Many parents believe that home schooling can provide their children a custom and complete education, which many believe is inaccessible in private or public schools. Home schooling is known to be the traditional method of teaching. Some parents also feel that along with education on various subjects, religious education is equally necessary. Most times it is not available in public schools. It may be available in private schools, but they may be too expensive for the family to afford, or faith taught in schools may be different from their family religion.
Assessing Your Child’s Learning StylesStudy and assess your child regularly, observing his interests. Some children show signs from a very early age. They may be into outdoor games, like to play with colors or music. Some may like mechanical stuff like counting and building blocks, modeling clay, putting lego together, or they may like to read, or listen to recordings of storybooks. This way you will know how to deal with them, teach them, and shape their interests. Children learn in different ways; by touching and handling things, by listening, and by visual methods like reading. They tend to be very inquisitive and love to learn new things.
It is a good idea to prepare a skill list for your home school. Make the child learn the skills he is ready for as your child matures educationally.
Gentle parenting is the secret to successful homeschooling. Often home schooled children make great advances in learning and show more enthusiasm than they would otherwise. Homeschool kids also turn out to be surprisingly well balanced and well informed when they are taught at home.
You have decided that homeschooling is the way to educate your child and now you have to ready yourself and your kids for all the trials and tribulations that come with it. You know that the road ahead may be a bit bumpy, but the rewards more than make up for it. Homeschooling affords you a chance to produce a well rounded and well adjusted personality in your child that is by no means an easy achievement.
Laws About Home Schools
Obviously, the first thing you have to check out are your state laws regarding homeschooling. You must do this to determine if you have to meet any kind of state requirement. Most states need an affidavit filed with the State’s education department that you are choosing to homeschool your child.
There are basically three categories of homeschooling laws. These are: private school laws, home education laws and equivalency laws. Find out about your state’s laws and know what your obligations are to the state before you start homeschooling. For example, you may need to maintain a portfolio that keeps a record of your child’s educational progress or you may be required to have a minimum educational qualification as a homeschool teacher.
Hooking Up With A Support Group
After you have all the state documentation and other matters taken care of you can proceed to the next step. A good next step would be to look for a home school support group.
A support group is good because say, if you live in a friendly or curios type of neighborhood, you’re well meaning friends may try to influence your decision to home school. At the very least, they may put a lot of questions in your mind that have you making second thoughts.
A support group that consists of like minded people will help support your decisions of your homeschool process and help downplay some of the criticisms, pressures and questions you will get from regular school goers. Many support groups organize fun events like visits to the zoo, museum, tours to the ice cream shop, etc. If your children hit it off with other home schooled kids in your group, they may be able to build lasting relationships with these kids that will not fade when their friends change schools. Home school support groups therefore provide an important avenue for your child’s socialization.
Ground Rules Make Education Less Challenging
When you homeschool, you should set certain ground rules. Homeschooling requires a lot of self discipline and hard work to make it work effectively. Here is a list of some of the things to keep in perspective:
- Eagerness to learn
- Hard work and effort – work ethic
- Time and patience
- Schedule flexibility
It really boils down to knowing why you opted for homeschooling in the first place. Your motives and your reasons to homeschool are important pillars on which the whole basis of your child’s lessons and personal development plan depends. Consulting with your children to get their thoughts about curriculum choices, etc. is often helpful as well. Once you have every factor considered, select a curriculum or custom make a curriculum that best suits your child’s educational and personal development needs.
Record keeping is an important part of homeschooling as it is your record keeping that will be looked at or scrutinized later when your child transfers into another school or enters college. Look into all the various methods of record keeping and set up a schedule to update your records every so often.
Your home school day does not need to be a long drawn out day. Allow your child to have a part in the daily classroom activities and to what extent of time is involved with each subject covered. Flexibility and fun are the cornerstones of homeschooling. Be careful not to overload too many skills into single term or school year as you can experience burnout or end up skipping over details of over skills you really should not.
Teaching at home is much less expensive, as for a private school you will end up paying up to amounts of $3500 or more. But never try to skimp on this expense. Try and set aside a specified amount for home school supplies so that you would not have to compromise on their quality of education. This way you can buy those encyclopedia Britannica DVD’s or painting brushes you need, without affecting your family budget.
Homeschooling has its own benefits. Your children would always be under your watch. Also you would know about their progress, so if they are lagging behind in some subjects, you would be able to help them. Sometimes you may have to face volumes of questions from other parents which may not be very encouraging, but that should not discourage you from what you are doing, because you would know what’s best for your children. Never forget that it is the outcome that is important so always focus your educational goals.
This post was originally published on GoodByeCityLife.com in early 2000. It has recently be moved to this url for ease of use.