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In the middle of an ongoing pandemic, educating your children can be difficult. Resources that were once available have sometimes dried up or been restricted. Even without a pandemic at our doorstep, you need various tools to be successful with homeschooling.
Your children’s schooling is one of the most critical aspects of their lives, and numerous decisions go into settling on the choice to homeschool your children. All things considered, you need to give your children the best beginning in life that you can.
What Does Homeschooling Include?
Homeschooling isn’t just about academics. It includes many other things like physical skills, social skills, field trips, sports, music, artistic skills, and more. You may not excel in all of these subjects yourself.
Are you wondering how you can create a homeschool program that ticks all of the boxes and ensures your child is getting the highest quality education?
Strategies for Successful Homeschooling
Homeschooling is a life choice that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It can be quite a responsibility, especially as your children get older and more rebellious. Even if your children don’t push boundaries, you’ll have to teach them advanced subjects for which you may not have much knowledge or aptitude for. There are plenty of tools to help you with this if you’re up for the task.
1. Do Your Research
The best homeschooling plans start with excellent research. Look for resources on the multitude of curricula available. Seek out other homeschooling parents, and find out more about what they’ve experienced. Don’t focus on just the parents. Talk to the kids too. Their collective experiences will give you more of an idea of what homeschooling is like on both the good days and the bad.
2. Know the Requirements
Before you go for broke and start your program, find out what the homeschooling requirements are in your area. Requirements vary from location to location, so check these closely.
For example, in the United States, each state sets its requirements for homeschooling. You may even need to provide things like attendance records and reports. For some states, there may even be conditions regarding standardized testing. By the same token, some states don’t have a lot of prerequisites.
3. Join a Group
If you’re new to homeschooling, you’ll quickly learn that joining a group is better. Local groups help you find information specific to your area. It’s also the best way to know how both kids and parents feel about homeschooling. You’ll get the pros, cons, and realities straight from the source.
It gives you the opportunity to ask questions and have them review your own practices. You’ll be able to explore what works best for you and your child with a group’s help. You can gain more information about age-appropriate activities available in your area too!
Local groups provide other benefits like arrangements for sports, competitions, field trips, and more. Best of all, you form a support network to help guide you through many of the joys and stresses of parenting.
4. Plan Out the Curriculum
Resist the urge to play things by ear when it comes to curriculum. You may want to see how things go or employ a Montessori-type strategy. It’s okay to let your child’s aptitudes and curiosities inform your path, but it’s important to have planning and direction. Without it, your child is likely to get behind, and you’ll become overwhelmed.
Map out lessons and projects, but also consider where you’ll be teaching. Consider whether you’ll be using math flashcards or an educational website. Will it be at the kitchen table, or do you have an office or playroom? Put some thought into books and supplies too. Do you need workbooks? Will you need to purchase textbooks? How do you include your child’s interests while covering all of the subjects?
Make short and long-term plans and goals. Plan out all of the details, so you won’t be left floundering.
5. Create a Homeschooling Space
Just like those who work remotely need a separation in space between work and home life, children need the same for school. If possible, set aside a special area that’s comfortable to work in. Set up a desk, computer, whiteboard or blackboard, and anything else you intend to use in this place.
6. Set Goals
Goal setting is essential for anything you set out to. It’s especially important for homeschooling. You need goals for both you and your child. Set benchmarks for skills and knowledge that will keep your child on pace to learn the same things other kids their age are learning.
7. Make a Schedule
Create a schedule. It doesn’t need to be a traditional school schedule, but it should give your child predictability. The program should support your goals and account for attention span. Be sure to allow for regular play and exercise. Consider which subjects you’ll teach and if you’ll take any field trips. These days you can even take virtual field trips if you’re unable to visit the actual location.
You should allot time for extracurricular activities, socializing, and making friends too. Be flexible and know that there will be times you’ll have to alter your schedule. Use your parent networks to keep on top of any activities that might be available for your child.
8. Get Social
Humans are social beings. Your children are no different. Part of your child’s education should be fostering good social skills. Making time for socialization is vital to your growing child’s development. Don’t leave this out just because it’s not an academic subject like math or reading.
Other Homeschooling Options
There are also fully online private schools like Pearson Online Academy, Keystone School, and Laurel Springs in this high-tech day and age. There are both free and paid options, depending on the state you live in.
There are also individual classes you can enroll your child in to cover subjects you may not know. For example, there’s Outschool which provides opportunities from life skills to algebra.
Education takes up a large part of our early years. It’s essential for building a solid future. Your choice to homeschool can be the most fun and rewarding experience, but it’s also quite an undertaking. We’ve provided some resources below to help you get started on your homeschooling adventure.