What is Homeschooling, and How Can ReDefiners Help?
When you think of homeschooling, what do you think? Do you think of socially awkward kids who never interact with anyone? Do you think of child prodigies? Or do you think of kids who are just like yours?
In the United States, homeschooling is a popular alternative to both public and private schools. It’s a style of education that is parent-directed and primarily based at home. Homeschooling has grown in popularity in recent years for several reasons, including the expense of private schools, poor performance of local public schools, more family time and flexibility, and the desire to accommodate children with medical issues and other disabilities.
In the U.S., homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. However, each state is responsible for regulating homeschooling, and not the federal government. Because of this, the regulations vary by state. In my state, you do not have to notify your local school district of your plans to homeschool unless your child was already enrolled. You also don’t have to assess your child regularly, get curriculum approval, or have any special qualifications to educate your children (such as a teacher’s certificate). Other states, such as New York State, require you to notify your local district of your intent to homeschool. You also have to submit an individualized Home Instruction Plan, teach certain subjects at each grade level, file quarterly reports, and assess your child annually.
Because homeschool regulations vary so widely from state to state, we recommend researching your state’s homeschool laws before starting.
In recent years, homeschooling has exploded in popularity. This has been especially true since March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. For reference, the homeschool rate increased rapidly from 1999-2012. However, since then, the rates have held steady at roughly 3.3%. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, about 5.4% of families with school-aged children were homeschooling during phase 1 of the study (April 23rd-May 5th, 2020). However, by mid-October 2020, 11.1% reported homeschooling their school-aged kids. This figure did not include kids who were doing remote schooling through a public or private school. This figure represents the families who educated their children at home, without the support of a public or private school.
When you look at the homeschool rates by race, the increase is even more noticeable. For example, homeschooling rates increased by five times Black/African American respondents. In the same period, their rates increased from 3.3% to 16.1%. For Hispanic families, their homeschool rates increased from 6.2% to 12.1%, nearly doubling in the span of the study.
Since then, many families have chosen to homeschool their children for the 2021-2022 school year. As of this writing, kids under 12 are still not eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States. In addition, many states have explicitly forbidden mask mandates, especially in schools. In fact, in my state, many school districts sued the state government, claiming that the leadership had overstepped its bounds. I live near two large school districts that are about 30 minutes away from each other. The courts ruled that one school district could enforce a mask mandate, but the other could not.
Between the lack of approval for the Covid-19 vaccine and the unclear guidance about mask mandates, many parents have decided that homeschooling would be their best option.
At ReDefiners World Languages, we’re here to help you. We offer classes for kids in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin. Homeschooling is a big decision, and it can be easy to second guess yourself. Well-meaning friends and family can undermine your confidence in your decision, and you might be questioning your abilities. It can be scary to go off the beaten path. You care about your children, and you want them to have a good education and a successful life. When you make a big decision like this, it’s easy to wonder if you’re doing the right thing.
Foreign language classes can be especially tricky to teach, especially if you don’t speak the language. For example, let’s say that your child wants to learn Mandarin. Unfortunately, you don’t speak Mandarin. Your child wants to learn the language, though. What can you do in this situation?
Fortunately, we’re here to help. You don’t have to pursue this homeschool journey on your own. Our classes can give you the support you need to ensure your child’s educational success.
ReDefiners cares about the success of your children as well, and we want them to succeed. Our experienced teachers are passionate about teaching foreign languages, and they’ve developed age appropriate classes for Kindergarteners through 5th graders. To learn more about our classes and meet our teachers, please visit our Spanish class page, our Mandarin class page, our Arabic class page, and our English class page.
Here are a few reasons why our classes are a good fit for your homeschool:
Low cost. For many homeschool families, one parent quits their job to stay at home with their children. Even though the change is worth it to offer your children a quality education, it can be a big adjustment to go from two incomes to one income. At ReDefiners, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality, low-cost foreign language classes that fit your budget.
We currently offer two plans. You can either try us for a single 12-week term, or you can pursue a 9-month certificate program. The single term costs $120 per month, and the certificate program costs $56 per month. The certificate program is a six year program that takes students from beginner to intermediate proficiency. Although our children’s programs start in Kindergarten, your child can start at any grade level. The first year of the program starts at level A1, which is a novice learner. Before signing up, each student will receive a free placement test so that they can be assigned to the correct class level.
These are among the least expensive foreign language classes on the market. With ReDefiners, providing a high-quality education doesn’t have to be expensive.
Get help. Homeschool parents have a lot of responsibilities. They have to choose a curriculum, teach their children, make sure their children are making progress, troubleshoot any issues that arise, and make sure their children stay on track. These tasks are on top of the regular day-to-day responsibilities, such as preparing meals and doing laundry and dishes.
