Should I homeschool?

by Hannah

I recently married and inherited a stepdaughter. She is 13, constantly skips school, moans she's stupid and hates school.

So we are thinking of home schooling. But we dont want her to think that it is a reward for her behavior. I have always liked the idea of homeschooling. So that I can have direct influence on what she learns.

Do you think that it is a good idea to homeschool?


Hi Hannah
Deciding to homeschool is a hard decision and there is lots to think about.

Have you discussed it with your stepdaughter? For all her moaning, she may well have never considered the idea of learning at home. If she is opposed to the idea, then it will be difficult to make it work.

It would be better to discuss your expectations about homeschooling together before you begin. If you are going to have some ground rules about it, then she needs to understand what they will be. But I think you should encourage her to take control of her own education. Get her to plan out what she would like to learn, and how she will do it. At 13 she should be taking some responsibility for her life. (And once again, I would recommend 'The Teenage Liberation Handbook' by Grace Llewellyn if you can get hold of it.)

I think that if you all work through making the decision together as a family then it is unlikely to be seen by her as rewarding bad behavior. In fact I think she will feel supported by you for taking her concerns seriously.

I would start by taking a look at my pages about the pros and cons of homeschooling. There are lots of advantages to homeschooling (in my opinion!) but there are some disadvantages too - and you need to go into this with your eyes open.

If you all still think you would like to try it, then I would suggest making contact with other homeschoolers in your area. Then your stepdaughter could make some friends and you would get some support. I am not sure where in Wales you are, but this group should be able to point you in the right direction.

Take some time to work through whether it is the right decision for you. And I hope to see you both back here lookiing for some homeschooling ideas!

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