For some students, the timeless tradition of attending school in a classroom simply isn’t enough to engage and educate them. Others have special needs that cannot be met in public schools. When private schools aren’t an option, many are turning to homeschooling as a way to protect students from subpar education and provide them with unique learning opportunities. Whatever your reason for considering homeschooling, the tips below should help you along the way.
Make sure you check you state laws in regard to homeschooling. Each state has their own rules regarding the number of days a child must attend classes, for example. You may have to adhere to a curriculum they provide, or you may have to create your own and submit it for approval. You should probably center your school year around what the local school district does.
Do not limit your teaching to only textbooks. You should aspire to expose your child to all types of reading materials to nurture a love of reading. Ask your kids to talk to you about current events in the newspapers so that you can teach them to think about what they’re reading about life. Analyzing current events is also an excellent way to build critical thinking skills, which is a gift that keeps on giving.
While public school is fraught with bullies and bad influences, it does provide valuable social interaction that you will need to replace. Schedule play dates with kids from your neighborhood or even other homeschool families. You should also take your children to local parks and allow them to interact with other children there. It’s also important to let your kids join different sports teams and clubs as well.
Just because your kids are the only ones in your neighborhood to be homeschooled doesn’t mean that you’re alone. Not only can you find other homeschooling parents in your city, but you’ll find many groups online who share your philosophy that education begins at home. There are conferences, clubs and even support groups waiting for you to use their resources. There are even cruised! If you take the time to search, you’ll find a treasure trove lies before you.
When you go on vacation, take your lesson plan with you. Include your vacation in your home classroom so that your kids can truly enjoy their schooling. Have them keep a scrapbook of the event, or take a video which they turn into an amazing family adventure later. Take them to cultural locations and teach them about the area, then have them reenact wars or important historical situations. There is so much to learn around the world, don’t let it pass them by!
Don’t forget the ‘social’ side of school. A child gains much more from school than simply academics. Make sure that your child is involved in activities that a school offers such as sports and music. This can be achieved by meeting other homeschool parents and organizing extra curricular activities at the end of the school day or the weekend.
Remember that when you are homeschooling you do not need to follow a classroom set up. The learning environment can be a lot more flexible, and you can tailor it to fit you and the child’s needs. If your child has a hard time rising in the morning, instead of trying to teach them, chemistry at 7am, start their classes a little later in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Offer your children incentives from completing their lessons. This can be extra free time, less homework or even additional television time. By using incentives, you can help your child learn the importance of completing their tasks and how it will relate to working in the real world when they grow up.
Do thorough research on the type of curriculum that you are thinking of getting. The quality and approach can differ widely. The content should engage your child to keep his interest high. The curriculum must be well-laid out so that it is easy for you to use. A poorly designed curriculum will cause frustration for you as well as your child.
The advantage about homeschooling is that you can be creative in the way you teach your child. Do not limit yourself to just activities at home. Take your child to different places and teach him on site. He can learn about nature at a national park, or history at a historical site. This keeps learning interesting and fun.
No matter what your motivations are for considering home schooling, it’s best to go into it fully prepared. This is an important decision and you must determine the best way to ensure your child is afforded all the educational opportunities available. Hopefully this article has inspired you to move forward with your dreams of homeschooling your child.