You want to provide the best homeschooling environment for your children in order to ensure their success. It’s possible to give them the tools they need to succeed when they’re on their own. After all, you’re their parent! Make sure you pay attention to the following advice as you get going.
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.
A strict homeschool schedule is a top priority. Each Sunday, take the time to plan the week’s lessons, excursions and meals. It is important to begin each school day with a structured plan that your child can get used to following. They will learn easier and be more productive when they know each day’s expectations.
When you home school your child, you take on more than the role of teacher. Actually, you’ll also have to be the cafeteria worker, physical education coach and possibly even a counselor. Consider the responsibilities each title carries as you plan out your daily schedule and routine. Prepare lunches in advance, schedule outdoor time and make yourself available for emotional support and motivation.
You expect your kids to be organized, so you have to be, too. You need to have your lesson plans in place long before you start them. You have to have lists of resources, materials at the ready and all the supplies you think they or you might need over time.
Utilize local resources to find resources you need. You can find resources for homeschooling at garage sales, curriculum sales and even homeschool groups on sites like Yahoo and Craigslist. Don’t worry if they are gently used. A workbook with a few scribbled pages can still offer plenty of workable materials for class.
Define an area in your home where teaching is to take place. While it may be tempting to let your child do their work anywhere, it’s important to have a defined area in the home that is dedicated to ‘school’. This area needs to be quiet, well-lit and free of all distractions.
If you want your children’s homeschooling experience to be as well-rounded as possible, then consider putting physical education on the schedule. Not only will this teach your children healthy habits, studies have repeatedly shown that physical activity helps to stimulate the mind. Even better, combine physical fitness with social time by enrolling your children in a dance class or by signing them up for a summer sports team.
When drafting your goals for your homeschooling classroom, be reasonable. Don’t expect your kids to finish high school by the time they’re 12, or to spend every waking minute in the classroom. You need to give them the ability to learn at their own pace while absorbing as much as possible. The goals you set should be both short- and long-term so that you find achievement comes at frequent intervals, meaning rewards can be given as well as congratulations.
Research your state’s laws regarding homeschooling. Go to the HSLDA website for information. If you decide to join a home schooling organization, it can help you look more credible to local authorities should you ever be questioned. Even though you may have to pay to be a part of this organization, it is worth it.
When you are first beginning homeschooling it is a good idea to reach out to others who homeschool also. People who have been doing it for a while can give you valuable advice about things that worked and didn’t work for them. Even if you have been homeschooling for a long time, it is always okay to seek advice from others.
Learn when to give in. Every child has a different style of learning. If what you are doing isn’t working, it’s time to back up and rethink things. Find an alternative method of teaching that subject to them. There are other ways of doing it, such as through technology. When you push too hard, they’ll explode.
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.
While homeschooling isn’t the easiest thing in the world to accomplish, it can really be an asset. It’s convenient, and it is also considered a highly valuable option these days. You can really give your kids the extra push they need in the right departments if you put their education into your own hands.