When you live in the US you are allowed by law to educate your children at home and must follow the laws to do so in the state you live in. (see HSLDA - Making homeschooling possible )
In homeschooling there is a “supervisor” which is the parent/guardian/legal custodian who takes responsibility for providing the instruction. (Cyberschool is public/private school at home, so even though you and your children are at home the responsibility for providing the instruction is given to an outside entity.)
So, right off the bat we have presented the truth that 1) you are allowed to home educate, and 2) you are responsible for their education.
A friend and fellow homeschooler recently explained to me how she guides homeschooling families by helping them visualize a “wedge.” At the point of the wedge are the baseline requirements for educating your children and as the wedge expands it provides space for all the different ways you can do that educating. And only the limit of your imagination is where the wedge ends.
But today, this is about the point of the wedge, where the wedge begins. Because, you see, there is no room for apathy in home educating your children. By law, you must have no less than 180 days of instruction. And you must log those days either by checking boxes (point of wedge) or through elaborate descriptions of what you did and the resources you used for every subject every day (the fat part of the wedge). But log them you must, by law, do. Also, by law, you can start logging those days beginning July 1; so even days at camp or days on vacations where you visit/discuss historical sites (history/civics) or parks (science/PE) or amusement parks (physics/history/PE) – you get the idea - count. Log them.
What else is truth? The state has a list of subjects that must be covered depending on whether your child is at the elementary or secondary level. They all don’t get covered with the same intensity; for example, your child must know how to read, do their math facts, and write so these subjects get covered completely and extensively. Whereas safety education, and health and physiology get covered to a lesser degree. They are important, but they are worked in by life’s experiences vs an actual set time each day or a workbook, etc. Research your state’s required subjects. (see HSLDA - Making homeschooling possible )
At secondary level we are now talking about credits (120 Hours of work) and half-credits (60 hours of work). There are various ways to earn a credit and you can check that out on your own, but credits are serious. They require attention and supervision and effort. Because here is another fact…eventually you will send out your child into the world to sink or swim. How you educate them will give them a solid foundation or not.
Two more truths - 1) You need to have a log of the books, workbooks, curriculums, resources, etc. used. 2) You need to show proof of progression throughout the whole year. There must be proof that an “appropriate education is occurring.”
So, with that said, this is the point of the wedge, the baseline. Whether you allow your child to lead their own learning or not, the supervisor is responsible for ensuring the baseline is met.
You can do this! No pressure, but the next generation is counting on you! :)