Homeschooling is a somewhat controversial subject for most people. It’s breaking the norm, taking the path less travelled, as it were. Which is why supportive communities have popped up all over the internet; everyone needs a community that supports them, respects their decisions, and offers help and advice.
Image by IowaPolitics.com
If you’re a potential homeschooler, or even a parent who is already homeschooling, here are some essential tips to keep in mind on your journey.
1. The Law
Research, study, and learn it. The law can either be on your side or against you when it comes to homeschooling properly. In the USA, the state you live in will have laws pertaining to goals that need to be met in order for you to get that stamp of approval (in the UK you’ll need to contact your local council). So do your research, contact other homeschoolers in your area and ask them if there was any governmental red tape they had trouble getting through on your journey to homeschooling their children.
2. If at First You Fail, Try, Try Again
This process is big on trial and error. Try out various curriculums or programs and see which one works best for you and your family. Once you’ve found a program that fits you about right, don’t hesitate to tailor it to perfection – this is after all one of the major pluses of homeschooling your kids.
3. Get Organized
Now this part really is all about you and relates directly to how much organization you need to function properly. Do you need to schedule out weekly study plans? Or create a study guide for longer periods of time? Talk to you children, ask them what they need to be able to learn the best they possibly can and schedule from there.
4. Football, Flute, Theatre, or Tennis
While you may be perfectly capable of teaching your children, it’s likely you can’t offer the same afterschool activities as a traditional school can. So do some research about what activities are available in your community; figure out what classes, clubs, and groups meet in your area and ask your kids which they’d like to join.
5. Don’t Look Down
It’s easy to start doubting your decision at the slightest failure or mistake, which is why creating a ‘reasons’ list is so important. Write down all of the reasons why it is so important to you and your children to be homeschooling. If possible, frame it and hang it near whatever area you spend the most time working in.
6. Study Nook
While the traditional setup of classrooms isn’t necessarily something you want to replicate, having a particular space designated for most work is healthy for your child. While learning at home offers a great amount of freedom from that locked in, regular school feeling, some structure is a good idea.
7. You’re not alone
As mentioned earlier, there is a plethora of homeschooling communities online, so don’t hesitate to join and get in contact with people. You can ask for advice, get some encouragement, or simply discuss various teaching methods used. Having a supportive community can make a huge difference in your homeschooling experience.
8. Reaching Out
It’s incredibly healthy for kids to spend time with other children they can relate to, so try to make friends with other families who home school their children so your kids can relate to each other. Traditional students spend plenty of time whining about homework and tests to each other, don’t deny your children that place to vent.
9. Be Prepared
Homeschooling, just like traditional school, isn’t always fun and games. Nothing is always fun, and you need to be prepared for that. Your kids will get frustrated, so will you! There will be tantrums and some sulking, but that’s normal and shouldn’t make you question your choice.
10. Have fun
People are always talking about mixing business and pleasure – mixing home and school can get a little testy if you don’t distinguish between the two enough. Don’t think of it as always engaging pupils, sometimes you’re just playing around with your kids. Learning can be fun!
- License: Creative Commons image source
Estelle Page is a mother of two who is constantly looking for new ways to teach and encourage her children. In her spare time she writes for companies such as Carrot Rewards.