With mounting concerns about overcrowding and the quality of public education, parents are increasingly considering the home schooling alternative. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of students being home-schooled is about 1 million and growing.
While there are many philosophies and approaches to home schooling, all parents want to see their children reach their full potential. Here are some tips from SFK Media Specially for Kids Corp., the company that developed the ReadEnt at-home learning program.
* Learn about your local regulations governing home schooling. Education laws vary by state and town.
* Involve your child in the curriculum. Let your child choose some of the workbooks for each subject, but steer him or her to the appropriate grade level. The more your child is involved in the process, the more excited he or she will be about the subject matter.
* Designate a separate area of your home to serve as the “classroom.” It should be someplace that is comfortable and free of distractions.
* Connect with other home-schooling families through community groups or online. Such groups often organize field trips, discuss approaches to home schooling and share stories and advice.
* Keep your child active. It is important that home-schooled children socialize with others. Encourage your child to become active in sports, music or clubs, just as any child attending school.
* Look for “teaching moments.” For example, if you bake cookies at home, ask your child how many you baked. If you take a walk to the park, turn it into a lesson in science and nature.
* Use unique learning tools to keep your student interested. SFK’s Reading Movies, for example, improve reading, comprehension and vocabulary skills and are entertaining at the same time.
These interactive movies use a patented technology called Action Captions in which each spoken word appears on the screen in real time, without interfering with the flow or entertainment of the movie. As a result, reading and spoken language skills develop naturally. The movies are available in a set of three DVDs featuring such classics as “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Gulliver’s Travels” and “The Trojan Horse.”
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