5 Tips for Making Homeschooling a Success
Homeschooling is something that an increasing number of parents are starting to do in response to the fact that our schools have become lese-than-satisfactory in meeting the needs of our children. Parents who want to make sure that their children are safe and that they are learning new material that challenges their imaginations find that homeschooling offers them the chance to provide a creative learning environment. It's also a way for parents to monitor what their kids are learning and to maintain some control over children in the household.
However, homeschooling is no easy task. Parents are challenged by having their children home all day. They are challenged by trying to organize their lesson plans around what they want their children to be learning. And they are challenged by the difficulties of working as a teacher when they may not have been trained to do so. That doesn't mean that homeschooling is a bad choice but it is one that requires some planning.
Here are five tips for the new homeschooling family to make the process start off more smoothly:
- Stick to a structure. Like it or not, kids need structure. While one benefit of homeschooling is that you can work around your family's schedule, one drawback is that school sometimes gets chaotic. Any good freelancer will tell you that you don't need to work nine-to-five to be successful but that you do need to create and stick to a full-time schedule that works for you. The same is true for your kids and school. Plan five days a week that your kids are doing lessons and figure out times that work best for different activities. Having a chart in your home that shows these will make your kids get used to the schedule more quickly and will prevent arguments about getting down to work.
- Don't forget the importance of socialization. The biggest drawback of homeschooling is that it causes kids to miss out on the socialization of school life. While that can be good in the sense that kids don't grow up too quick and aren't in an unsafe setting where they can be bullied or negatively influenced, it's bad in some ways as well. It's important to make sure that your kids are involved in some sort of out-of-the-home activity that lets them socialize with others. And you know what, it's important that you do that as well. Find a network of other homeschoolers in your community and create play dates or join community activities together to get that important part of the equation under control.
- Make a plan for your child's educational content. There are workbooks out there for homeschoolers but they aren't all the same. You should learn about the different types of homeschooling that there are and consider which philosophy suits you best. Then create a plan to include activities and learning content that is in line with this philosophy. When you are focused, your child will be as well.
- Get to know your child. All of the plans in the world won't work if they aren't the right way for your child to learn. Different people learn in different ways which you should consider as you try to teach your child any new skills. Work on learning to teach through visuals, speech and touch to see what works best in your home. You want to maximize your child's learning by using his or her strengths to make it easy for the learning to take place.
- Never stop learning. These tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making homeschooling work. You should set aside time each week to read articles and books about homeschooling that you can regularly improve the way that you teach your kids in your home. Consider that your homework.