Are you a mother or father seeking out how to best give your kids a proper education? Do you want to give homeschooling a test drive before you commit? If so, keep reading for 11 great tips.
- Break up your day. Just because your kids no longer have sports, clubs, or other extracurricular activities to attend, does not mean that they will want to work for the whole day. As your child goes from elementary to high school education, the hours she spends studying do extend, but usually no longer than three to four hours max.
- Help is here. If your child is in high school, an excellent resource to use is PA Homeschoolers. Through this website, your teenager can choose any class she likes at the college level. Not only do Mom and Dad get to take a break from teaching, but their child also gets to take advanced placement courses. In essence, PA Homeschoolers is an excellent tool for a high school student to use in order to prepare for college.
- Share the load. Because homeschooling your child can often be stressful, co-ops and support groups are often handy. If you are religious, Classical Conversations is a wonderful group where homeschooling parents meet every week and teach their children together. Not only does CC offer prime time for your children to socialize with each other, but the parents can also come together and learn from each other. Also, you can choose to enroll your child in Classical Conversations as early as kindergarten and as late as the twelfth grade.
- Keep your kid’s attention. Another excellent website to use, no matter the age of your children, is Crash Course. This website and youtube channel was created by two brothers who use wit and creativity to teach subjects from Artificial Intelligence, all the way to World History.
- Talk to your teacher. Just because you may choose to teach your children using websites and co-ops, and not just teach them all by yourself, does not mean that you are neglecting your child’s education. It is important for your child to receive a well rounded education, and when he is older, he is better equipped to learn on his own. Also, if someone else is teaching your child, such as with PA Homeschoolers and Classical Conversations, don’t be afraid to talk to your child’s teacher, who will be more than happy to help you.
- Scheduling is key. If you choose to homeschool your child, a schedule will be important. She will not be following the program of a public education system, so carving out time for certain activities can be very helpful. For example, you can do math with your children in the morning, when everyone’s brains are working the best. Samantha can be working on Algebra on Khan Academy, while you help Tommy with his adding and subtracting.
- Switch things up! One of the beauties of homeschooling is that you don’t have to do every subject every day. You can also take as long as you need to on a certain topic. This is why sometimes letting your child lead the classroom can be a good idea. If you teach them something they don’t understand, and then move on to the next subject, your child won’t be learning anything. Instead, it is often a good idea to have him repeat something back to you, or have him explain what he is learning in his own words.
- Learn outside. If you have younger children, their homework usually doesn’t take them that long, so getting outside can be a prime opportunity to let your little one blow off steam and use her energy. Also, there are many things to be explored and learn about in the world! For example, one day you can have a class field trip and take them to the zoo to learn about animals, or go on a nature hike.
- Style could be the key to success. Another tip is to study the learning style of your child, and you can even get creative with it. For example, if she is a hands-on learner, she can learn science by doing experiments in the kitchen. She can also learn about measuring by helping you in the kitchen!
- Kids need socialization. A final perk of homeschooling is that your children will still be able to have a social life! For example, your child can join the swim team or sign up for gymnastics at your local gym.
- Give everyone a break. Finally, if you and your child need a day off, take it. Pushing yourself and your family only creates unnecessary stress. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for everyone is letting your kids sleep in! Also, never think that by schooling your children at home, they are not getting a proper education. I can speak from personal experience, that by the time your children are ready to graduate and enter college, they will be well-rounded and successful individuals.
By Elizabeth Hardt