To homeschool or not to homeschool, that is a tough question which many parents face. The best way to make a decision is to know as much as possible, and even after you take the plunge, you must continue to learn. This article provides all the information you need to provide a great homeschool environment.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in homeschooling
You don’t have to be perfect! Even teachers make mistakes, and it’s all a part of the learning process for yourself and your children. Take your time, relax and know that you can teach your kids a lot when you do flub. The more mistakes you make, the better a teacher you will become.
Sit down as a family each Sunday and discuss the upcoming week. This allows everyone to know what is expected of them during the week and how each person can help make the week more successful. Planning also gives everyone the opportunity to take part in field trips and projects.
Assign your children chores for the month. If you give out assigned chores for the entire month, they know what is expected of them for the next thirty days. If you use a daily or even a weekly chore sheet, they could easily become confused about what is their responsibility to take care of for that time.
Include socialization activities in the lesson plan routine
It is crucial when homeschooling children not to underestimate the importance of socialization. Eventually, your children will need to go out and function in and with the general public. Enrolling them in local clubs, youth programs or summer sports is an easy way to ensure that they have an opportunity to build important social skills like sharing, teamwork, and leadership.
Do not try to cram every subject every day. You could use a two or three day school week per subject. This way, you can keep your child focused on a particular subject for longer periods of time. The less often they have to switch their focus to a new subject, the more progress they will make each day.
Think of yourself as a guide rather than a lecturer in the homeschooling environment. The truth is, you are probably going to come across topics that you don’t understand very well. Have fun learning with your little one and don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know; let’s research it!” when a difficult question arises.
Spend a little time networking. Use the Internet to find families in your area that are homeschooling, and arrange activities together. It is also beneficial to connect with people across the country, as you can share ideas and techniques with one another. You will also have a support system when/if things get a little difficult.
Look into different events in your area. Oftentimes, you will find that you can go to places like Science Centers, museums and even musicals or ballets at a discounted rate. If you are unsure about how to find out about discounts, look for your local homeschooling network website. You should be able to find all the information you need for discounted family educational outings right there on the site.
Know your shortcomings. It is unlikely that any parent can singlehandedly teach their child everything they need to know from kindergarten through 12th grade. There are several options for upper-level courses. For instance, online high school and distance learning programs can help your child succeed in the later grades and prepare for the GED and college.
Remember that curricula and books are only tools. Having “superior” tools and lesson plans does not mean that success is guaranteed. Tools are important, but they are not everything. Everyone will have their preferred materials when it comes to homeschooling, whether by preference or what they can afford. The point is to make it work for your desired curriculum.
Plan and Organize well for your child’s success
Study units separately so your child can learn the most. With this method, you focus on one subject at a time. This approach allows you to progress further within each subject. A good example would be spending a period on classical music. When done, take them to an actual performance so they can experience the music live. Such an experience will create an unforgettable memory to be cherished forever.
Take the time to read! The more you study about homeschooling, the easier you will be able to teach your children. There are many how-to books that you can read that cover the different subjects of schooling that you will be teaching your children. They will help you with methods of explanation when your children have questions that you must answer.
If you are homeschooling an older child and have preschoolers at home, consider finding some sort of child care for a few hours a day. Having your preschooler out of the house or otherwise occupied can help you to accomplish more with your older child. Even if you can only manage a couple of hours of care, you can get a lot accomplished in that time period. If budget constraints are an issue, consider trading off childcare with another homeschooling family that is in the same situation as you are.
Prioritize research as part of the homeschool learning process
To ensure long-term homeschooling success, everyone involved needs to make learning and studying a priority. Phones should be off while the curriculum is being taught, and breaks should only be taken in emergencies. Following the same exact schedule, every day will help your student to get in the right mindset for each lesson.
Depending on the state that you live in, you may be able to hire someone to home school your child if you work or unable to do so yourself. Just be aware that states that do allow this require you to be responsible for what your child will learn.
Armed with a vast cache of knowledge, you can now prepare lesson plans like a pro, teach your kids in ways that work and even make learning fun. This learning cannot stop here, of course, and you must keep reading and talking to others to expand your knowledge and better your homeschooling ways.