If you are considering homeschooling your children, there are some important things to consider before taking the huge leap into unfamiliar territory. Homeschooling your children takes a great deal of planning and preparation; therefore, it’s important to take the time to learn from other individuals who are doing the same thing. Oftentimes they can offer helpful insight and tips for making homeschooling a success. Here are 6 tips to consider when homeschooling your children.
Tip #1 – Evaluate your Home’s Discipline Before you Start Homeschooling
Even if you don’t realize it, your home has a specific method of discipline. The word discipline in this context actually refers to the method of training used in your household. Before you begin homeschooling, it is important to understand what type of training is currently in place and if there are adjustments that need to be made.
Also Read: Homeschooling In The Us
Examine carefully if your current method of discipline will allow you to step into the roles of teacher/pupil or if you need to make some changes beforehand. For any homeschooling program to be a success there must be clear understanding between the parent and child of what the training and expectations will be.
If you need to make adjustments in your current discipline method, now is the time to do it. A good analogy would be to consider homeschooling your child as a house with you as the architect and your child as the builder.
As with any building project, you need to ensure there is a good foundation upon which to build. This is why examining your discipline method is so important: it will be the foundation on which to build upon.
Remember also that as the architect and builder, each of you needs to take an active part in making the educational process a success.
Tip #2 – Overcome Curricula Anxiety
One of the biggest concerns parents face when homeschooling their children is choosing amongst the massive amounts of curricula.
You may worry that if you don’t choose the exact right materials, your homeschooling program will be an absolute catastrophe. While it is true that there is a great deal of programs and materials available for homeschooling children, it is important to remember that people have been homeschooling their children for years.
Ten or twenty years ago there wasn’t the abundance of curricula materials available and homeschooling pioneers seemed to do very well with what was available.
Programs, books and other materials are simply tools to help accomplish the job. This facet alone is another great way to teach your children to research and sort through the materials by weighing the pros and cons. You may find that you can use certain aspects of several programs in order to accomplish your homeschooling goals.
Tip #3 – Learn about Learning Styles
You are probably familiar with the fact that there are different learning styles. Some children learn best through hearing information while others prefer a more hands-on approach.
One of the best things about homeschooling your children is the opportunity it gives you to tailor to the learning styles of each of your children. This may sound like a lot of work, and it will be at first, but in the long run your children will benefit from your efforts.
Once you are able to determine how your children learn best, you can help them learn to adapt to different teaching styles so they can process information in a way that they can learn.
Teaching your children to take information that is unfamiliar to them and interpret it in a way that is useful to them is a valuable skill they will use throughout their life.
Tip #4 – Expect Children to Help with Household Chores
Unfortunately, sometimes homeschooling parents tend to think that their children need a break from working all day. Just because your children are home all day doing schoolwork doesn’t mean they need a break from household chores.
It is important to require your children to help out around the house; by doing so, you will help teach them valuable life skills as well. Part of the goal of any homeschooling program should be to teach and raise individuals who are educated, competent and responsible human beings.
A child who is not expected to help around the house will go through life expecting common chores such as laundry and dishes to be done for them. Children as young as preschool age can contribute to cleaning up around the house.
They can start by picking up their toys, dusting, putting their dirty clothes in the hamper and more. As children get older they can graduate to more complex tasks such as clearing the table, folding laundry, collecting garbage and making meals. When all family members take part in sharing the household chores, you will have more time to concentrate on ensuring a successful homeschooling program.
Tip #5 – Establish a Schedule or Routine
The difference between a schedule and routine is that a schedule is generally timed whereas a routine is not. Many people fear homeschooling because of the misconception that every hour of the day has to be scheduled and strictly followed.
While following a schedule may be required for some children, some parents find that their children prefer routines over a more inflexible schedule. Fortunately, whatever method you prefer to work with, you will be able to achieve positive results.
For example, a schedule dictates that math must always be worked on from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. while a routine says that math should be completed before lunch. This gives your child the flexibility to work on math anytime during the morning; as long as he or she completes the assignment before lunch
The flexibility in a homeschooling program is one of the reasons many parents find their children are successful in their educational pursuits.
Tip #6 – Remember the Reasons for Homeschooling
There will probably be many days when you question why you are homeschooling your children. Here are a few reasons individuals give for choosing homeschooling:
- Homeschooling allows parents to enrich their children’s strengths and overcome their weaknesses in a safe, non-threatening environment.
- Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace. If a particular subject only takes one day then you are free to move onto another topic instead of waiting until the whole class understands.
- Homeschooling allows families to spend the best hours of the day together. Instead of sending kids away to school when they are at their best (rested and happy), homeschool families get to spend the day together learning, playing and growing.
- Some research studies show that homeschooled students get more sleep than traditional students. This results in students who are ready to learn and actively engaged.
- Homeschooling teaches practical life skills. Children who are homeschooled are expected to keep and maintain their schedule or routine. If they don’t adhere to the schedule and accomplish their tasks then there is less time for play. Children quickly learn how to budget their time and manage their assignments.
Whatever your reasons may be for wanting to homeschool your children, write them down so you can reaffirm your decision when you begin to doubt yourself.
If you decide to homeschool your children, there are many resources available to help make your experience a success. Reach out to other individuals who are homeschooling their children. You can establish a homeschooling co-op which allows children to develop important social skills as well. There are public resources, private tutors, online materials and much more to help assist you in your homeschooling goals.