In recent years, there have been millions of parents who have turned to homeschooling. The reasons vary, but homeschooling is a legitimate option that can actually offer a better education than a public school in some cases. If you have considered homeschooling, there are things you need to know. Check out these tips to help you make the most of homeschooling.
Use more than just textbooks for teaching. Let your child read novels, newspapers, blogs and even comic books. Once your children are mature enough, current events can lead to some very interesting discussions that will help them learn how to develop arguments as well as analytical skills. You will be teaching them the skills they need to analyze situations, which last a lifetime.
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.
Get in touch with other homeschoolers in your area. Homeschooling can be a lonely path if you do not make an effort to seek out support. Many areas now have homeschooling co-ops, where parents in a community work together to share resources and offer help. These are provide a valuable social outlet for your child, who does not have the same opportunities to make friends as a child in a public school.
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.
Finding time to cook at big meal at the end of the day can be tough when you are homeschooling children. Plan your meals ahead of time and precook as much as you can. Baking a lasagna during the weekend and freezing portions can really be a lifesaver during the week when you don’t feel like cooking.
Do not just go by the most popular method of homeschooling. Look at your child’s interests and way of learning, and use that to guide you into the right approach. There are many methods practiced by homeschoolers, and you may need to try out a few before settling on the most appropriate one for your child.
Visit zoos and other attractions to expand what you are teaching your kids. Discuss the animals and their habitats. This could supplement a geography lesson. Additionally, you may think about endangered animals and what has happened to diminish their numbers. There are many applications to this, including observing the tourists!
If you decide to hire a tutor to supplement your homeschooled child’s education, choose carefully. 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 expertise and effectiveness by asking for and checking in with references.
If you are brand new to homeschool, don’t try to do too much as once. Ease into your routine. For example, during the first few days, focus primarily on one subject. Add additional topics as you feel more comfortable, but make sure you do it in a timely manner so that your children stay on track.
Set goals for each of your children. You should have two lists of goals per child; one short-term and one long term. Setting weekly goals will help you stay on target toward reaching your long-term goals. If you have these goals written where your children can see them, they will be able to strive to accomplish what you have planned for them.
When you are homeschooling, make sure that you set up a room in the house to do strictly work. This will help your child get into the work mode, so that it is easier to focus on the task at hand. This will yield great results for the future of your child.
Do not purchase materials that are not returnable. You do not want to spend good money on material and find that the curriculum is nothing like advertised. Many quality programs will allow you a trial period before you have to keep the books and materials. Look into the return policy prior to making any purchase.
If you have a hard time with schedules, try using routines. Schedules generally involve plans that are timed, while routines are generally habitual procedures. If scheduling doesn’t work for you, try implementing a routine with basic guidelines. They don’t need to be done in a particular order or at specific times, but they can be used to make a list for completing your daily tasks.
If homeschooling your child is just not working out for them or for you, do not be scared to put them in regular school. Your child may simply be better off going to school, especially if they are not learning well from what you are teaching them. If this happens to you, do not blame yourself; this is simply how things go sometimes.
Search around your area for homeschooling resources. Depending on where you live, you could gain access to lots of cultural events at a low price, such as museum tours and opera. In addition, there may be a club or online forum dedicated to homeschooling parents in your area. This allows you to gain some helpful advice from others and even share your own.
Make no mistake, homeschooling is a serious decision that needs to be thought about carefully. It takes a lot of time and a real commitment from both the student and the teacher. Homeschooling has its rewards, though, and if you have what it takes, consider taking the plunge. You child’s education is vital to their success.