Right off the bat, homeschooling sounds like the easiest thing for students. Learning at your own pace from the comfort of your home? What’s not to love? While this is an enormous bonus, this model of education goes far deeper than that. For a general understanding of the basics, refer to my previous post. Furthermore, there are several critical guidelines parents should follow when homeschooling their children.
Through my three years of experience in this field, these are the ones that I’ve deemed most crucial.
- DO assess and determine the student’s learning style. One of the main reasons parents look to homeschooling is because their child cannot conform to the rigidness of a classroom. Children learn at different rates and in different ways. Is the student a hands-on learner or is he or she more inclined to reading? SchoolFamily offers a quiz to aid you with this step. Take it here.
- DO implement a schedule and boundaries. While the student will be learning in a much more relaxed environment, it still imperative to instill a certain sense of structure. Ensure that a routine is followed so that the student is learning at specific times of the day and that there is clean, designated learning area. Homeschool Skedtrack provides online lesson plans and schedules for homeschoolers. Create your own here.
- DO extensive research when formatting a syllabus. There is an array of homeschooling tools available on the web. Take advantage of them. Establish the mandatory curriculum for your designated state/country and adhere to it as much as possible.
- DO create a network with other homeschooling parents and students. Because these students are not naturally socialised to most school norms, parents need to actively make sure they are still having healthy interactions with other children. Sports, hobbies and support groups are a definite way to do this. Also, speaking to other parents who are going through the same experiences will offer great enlightenment. Find your nearest support group here.
- DON’T forget to keep the student’s progress up-to-date. To be sure the student has fully grasped the subject matter, test his or her knowledge occasionally. Testing does not always have to be formal, it can be disguised as a game.
- DON’T try to deter the student from standard schooling. Parents that homeschool are usually quite passionate about it and sometimes speak poorly of the public school systems and this carries over to the student. The student needs to be open-minded and comfortable with both homeschooling and standard schooling. Resenting standard school will not make him or her a better learner.
- DON’T limit yourself to mainstream courses. One of the most obvious advantages of homeschooling is that you can formulate your own syllabus. Feel free to include unorthodox subjects. These can range from learning latin to herbalism depending on the age of the student.
- DON’T get lazy. The worst thing a parent can do when homeschooling is neglect the student’s routine, lesson plan and growth. Don’t let the fact that you’re teaching from home allow you to become complacent. Be avid about ensuring the student’s progress and that he or she is achieving their full potential.
Take a look at Logan LaPlante! He is a 13 year old undergoing the homeschooling system and keenly discusses the endless benefits and limitlessness that come with the territory.