K-12    

Balancing your homeschooled student's life



Hudson Valley parents share their concerns and successes

Balancing a young student’s life is a concern for parents who homeschool – whether it is finding a way for the child to participate in organized sports or music, or juggling the roles of “mom” and “teacher”. When it comes to sports, the New York Home Educators Network explains, “Currently, New York State does not allow homeschoolers to play on public school interscholastic sports teams. As for other extracurricular activities such as intramural sports and musical groups, the state allows local school boards to decide whether to allow homeschoolers to participate.” Parents are advised to contact their local district to find out the school’s policy on participation. They can also look into participating on town leagues.
Along with trying to figure out how to balance their child’s academics with a social life, newcomers are often curious about how to fill the roles of both teacher and parent.

Colleen Toder of New Paltz is homeschooling her three children ages 11, 9 and 7. While she says that initially it could be challenging at times to get her kids to see her as the teacher and not just “Mom”, she thinks the fact that she will always have a vested interest in each of her students is invaluable. Toder advises families considering homeschooling to take time before beginning to “work out where you need to be as a family”. Toder believes that it is essential a family have a trusting relationship before venturing into homeschooling. She and her husband knew they wanted homeschool even before they had children; they like how they have been able to focus on home and family life; the kids love to be with them and each other.

 

Jennifer O’Brien is a freelance writer and the mother of two young children.