Are you ready to take the plunge into homeschooling? If so, then you need to learn all you can so you can stay organized, teach effectively and create the best lesson plans. This article will guide you through a plethora of tips and tricks which will be sure to keep you on your toes.
If you plan to home school your child or children, always remember that books and the chosen curricula are just the basics. The best learning experience within the home is one that incorporates materials and concepts from outside the home and the curriculum. If you cannot find a single curricula that meets your needs, don’t be afraid to use multiple sources.
Every state has specific laws regarding homeschooling. It is up to you to understand what your state requires of you as a parent, and your child as a student, when it comes to homeschooling. Look at your state’s educational website, as well as your county school board’s site to fully understand the expectations.
It is okay to use computers when homeschooling your children, do not completely rely on them. As you probably already know, computers are very prone to problems like viruses and freezes. Because of these problems, it is important that you continue to use textbooks and other physical materials as well.
When you teach preschoolers with older kids, make time for one-on-one. Designate a space that is theirs and that includes toys and craft materials. Ask older children to help with teaching younger kids. They will both learn from this, especially the older children will begin to understand what it means to teach themselves.
Don’t forget the ‘social’ side of school. A child gains much more from school than simply academics. Make sure that your child is involved in activities that a school offers such as sports and music. This can be achieved by meeting other homeschool parents and organizing extra curricular activities at the end of the school day or the weekend.
If you have kids in the home that are not yet school age, spend some quality time with them prior to starting the day’s lessons with the older kids. If they can get their fill of attention time before you get busy with the older kids, they are likely going to be able to entertain themselves while you work.
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.
The goals you set for your homeschool classroom need to be easy to measure. Write down exactly what you want your child to know at the end of each day, week, month and lesson plan. For example, “I would like John to be able to multiply up to ten” is a great short-term goal. “I would like John to know all about World War II” is a long-term goal. Both should come with positive reinforcement when achieved.
Make sure you are aware of your state’s homeschooling laws. You can check out the HSLDA website for more information. In the event that Child Protective Services or educational entity questions your program, it helps to be a member of a homeschooling association or network. They will offer great assistance in those types of situations at a minimal cost.
Look into homeschooling conferences in your area. Sometimes, you will have to travel to another city to attend, but it will be well worth the trip. You will be able to get your hands on the latest and greatest homeschooling curriculum. You will also be able to discuss your options with professionals as well as other homeschooling parents.
You should not consider yourself to be your child’s teacher. You are more the facilitator to their education. You are there to help them, not lecture them for hours on end. Allow them to do their studies on their own and help them with any questions that they may have. You could very well learn as much as your child does if you take the time to learn with them instead of lecturing them.
Take advantage of the subjects that your kids enjoy. If you find one thing that each of them love, you should be able to take something from that subject and apply it to other subjects as well. If your kids are enjoying what you are doing with them while teaching them, it will be much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
If you want to home school your child but feel as though you need to touch up on a certain subject, why not take a college course? This will be a great way for you to learn more about the subject and pass this knowledge on to your child. Who knows, maybe when your child goes to college, you can get a job in this field.
You will need to make craft supplies available to your children. You could for instance get one child to do some crafts while you go over a lesson with another child. Think about ways to get them thinking creatively, and give them ideas to nudge them in the right direction. This is one of the best ways for them to learn.
Don’t use the same lecture techniques as formal teachers. Some teachers are successful with this method, but it is usually best with children who are old enough to take notes. Most children do not like lectures, so you should find a way to teach that will keep them interested. Instead, do more participatory activities like reading along with a book or doing a science experiment. You are probably going to learn a good deal too.
With so much advice under your hat, you should now easily be able to set up a home school environment which works for all involved. You’ll be able to leave the public school system behind and focus on your future goals. A little bit of effort goes a long way, so keep truckin’!