Before the dawn of the internet and online classes, it was much harder for parents to find help. They had to find a way to cover all school subjects with what they had. If they lived in the city, they might have had access to museums, cultural centers, large public libraries, and other resources. However, families that lived in remote areas had less access to such resources. They might have had a small public library and a few homeschool catalogs to buy curriculum.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Homeschool parents have a variety of resources available online. There are thousands of different options for curriculums and online courses. Even if you don’t have much knowledge about a particular subject, you can still provide plenty of learning opportunities.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Thankfully, there is help available, and you don’t have to do everything by yourself. By signing up for a class with us, you can give your child a high-quality education while sparing yourself from some of the stress.
Reclaim cultural ties. As I mentioned before, homeschooling has increased among Black and Hispanic families. Because of homeschooling, you have the option to integrate your family’s heritage into your children’s education. For example, if your family is Hispanic, you might be interested in teaching your kids Spanish so that you can pass on that knowledge to future generations.
However, this can be hard to do if you don’t know the language. Alternatively, you might understand a little bit, but not enough to teach it to someone else. In either case, our classes can be a good fit for you. Your children might learn so much that they can teach you some words or phrases. With the help of our classes, your children can reclaim or enhance their cultural ties.
Flexibility. Many families choose to homeschool because they want more flexibility in their lives. While our classes have set meeting times each week, they do offer some flexibility. Our courses are online, so you don’t have to waste time driving your children to a physical location. This is especially beneficial if you have multiple children at home. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and access to Zoom.
Each class meets twice a week for an hour each, which is a low time commitment. The practice activities can be done at any time before the next class, meaning that you can fit them into your schedule.
Although our offices are based in Tampa, Florida, you don’t have to live in Florida to take our classes. Because our classes are online, your children can participate in them from anywhere in the world. As a result, even though we have set meeting times, they still offer plenty of flexibility for your homeschool.
Prepare for the future and enhance cultural awareness. The world is becoming more and more diverse. Your children will likely interact with people of all different backgrounds. Because of this, businesses are looking for multilingual people who know how to navigate unfamiliar cultures in a sensitive way. By signing your children up for our language learning classes, you’ll provide them with plenty of employment opportunities in the future.
In addition to future career opportunities, your kids will have opportunities to make friends with kids of different backgrounds. They’ll appreciate the beauty of other languages and cultures, and they will become familiar with the struggles and triumphs that other people face. All of this will help them to understand the nuances of other people, and they’ll see that groups of people are not monoliths.
Learning a new language comes with so many benefits, especially when it comes to character development. By learning a new language, they can learn how to get along with others, be empathetic, and support others, even if they don’t share any similarities.
Meet your state’s homeschool requirements. Some states require curriculum approval, as well as a certain number of instructional hours each school year. When you enroll in a formal class, it’s easier to track the number of instructional hours. Our courses are organized into 12-week terms, and each class meets for one hour twice a week. We also include free materials to practice between classes. Because of this, there’s a good chance that our classes will comply with your state’s homeschooling laws. Make sure to double-check your state’s requirements before enrolling, though.
Because our classes make it easier to track the number of hours, you will have an easier time keeping your kids on track. Even if you need more hours, you will know exactly how many more hours you need. You can access practice materials in between classes. Not only will this reinforce what your kids have learned, but it will make it easier to add additional instruction hours.
In addition, some states require that homeschoolers provide proof that they’ve completed their curriculum. Doing so can be a tedious, time-consuming, stressful endeavor. Depending on your state’s laws, this could include having your kids complete a standardized test or creating a portfolio with their work. Even if you don’t have these requirements, it can be reassuring to have some proof of completion in your records, just in case. With our certificate program, your kids can earn a certificate of completion.
Your child’s education is a big decision, regardless of where they’re educated. The quality of their education can impact the rest of their lives. It can affect where they go to college, what jobs they can obtain, and how much money they can earn. You might feel nervous, excited, and overwhelmed at the idea of educating your child at home.
Thankfully, there is help available. With the assistance of the internet, you can outsource some of your child’s education without sacrificing quality. Doing so can make homeschooling less stressful by making it easier to keep track of instructional hours, taking one more task off of your plate, and providing a good balance of structure and flexibility, all for a low cost. With our classes, your child can reclaim their cultural ties, prepare for their future, enhance their cultural awareness, and develop their character so that they can become global citizens.
If you’re interested in adding foreign language classes to your homeschool, ReDefiners can help! We offer online classes in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Arabic for Kindergarteners through 5th graders. In each of our kids’ classes, students will have opportunities for literacy development, learning across subjects, developing cultural awareness, and increasing the use of more areas of the brain. For more information or to register for classes, please visit our website or email us at email@example.com.