You may have heard something about homeschooling, but not really understood how it works. Teaching your children at home is a perfectly acceptable alternative to sending them to a public or private school. Before you get started, however, you need to know the basics. Keep reading to find out more.
Just because you follow a curriculum from another source, does not mean you must follow it to the letter. There are often going to be parts of a curriculum that do not suit your child’s learning style or schedule. Be flexible with a curriculum and do not be afraid to drop those parts that are not fitting for your educational plan.
Sit down as a family each Sunday and discuss the upcoming week. This allows everyone to know what is expected of them during the week and how each person can help make the week more successful. Planning also gives everyone the opportunity to take part in field trips and projects.
When you go on vacation, take your lesson plan with you. Include your vacation in your home classroom so that your kids can truly enjoy their schooling. Have them keep a scrapbook of the event, or take a video which they turn into an amazing family adventure later. Take them to cultural locations and teach them about the area, then have them reenact wars or important historical situations. There is so much to learn around the world, don’t let it pass them by!
If you want your children’s homeschooling experience to be as well-rounded as possible, then consider putting physical education on the schedule. Not only will this teach your children healthy habits, studies have repeatedly shown that physical activity helps to stimulate the mind. Even better, combine physical fitness with social time by enrolling your children in a dance class or by signing them up for a summer sports team.
The curriculum you choose should not put restrictions on what your kids are learning. Use the books as tools to guide you in the direction your kids need to go in schooling. Take the information from the books and build a learning platform that your kids will do well with. If that means that you are skipping a non-critical lesson or two that is fine.
Understand what your local school board offers in the way of resources for homeschooling. Often you will find that your school board will reimburse you for educational supplies and field trips. Do your research and understand what is expected on your part as far as receipts, fees and the extent of reimbursement.
Network with other homeschooling families. People want to homeschool for many reasons today. You can probably find people in your area whose mindsets are similar to yours. Homeschooling groups can give you a lot of support and information, which can be helpful when you first start.
Once you have educated yourself on the basics of homeschooling, you can decide whether this is something you want to try. Many children thrive when they are taught at home, while others do better in school. Consider your children and their learning styles before you make a final decision about their education.