For some students, the timeless tradition of attending school in a classroom simply isn’t enough to engage and educate them. Others have special needs that cannot be met in public schools. When private schools aren’t an option, many are turning to homeschooling as a way to protect students from subpar education and provide them with unique learning opportunities. Whatever your reason for considering homeschooling, the tips below should help you along the way.
Your child’s progress is their own and should not be weighed against others. It is easy to fall into the trap of comparing the education levels of your child versus another, yet when it comes to homeschooling, it is like comparing apples and oranges. Each homeschooled child is going to learn at their own pace, which means that their successes will be individual and constant.
Know what your educational approach will be before you begin homeschooling. Whether you choose to go with a standard school type of environment and education, or if you prefer to focus on specific fields of study that interest your child, you should determine this up front. You will have clear goals to work towards, and the approach can be reevaluated at the start of each school year.
Can you afford to quit your job and homeschool? Have you created a budget to find out? Draft a budget of your current income and expenditures. Now, remove the income of the person who will be staying home. Also, include the cost of supplies, such as lesson materials, writing equipment, paper, etc. Can you afford it now?
Determine which approach to homeschooling you will follow. You may decide to follow a traditional curriculum, setting up a “classroom” within your home. On the other hand, you might decide to “unschool,” allowing your kids to play a large role in defining their educations. Take your kids’ learning styles and personalities into consideration when choosing an approach.
Don’t try to do things exactly as a school would. One of the benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility; do what works for your child. If he or she is more comfortable sitting on the floor and working, forgo the desk. If math is of particular interest, spend a little more time nurturing that subject. Cater to your child while working through the curriculum.
Relying on electronics, like computers, can be a bad thing. Sure they can be great tools to use to teach your kids from home, but what do you do if there was to be a problem with them? Use them, but have alternative teaching methods ready in case your computer dies and will be down for a while.
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.
No matter what your motivations are for considering home schooling, it’s best to go into it fully prepared. This is an important decision and you must determine the best way to ensure your child is afforded all the educational opportunities available. Hopefully this article has inspired you to move forward with your dreams of homeschooling your child.