricula to choose from. You just need to know where to look. Some great places to start are online companies like Chiristianbook Distributors and the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. These are two places you can find great prices on homeschool curriculum.
Curriculum fairs and homeschool conventions are another great option to find products. You not only get to hold and look through the materials but often can attend classes to learn about all things homeschooling as well.
Don’t forget your local library. In fact, your local library is probably on the internet! You can even check out digital books without ever having to enter the library if you don’t want to.
What If I Don’t Know Enough About a Subject?
If you genuinely don’t feel you are qualified to teach a particular subject, there are a number of options such as purchasing an online curriculum that does the teaching for you, hiring a tutor, finding another homeschool mom who is comfortable in this subject and willing to work with your child, finding an older homeschool student who will teach your child (this is a great review for him), or finding some materials to help you learn about it yourself. One of the great things about homeschooling is that you can learn alongside your child. It’s always amazing to see how much better we understand and remember things the second time around.
What Are Some Other Resources I Can Use to Learn About Homeschooling?
I already mentioned homeschool conventions you can attend. This is one of my favorite things to do towards the end of the school year. There is so much to learn, and it’s a great way to rejuvenate your enthusiasm for the upcoming school year in the fall. Great Homeschool Conventions and Teach Them Diligently are two very popular conventions that are held annually in big cities.
Many states also have homeschool associations that hold their own conventions. However, you don’t have to travel if you don’t want to. There are also online homeschool conventions you can attend while sitting in your pajamas at home. These are just as good and very convenient. You can find either of these by doing a search on Google.
Secondly, there are many how-to books on Amazon that can guide you through this process. A homeschool magazine subscriptions is also a wonderful way to gain knowledge, as well as learn about the latest curricula, trends, and methods.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to have a local teacher’s store in your town, these can be a helpful resource. They often carry supplies and supplemental materials you can use in your homeschool.
You Can Do This!
I want to reassure you that you can teach your own child! There is no way you are going to be able to know everything before you start. With the internet at your fingertips, homeschooling has become so much easier than ever before. Take it one step at a time. With a few strokes of the keyboard, you can learn the basics to get you started and be on your way in no time. Just by being a loving parent, you have the most important homeschool qualifications needed!
I hope you have found the answers to the common question, “What qualifications do you need to homeschool your child?” Are you on the fence about homeschooling? What are some reasons that make you feel unqualified? Let me know in the comments below.
Hi I'm Heidi. I'm a former teacher turned homeschool mom of three. I've homeschooled from the beginning and my oldest is now graduated. I believe your home doesn't have to be chaotic just because you homeschool. When you join The Unexpected Homeschooler's community, you'll learn how to have a more organized, efficient, and productive homeschool, and I’ll send you this Daily Assignment Sheet tool as a gift to teach your students to work independently and free up your time.