By Patricia Hutchins
As we all know, the reasons for homeschooling are numerous and diverse. The manifold benefits of homeschooling include spending more time together as families, accommodating each student’s individual learning style and pace, ensuring academic excellence, providing opportunities for community engagement, experiencing the world through hands-on opportunities, safeguarding our children’s physical and emotional health, practicing our faith in authentic real-life situations, exercising our freedom to choose curricula, and many more. While we as parent-teachers are highly invested in our homeschooling methods, and are familiar with the reasons we have chosen to home educate our children, it is likely that, at some point, each of us will encounter the question, “Why homeschooling?” It may come from a family member, friend, church congregant, coach, tutor, pediatrician, or college admissions officer. It may even come from our own children. This is when a prepared homeschool profile can come in handy!
A homeschool profile is a brief (one page) summary of the educational philosophy and methods being used in a homeschool. It should contain a paragraph stating the reasons that home education is the best choice for your family. It can also contain a paragraph with some of the results that you have seen as a consequence of homeschooling. Has your child made progress in an area of struggle? Has he learned a new skill or trade? Has she been able to pursue more time in nature? Recover from an illness? Develop leadership skills? Participate in church activities? Travel? Volunteer? Focus on writing or drawing? Engage in a competitive activity? List those things in your school profile. Do you use standardized testing? Note successful test scores in your profile. Do you choose not to use standardized testing? A profile can provide a space for you to explain why. Focus on the positives! With some agencies and government figures showing concern for the possibility of neglect in a homeschool setting, a well-written and well-reasoned homeschool profile can alleviate those concerns and communicate the outstanding advantages related to an untraditional educational path.
A homeschool profile can be submitted with a transcript to a college or university. It can help to inform the admissions office about the unique education your child has received. A profile can be submitted with a child’s medical records. Grandparents and other family members may appreciate hearing about the methods we are using with our kids. We can use our homeschool profiles as guides for our own ability to answer questions about homeschooling. We should also be sure that our children, particularly teenagers, can give a polite and confident response if they are asked about being homeschooled. Go over a copy of your homeschool profile with your children, answer their questions, and ask for their input. They may come up with their own list of homeschooling benefits!
Want a hand writing your profile? Would it be helpful to see a sample? Feel free to contact me. Trish Hutchins: firstname.lastname@example.org