Your Ultimate 101 Guide to Homeschooling

Imagine this: You and your family have determined that the traditional school route won’t fulfill your needs, and you’ve opted to take the homeschooling route to provide a more personalized education for your child. Everyone’s excited about the possibilities, maybe a little nervous about blazing a trail. What comes next? Though you have the power over your homeschooling curriculum and schedule, you’re hardly alone on your journey. There are plentiful resources and tips to assist you as you craft and lead lesson plans.

Customize the Classroom

One of the benefits of homeschooling your children is that you can design schedules and modules that suit your student’s learning styles and needs. You don’t need to replicate the traditional classroom, which is made to accommodate large groups and is always adapting to changing state requirements. For example, rather than using standardized tests to (attempt to) track the progress of 20 to 30 students, you can gauge your student’s comprehension of concepts in less stressful, more empowering ways.

If your child is not an auditory learner, you don’t have to make them sit through hours of lectures. Instead, you can help them build electrical circuits as you teach them physics basics or have them draw maps and timelines to trace historical events. You can make it a dialogue between you and your child, asking them directly what activities and teaching methods are most engaging.

You can also share the classroom with another instructor. If you want your student to learn Chinese, you can sign them up for an online language learning program. Certified teachers can give them one-on-one lessons to encourage target language acquisition. Tutors structure interactive lesson plans around your student’s needs, like homeschooling, and build consistency into their learning schedule. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these instructors for clarifications on assignments or to gain suggestions for your lesson plans.

Blend and Adapt

One of the more difficult lessons to learn as you embark on your journey as a teacher is that it’s okay to change course. You may have spent months researching and gathering tools to create lessons that are sure to give your child(ren) the best educational experience possible, only to realize they don’t work as well as you’d hoped. No teaching method is an exact science; this is true for public school and homeschooling systems alike. Consistently check in with yourself and your student to understand what’s working and what’s not.

You might be in the midst of a lesson and realize the approach isn’t clicking for your student. You have the autonomy to try something entirely new and unplanned. You are, after all, the teacher.

Just as you can switch up your curriculum based on student needs, you can also blend subjects. One of the main goals of homeschooling is to foster an individualized education and spark students’ natural curiosity. Schools separate subjects to try and teach as many kids as possible. However, subjects and skills like math, history, science, reading, and art all blend into life. You can take advantage of that and help your children learn and meet benchmarks based on real-world scenarios and experiences. Embrace opportunistic education.

Mindfully Select the Space

Generally, students benefit from designated study spaces. They provide structure and separation from learning and living spaces, helping them balance work, play, and rest. However, you can teach and learn anywhere. You might take the classroom to your backyard. Have your students construct obstacle courses for P.E. time and study insects to expand their knowledge of the life sciences. You can also take field trips to museums and theaters.

Excursions and play time provide learning opportunities without students feeling like you’re quizzing them around the clock. You can also set aside time to teach life skills. For example, you might lead a cooking class to help spark your child’s interest in food while teaching them about nutrition and cooking or baking techniques.

Reward Learning

Students love to track their progress. Without the pressure that comes with traditional grades, they can find joy and pride in reviewing lessons and overcoming challenges with newly acquired skills. You might model your rewards system after a game. Gamification is an excellent motivator for any learner, making education more motivating and exciting. It allows your students to receive real-time feedback, improves soft skills, and gives them more power over their learning.

Conclusion

Choosing to homeschool your children may be both exhilarating and intimidating. Homeschooling is highly customizable, allowing you and your child to utilize teaching methods and engage in activities that promote engagement and memory retention. You can access several resources and use the aforementioned tips to cultivate an effective curriculum. As you start this journey, remember that it’s more than okay (in fact, it’s essential) to give you and your child a break from structured education. Learn to play and enjoy the ride.

Reendex

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