As a parent educator, you have the freedom to weave your family’s values, your educational goals, and your children’s passions into the living journey of homeschooling. You get to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You do not need to become entangled or even burdened with what the school down the street is up to, because you have the ability to design a program that is perfectly suited for not only each of your children, but your entire family as well.
To be a successful homeschooler you need a foundation, a plan, and sheer determination.
This is the most essential piece to the homeschooling puzzle.
You need to lay a solid foundation for your children and your family.
- What does your ideal homeschool environment look like?
- What do imagine your daily routine to look like? How will the house run in the midst of your homeschool day?
- Will your children help around the house?
- What part will both you and your spouse play in their education?
- Will you incorporate your faith into the school day?
If you are a new homeschooler, you should take a few days to consider what your foundation should look like. If you are a brand new homeschooler, understand you may laugh at your ideas a few months from now, but that should not stop you from laying an idea of your foundation.
It is true, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
The good news is, in homeschooling the plan is fluid and changeable. You do not need to stick with plans that are failing, but you do need a plan.
- What grade levels are your children?
- What subjects are required in your state?
- What topics would you like to teach your children?
- Will you design your own teaching materials or acquire them from a big curriculum company?
- How long will your school day/year be?
- Where will you find coaching, mentoring, and encouragement?
Homeschooling is wonderful, but it is also wonderfully hard. It is a huge undertaking to not only educate your child, but keep your home from falling apart simultaneously. There will absolutely be days when you question everything. There will be more than one day, week, or year that you fear that you are ruining your child’s education. This is normal.
Before you go any deeper into this thing called homeschooling, you should:
Determine that you will stay the course.
Determine to never quit out of frustration. When those days come that cause you to believe you should quit, declare it a free play day, go to the library, visit a veteran homeschooler, or go to the zoo.
Just determine to never quit out of frustration.
Understand that homeschooling is hard, but that just because it is hard does not mean that you are unqualified. Honestly there is no one more qualified to teach your children than you are. You know their strengths, weaknesses, and passions better than anyone else.
Homeschooling can be extremely fun, rewarding and exhausting. It is worth every bit of effort to be able to see your child blossom into a curious learner.
If what you are currently doing is not working, go back and look at your foundation and plan.
As a veteran homeschooler, I can assure you that it is very common for homeschoolers to go on tangents. It is also common to throw out topics or whole curriculums that are not a good fit for your family.
Change is good.
Homeschooling is good. It is not for everyone, but it is good!
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Private schools are getting ever more expensive, but what can we do instead? Homeschooling is one option. The decision to remove your child from a formalized learning environment is not one to ever be taken lightly. Read on for some insight and advice that can help you decide whether you want to homeschool your child.
Homeschooling doesn’t mean you have to be their only teacher. Involve other experts, be it the Baker at the local bakery or your nearby librarian. Family members and friends can step in and help, too. The more teachers you provide, the broader the knowledge base your children will end up with.
Find out what your state has in place as far as homeschooling regulations. Some states have very strict rules with many hoops you have to jump through, so you must find out what your state requires of you before you get started. Some states are more lax, so start researching today!
Find an ideal spot at home for your school work space. You will need a place that your child is comfortable in, but is not filled with distractions. Your child should have enough room to act, dance, do some arts and crafts, relax and of course read and write. You should also have the ability to check on them at all times in the area.
Can you afford to quit your job and homeschool? Have you created a budget to find out? Draft a budget of your current income and expenditures. Now, remove the income of the person who will be staying home. Also, include the cost of supplies, such as lesson materials, writing equipment, paper, etc. Can you afford it now?
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.
If you have kids in the home that are not yet school age, spend some quality time with them prior to starting the day’s lessons with the older kids. If they can get their fill of attention time before you get busy with the older kids, they are likely going to be able to entertain themselves while you work.
Determine which approach to homeschooling you will follow. You may decide to follow a traditional curriculum, setting up a “classroom” within your home. On the other hand, you might decide to “unschool,” allowing your kids to play a large role in defining their educations. Take your kids’ learning styles and personalities into consideration when choosing an approach.
Be sure that you learn what your state’s requirements are in regard to homeschooling. This will ensures you to remain in compliance in the grade level that you are teaching and fulfill the number of hours that you must teach. When you are not in compliance, you risk your child’s ability to get accepted into college.
The goal of homeschooling is to instill knowledge in your child or teen, but it should also be viewed as something more. You have a rare opportunity to use learning as a means of bonding and interacting with each other in a way most parents never get. Highlight the student’s accomplishments in your “classroom” just as you would for those earned in a traditional learning environment.
Getting the best education for your child can feel daunting. Public and even private schools may not give your kids what they need. After reading this article, however, you can create an educational plan and carry it out. Just remember the advice you read here. It is also very important that you learn everything you can about homeschooling.
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