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.
Know what your educational approach will be before you begin homeschooling. Whether you choose to go with a standard school type of environment and education, or if you prefer to focus on specific fields of study that interest your child, you should determine this up front. You will have clear goals to work towards, and the approach can be reevaluated at the start of each school year.
Consider digital options for your textbooks and reading materials. E-readers are quite affordable and easily accessible. Downloading books is far cheaper than purchasing print and easily takes up less room. Granted, there is not a resale option for the digital textbooks; however, there is a lot to be said for having reference books after the fact.
Keep a journal of your activities. You can track the techniques that you have used. You can then look back to find the techniques that had worked well for your children and what did not. It will help you come up with a homeschooling regimen that works well for your family without trying the same things over and over.
Utilize local resources to find resources you need. You can find resources for homeschooling at garage sales, curriculum sales and even homeschool groups on sites like Yahoo and Craigslist. Don’t worry if they are gently used. A workbook with a few scribbled pages can still offer plenty of workable materials for class.
Don’t forget using art in lesson plans, regardless of whether the subject is art or not. Let the kids make drawings of their lesson subjects or help them use craft materials to make other works of art. Try sculpture, drama, paintings or writing a song. The possibilities are endless! Teaching the material through many different mediums is known to improve educational outcomes, so get creative.
As you lay out your goals, make sure that they span the entire timeline of your kids’ education. You should have goals which are easier to reach to ensure your kids are being positively reinforced frequently. Long-term goals should come with greater rewards so that your kids will be driven to attain them. Don’t forget to set goals for yourself as well, including rewards which will drive you to be the best teacher you possibly can be.
To help your student learn even the most complex concepts, it helps to understand what he/she finds most interesting. It is much easier to engage a student who has taken an active interest in the subject at hand. As the teacher, you have the responsibility for maintaining structure but this does not mean your pupil can’t determine the direction as well. Seeking your student’s input ups the ante and facilitates active learning.
Do thorough research on the type of curriculum that you are thinking of getting. The quality and approach can differ widely. The content should engage your child to keep his interest high. The curriculum must be well-laid out so that it is easy for you to use. A poorly designed curriculum will cause frustration for you as well as your child.
As you are beginning your school year, start out slowly. You can introduce a single subject the first week, and then add another the week after. Slowly build up to the full daily schedule so you and your children do not become overwhelmed. There will be plenty of time to get through the workload throughout the school year.
Check your local library for resources. This is a free way to get material. Not only are traditional educational books available, you can also look around for other learning material. Find interesting books to share with your children. You will be amazed at how much the library has to offer!
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.