What You Must Know When Homeschooling Your Kids
You want to make sure you've thought of as many things as possible before you get started when homeschooling. While there is much to consider, you want to do the best job you can. This is the future of your children you're planning for, and it's important that they receive the proper education.
Before you even begin your child's homeschooling year, decide how many weeks you would like to accomplish the school year in. You can then break your courses up into weeks to set even tighter schedules. Do not forget to pencil in any vacation time that you will be taking so you do not forget to account for it.
Understanding your child's learning style and educational needs is the key to creating a successful learning environment. For example, many children experience peak learning times in which they are more receptive to new information and more likely to remember it. Identifying this peak learning time allows you to develop an itinerary that is perfectly aligned with your student's needs.
When you go on vacation, take your lesson plan with you. Include your vacation in your home classroom so that your kids can truly enjoy their schooling. Have them keep a scrapbook of the event, or take a video which they turn into an amazing family adventure later. Take them to cultural locations and teach them about the area, then have them reenact wars or important historical situations. There is so much to learn around the world, don't let it pass them by!
Spend a little time networking. Use the Internet to find families in your area that are homeschooling, and arrange activities together. It is also beneficial to connect with people across the country, as you can share ideas and techniques with one another. You will also have a support system when/if things get a little difficult.
Do not try to cram every subject into every day. You could use a two or three day school week per subject. This way, you can keep your child focused on a particular subject for longer periods of time. The less often they have to switch their focus to a new subject, the more progress they will make each day.
Homeschooling takes quite a bit of time out of your day. This can make it difficult to keep up with the housework. If hiring someone is not an option, incorporate different tasks into the curriculum. Have younger children match socks by size and color, and teach older children about measurements by cooking.
Read a variety of titles to ensure that your child receives a well-rounded education. How-to articles can give you a variety of hands-on activities to do with your child. Before you child begins studying a specific subject such as World History, visit your local library and check out a children's history book along with an age appropriate book. Use the children's history book to give you a broad overview of the information that should be taught, and use the other book for specific information to include in your lesson plan.
Choose carefully if you decide to hire a tutor to supplement your homeschooled child's education. Make sure that the tutor has a degree in the subject he or she teaches. While a teaching degree is helpful, it isn't a necessity to be a good tutor. Verify a potential tutor's effectiveness and expertise by asking for and checking in with references.
Homeschooling can be a lot of fun. Just as children in traditional schools go on field trips, you can also take your child on field trips. This is a great time to connect with your child while teaching them things they would not necessarily learn with a large group. It gives the learning environment a more personal experience.
It's important that you know how your child learns best. As their parent, you probably know your child better than anyone else does. Use this knowledge to your advantage. If your child learns better by reading, focus on teaching them via books or the computer, for instance. Verbally teach them if they are better at listening.
Fun isn't the be-all and end-all of homeschooling. You may have to play the bad guy and make your kids do things they don't necessarily want to do. Memorizing facts on a subject a child is not interested in won't be fun for you or the child. A great way to inspire, then is to create a reward system to help get them through the more boring parts.
Know that you can work around this if the only reason that you do not want to home school your children is because you are scared they will not get the socialization they need. You may be able to find groups in your area that allow children who are home schooled to get together and play. You can always bring them to the park or have them join a sport to meet and play with other kids if your area does not have this.
Expect that homeschooling will not be fun all the time. Sometimes a lesson plan is necessary and there really is no way to make it fun. Going into homeschooling knowing this, and explaining it to your children, can help you all to get through the rough spots when they come up. This will be a great benefit to your children, and it will help to keep you motivated as a teacher.
Realize that homeschooling does not have to be forever. You do not have to make a lifelong commitment to homeschool your children. Even if you only decide to do this for a year or two, your child will benefit. You will also feel a greater sense of connection to your child and her education. Understand that the commitment you make only has to be day to day, and you will keep homeschooling from feeling too overwhelming.
Create a written schedule for your homeschooling children. To effectively educate a child, you need a certain degree of structure in each day. You give yourself a means for maintaining that structure, by creating a schedule. This helps to make the transition from one subject to the next easier, and it can help you, as the teacher, to know you are covering all the subject areas you wish to cover.
Before starting your homeschool, make sure to check your state regulations and ordinances. Each state varies on what they require from homeschoolers, and you want to make sure that your homeschool curriculum and experience meet the basic requirements in your area. It can cause problems for your children later in life and might even mean that the time they spent homeschooling does not legally count toward their education if you do not do this.
When you are homeschooling, make sure that there are ample supplies for your child. This means that you should never run out of pencils, pens or paper. You will be in a position to maximize the time that you have teaching your child if you set yourself up with the proper supplies.
There can be no doubt that homeschooling is a potentially, exciting and scary extremely rewarding process. The best way for any parent to approach the process wisely is to study the topic extensively before deciding to choose this route. With any luck, the piece above has provided some useful tips to make the choice as clear as it can be.