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Top Homeschool FAQs | College, Expenses, Curriculum, Oh My!

New to homeschool? I’m excited about all the new homeschoolers joining the Homeschool Genius family!

With so many new homeschoolers this year, I thought it’d be fitting to address the frequently asked questions of home education. Is homeschooling expensive? When does the homeschool year start? Can homeschool students go to college? If you’re searching for the answer to these questions, look no further. I answer all of these top homeschool FAQs and more, so keep reading!

Where is homeschool legal?

Homeschool is legal in every state in the United States. For most states, a letter of intent is required to legally register to homeschool. Each state has different homeschool requirements, so be sure to research your state’s specific homeschool laws.

When can I homeschool my child?

Anytime. Just be sure to check your state laws for compulsory attendance requirements and instructions on filing a letter of intent. For instance, in certain states, you may not have to register a child until they are six years old. However, if a child has attended public school, even if they are under six years old, you are required to register them for homeschooling. Research your state laws, here.

When does the homeschool year start?

Anytime. There are no universal dates that families follow for starting and ending the homeschool year. Some families homeschool year-round, while others follow the traditional school calendar. Some families pull their children out of school and start homeschooling mid-school year. It’s totally up to you when you start.

Is it expensive to homeschool?

No. The budget you set aside for homeschool expenses is entirely up to you. There are many free and low-cost resources available online, at your local library, at curriculum swaps with your homeschool group, etc. It is very possible to homeschool for free, provided you have a computer with internet access, a printer, and some ink. Click here for some of our favorite free resources.

What homeschool curriculum is best for my child?

This depends on many factors. Your child’s mastery level, how they learn best, your homeschool vision, your education philosophy, etc. I can’t speak on what’s best for your child without scheduling a mentor session with you to discuss their learning needs. I can say, however, that Abeka, Master Books, BJU Press, and All in One Homeschool are among the top comprehensive curricula home educators use.

Do homeschoolers take standardized tests?

This depends on your state. Certain states have testing requirements while others are more relaxed toward homeschooling and do not require tests or evaluations. Homeschoolers that plan to attend college will also need to take the SAT and/or ACT test.

Are homeschool diplomas legal?

Yes. A homeschool diploma issued by a parent or guardian is a legal, valid document accepted at most colleges and universities. Parents are responsible for maintaining education records and following graduation requirements in order to issue a homeschool diploma.

Can homeschool students go to college?

Yes. In fact, many colleges and universities seek out homeschooled students. Make sure you have your high school transcripts and SAT/ACT results in order if your child plans to attend college. Many homeschooled students can also start earning college credits through dual enrollment programs at a community college while they are still in high school. Having college credits makes transitioning to a four-year university a smoother process.

Can homeschool students get scholarships/financial aid?

Yes. Homeschooled students are eligible for financial aid when attending college. There are even scholarships available specifically for homeschool graduates. There are at least 25 national and local scholarships that have been specifically designed to provide homeschooled students with the same financial advantages for college preparedness as their public schooled counterparts. Be sure to do your research to discover which scholarships and grants are available for homeschoolers in your state.

Can homeschool students play sports?

Yes. Some families play sports through a hybrid program where local public schools allow homeschool students to participate in their organized sports teams. Other families join sports cooperatives or national sports programs. Availability will depend on your state.

Are homeschooled students less social?

No. There are many homeschool groups, cooperatives, organized sports, and extracurricular classes for families to be a part of. How social your children are is totally up to you. Understand that social development is not about placing a child in a classroom with other children their age. It’s more about a child’s ability to build and maintain relationships with others. This skill can be strengthened just about anywhere. In fact, studies found no significant difference in the social skills of homeschooled and non-homeschooled students. Other studies found that homeschooled children score significantly higher on social development rating scales and questionnaires.

Do I really need a homeschool mentor?

Yes and no. Getting free information online is great, but having a personal mentor is even better. Every successful person has a mentor. Just Google any notable person you admire. Chances are, they are where they are because they had a mentor at some point in their career. Mentors offer the accountability you need to help you set and crush your homeschooling goals. Mentors provide a listening ear, constructive feedback, encouragement, and support. 

Still have questions? I’m available for coaching. Sign up for a mentor session and receive personalized coaching from a homeschool veteran and education professional.

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