Thinking of Homeschooling? Here’s How to Make it a Great Experience for Your Children
Has homeschooling been on your mind? You may be surprised to learn that many parents wish they could homeschool their children—and for good reasons. Homeschooling is a wonderful way for parents to take charge of their children’s education and give them greater opportunities to explore their academic interests. If you end up deciding that you want to homeschool, here are several ways to make homeschooling a great experience for your children.
Have a Designated Teaching Space
There is a lot of science behind the idea that the brain is a habitual organ. Since it handles so many neural messages on a day-to-day basis, it is reasonable that the brain likes to sort things into patterns. For this reason, it is essential that your children learn within a designated area that enforces good study habits. If you create a space within your home dedicated to school, your children’s brains will automatically know they are in school mode rather than home mode.
According to Hangsafe Hooks, creating a distraction-free learning environment that’s safe and clean should be a main priority. Make sure that this space also has all of the supplies that you will need to homeschool your children. Distractions and inconsistency will only disrupt your children’s focus and their brains’ ability to produce studious habits.
Remember to Take Breaks
Nobody—not even adults—can work or study effectively without frequent breaks. According to Responsive Classroom, children need time between lessons to digest or process the information that they are learning. In fact, it is scientifically proven that frequent breaks allow you to remember more information and practice greater critical thinking. Plus, don’t forget that—no matter how capable your children are—they still need breaks every now and then.
Get a Tutor
While you love your children and your children love you, that does not mean that you both can handle being together constantly 24/7. Furthermore, there is no way that you as a parent can handle all the responsibilities of teaching your children. It is perfectly acceptable—even healthy—to enlist help, especially within subject areas that are unfamiliar to you.
For this reason, you should also consider hiring a tutor to come in every so often to teach your children or help them with their assignments. The change in scenery will allow your children to learn from an array of perspectives, as well as formulate quality relationships with other remarkable adults who share their interests.
Have Opportunities for Social Interaction
While homeschooling can be wonderful for children, it can also keep children from learning good social skills, experiencing diversity, and making friends. Therefore, one of the best things you can do as a homeschooling parent is encourage your children to participate in social activities outside the home.
If you are concerned about negative peer pressure or influences outside the home, don’t worry. There are many clubs, sports, church youth groups, and other activities your children can participate in which are both adult supervised and safe for your children.
Allow for Personal Exploration
Every child is different. One of the main reasons why homeschooling can be so beneficial for children is that it gives them more opportunities to explore their interests and their learning styles.
In a traditional classroom, students often struggle discovering themselves and teachers struggle connecting with the needs of each student. Fortunately for you, you can give your children the space and one-on-one attention they need to explore their interests and work at their own pace. If you want your children to have a good experience homeschooling, then let them study topics that interest them and explore their passions. Don’t require that they all be on the same page at the same time and don’t micromanage everything they do.
According to ASCD, almost every child learns better when there is some form of tactile or real-life element involved. While most children learn about ancient history, few actually get to visit local ancient history museums. While many children read about physics in textbooks, few actually get to design and implement their own experiments. Luckily, homeschooling is a perfect way to give your children these hands-on experiences on a daily basis.
So, instead of reading about science, take the time to visit your local children’s museum or assign each child a science project. Instead of giving a lecture about historical art, visit an art gallery or museum, or let them recreate a painting of their choice. You will be surprised at how well your children retain the information they learn if they can experience what they are learning as well.
Create a Flexible Curriculum
While some homeschooling parents like one extreme form of curriculum or the other, it is best to be somewhere in the middle. In other words, it is not very beneficial to have a rigid schedule that never changes, nor is it helpful to tell your children to study whatever they’d like without any structure. According to Homeschool Facts, the best homeschooling programs allow for flexibility as well as structure. Allow your children to help you make changes in your curriculum. For example, if they show a lot of interest in one topic, you may want to take more time discussing that topic before moving on.
Collaborate with Your Local Schools
Many homeschooling parents are worried that, while their children love homeschooling, they will not be adequately prepared for college. Fortunately, depending on the local public schools nearby, you may be able to collaborate with them in a number of different ways. For example, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, your children may still be able to take SAT/ACT prep courses through the local high school, or take online courses offered through the school.
You should also consider allowing your children to participate in extracurricular activities via the local public school. That way, you won’t have to pay exorbitant amounts to have your children participate in sports, the arts, or educational clubs like debate or radio.
Homeschooling has so many different benefits. While there are always potential downsides, if you take advantage of the numerous resources available to you, your children will surely have many wonderful experiences.
Does your child need some extra help with their studies? Contact us to sign them up for some tutoring sessions!