You have decided to embark upon the exciting world of homeschooling, expanding your child’s horizons! Now that the decision has been made, it is time to get ready.
Home Schooling: Preparations
You must steel yourself and your kids for all the challenges ahead. While the road to achievement with Home schooling may be bumpy, at least there won’t be any “KEEP OUT” signs. You choose what topics you are interested in having your children know about! If you feel you want your child/student to know more about different cultures (incl. 3rd world nations possibly), then you can darn well include a World Culture class, and possibly schedule learning languages .
You can also make your kids more aware of the world situation through hands-on activities, like Volunteer work, or sending things via donation to children in third world countries after you’ve studied their nation in your class.
For some good inspiration on this for your class, go to GlobalVillageschool.org. This home schooling method is centered around Education, Activism and Resources for a Better World. **See K-8 Curriculum: Whole CHILD, Healthy Planet
Home Schooling Outline: What’s Up?
You might want to explain to your youngsters some of what will be involved. Make up a syllabus, or outline, to show your students. Then, they’ll have an idea of what to expect. And another good thing to do, early on, is design school colors and have your kid(s) pick a mascot for your little school.
Home schooling gives you the chance to produce an outstanding individual – a young adult who is well rounded and cultured, and not naive – that is to say, a young person who knows what the world is actually like, and has been prepared for it.
For instance, if you include Finance as a subject during High School education, your student would then be better prepared – and will optimally understand a bit about Economics, a working household budget & the value of a buck.
You will NEED to know the state laws on home schooling. Most states require an affidavit filed with the State’s education department.
Home schooling Laws: 3 Categories
- Private School laws
- Home education laws
- Equivalency laws
Of course, you’ll have to look into which of these apply to you, in your Home state. In some cases (as an example), you might have to maintain a homeschooling portfolio which basically indicates your child’s progress in school.
Also, you may possibly have to become “accredited” to be a Home Schooling instructor. Check & see.
Once you’ve gathered the necessary state documentation, and have other matters well in hand, you go to the next logical step. It would be wise to look for a good, quality homeschool support group in your local area. Then, not only will you have someone to talk things over with (matters of great weight), but you can share good times together, such as when you go on Homeschooling Field trips together.
Homeschooling support groups often organize fun events, such as parties, trips to the museum, zoo, or the local pizzeria. Or maybe you all will go to a baseball or hockey game together. The good thing is, some of your questions will be “put to rest”, and your mind will be eased.
And you won’t be as likely to be adversely influenced by well-intentioned friends, either. This includes relatives, best friends, well-meaning sisters that are opinionated & feel they know something about everything. You don’t need that.
You need to be supported by like-minded people who are in the same boat. Who believe in the Home Schooling trend.
Lastly, think of what it will mean for your kids; if your children form friendships with other home schoolers, one advantage is that they don’t lose this relationship as they may when kids transfer to another school district, etc.
Homeschool support groups therefore provide a constant in your child’s life.
The third item to look into (and analyse) is homeschool curriculum. The internet offers many resources on home schooling information. Do some research and look into the many home schooling materials that are available.
When you are a homeschooler, you get to lay the framework. Yes, home schooling does insist on self discipline and hard work to make it work properly for you. A list of things you need to be willing to do:
1. Eagerness to learn
2. Discipline + effort
3 . Time and patience
4. Schedule flexibility
5. A Good level of enthusiasm
It requires some bravery on your part, as a parent. Think of why you opted for home schooling in the first place. It won’t be so frightening if you do due diligence, and proper preparation ahead of time. And also if you discuss it at length, with your children. After all, if you have their backing – that is, if they are happy to be doing home schooling (& possibly getting out of school bullying or a violent school district) and realize that they will get more individualized attention, then that is “half the battle”.
Now, a last piece of advice I have for you is to be professional. Do not slip – just because they are your children does not mean that you don’t have to be a real teacher – if you can be prepared (with your Lesson Plans, syllabus outlines, etc.) then you are on the right track.
Always, always remember the reason you got into this. Keep at the front of your mind that you intend to BENEFIT your children. Also, seek feedback from your children as to curriculum selection. Once you have every factor considered, select a curriculum or customize one which will be best for your kids.
Have a separate file for each child, and keep their personal development needs in mind.
The reason record keeping is an integral part of homeschooling is this will probably be looked at & analyzed when your student transfers and attends college. So, keep abreast of the various methods to do homeschool record keeping; it is recommended to use a calendar (to remind yourself), & set up a regular schedule to update your records.
Your home school day does not need to be without breaks. Let your child have some breaks; and let them decide when these breaks can be. They can always do some personal reading, or relax by playing a game.
It is a good idea to prepare a skill list for your home school. Then, have your student learn the skills he is ready for, as the time is right.
Gentle parenting is probably a noteworthy “success” secret when it comes to successful home schooling. And who better to inspire and support a child’s natural talent than the kid’s parent? In fact, home schooled children are often more prepared for College than publicly schooled children.
P.S. Try not to overload too many skills into a single term – be careful of “burn-out”
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