The Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling

Have you ever pondered how to teach your children at home? Is this concept even feasible? Do you really want to do it?

While watching your child grow up in front of your eyes is usually a nice and relaxing concept, in today’s climate, many parents are left grasping for straws as to how they might help their children achieve academic success.

For many years, families have joyfully homeschooled their children for a variety of reasons.

Is this, however, the best option for your family? And, presuming your local school district has given you no other option, where do you begin?

Thankfully, there are a plethora of internet tools available these days to make your decision to homeschool your children a breeze (or at the very least, not impossible)!

Continue reading to discover more about the sections that follow, and keep in mind that you should read them in the order that they are provided. Let’s get this party started!

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1. Molding the Mindset for Home Learning

If you have a lively soon-to-be kindergartener at home, homeschooling may not seem like such a big step. After all, you’ve undoubtedly spent years reading to, writing to, and building with your child.

 It may not seem like a big step to set aside some time to improve our letter writing, memorise the sequence of the numbers, or simply lose ourselves in the peacefulness of how the leaves in the trees move about in the backyard (look at that squirrel!). And that’s fantastic! 

You should develop a mindset of progressive learning goals, similar to the ones you’ve instilled in your children since they were infants. They began with books that had no words, then books with a few words, then books with fewer pictures and more words, and so on!

That’s how you should begin your homeschooling journey: accepting that some things will require extra attention (or not, as we’ll see in section three), and leaving plenty of time for play!

Is your child a tad older? Are they in the middle of elementary, middle, or high school and recall what life was like when school was held outside of your four walls? (Of course, COVID has rendered this obsolete, but I’m attempting to be timeless here folks!)

There is still hope, and you should not be concerned! The ability to create a schedule, as we’ll see in the next part, will be your most valuable asset. But first, have a talk with your child (and now, student!) about putting up their best effort with you during the hours you set apart to be in academic mode.

And don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to be like the sequel to Stand and Deliver.

Let’s talk about that (sanity) schedule—that should ease your mind a bit.

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2. Creating a Sanity Schedule

Let’s start over with our sweet, adorable kindergartener (or your early-elementary pupil if that’s more convenient for you). This is, without a doubt, the finest time to learn.

Exploring every nook and crevice, determining which outlet stings the most, and mixing every marker cap with a different colored marker—all for the sake of having a little fun, right? Learning is lovely, and it should be promoted whether you’re in a homeschool setting or just playing in the afternoon.

The point I’m making here is that school should be about discovery—about molding what’s already interesting and adding some definitions to how that curiosity will be expressed, regardless of where it takes place.

The importance of creating a daily schedule cannot be overstated!
You don’t want your child to eat or take their head out of the paint at all times, and you don’t want them to eat or take their head out of the paint at all times.

Some people believe structure is beneficial, while others believe it is required. Of course, this isn’t a boot camp, but you’ll be much better off if you establish a routine for each day.

Perhaps your day with your child begins with some stretching and breakfast, followed by some coloring and lego building, a morning snack, practicing the days of the week and some numbers, lunch, they (and possibly you) nap, and then play outside for the afternoon (or do creative play inside if the weather isn’t cooperating).

Older pupils don’t require as much assistance, and you can engage with them on creating a schedule that is publicly displayed, such as on a refrigerator door. Everyone can grasp what’s going on if the entire family understands and adheres to the schedule.

To build buy-in, you’ll want your child to have some influence in how their day is planned with you, and once you have that, the rest is gold, baby! Get inventive with a daily plan that works with your family structure if you’re a digital sort of marker-on-poster person.

Let’s talk about what you’ll be doing during your homeschool day now.

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3. Identifying Proper Curricular Resources (or Not!)

There are two, maybe three, schools of thought on whether homeschooling should be exactly like school, nothing like school, or a combination of traditional education and something else.

You’ll understand what I’m talking about if you’ve heard of unschooling. The objective is to take away all of the formal structures that a traditional academic setting would put on a youngster. [1]

Simply said, introduce your child to appropriate hobbies and allow them to progress at their own speed through material or experiences that they find beneficial. This concept is related to Montessori schools in certain ways, but not entirely.

Many online programs are accessible at little or no cost to families that desire a little more exacting accountability on what their children are learning.

Finding reading programs is perhaps the most important step, and websites like Readworks.org and NewsELA.org make it simple for children to choose the information that suits their reading ability. Khan Academy is fantastic for students who want to learn math and science at their own pace.

You can contact your state’s academic agency for a list of homeschool-approved curricula in your area if you need extra formal support. You can be as “bookish” or as “off the beaten path” as you want to be.

The mindset (“we are creative beings on a mission to learn more about this planet of ours”) and the daily schedule you put up with your family is far more significant than the type of curriculum you use.

A simple web search can lead to a plethora of possibilities for you and your student to explore—but a positive mindset must be developed, and Google cannot create timetables.

Finally, let’s look at the role of monitoring your child’s learning development at home, which has received a lot of attention.

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4. Monitoring Your Child’s Learning Progress

Once again, Pinterest is your ally in this situation (or not). When children notice that they are developing, whether it is through pencil marks denoting their various heights or stickers depicting their progress in learning how to spell their name, they become ecstatic.

Your child will feel pride and a feeling of the crucial life equation hard work plus attention equals positive results if you can establish a convincing scoreboard of accomplishment. 

But how do you tell if your pupil is improving at the appropriate rate? Or that their writing is on par with that of their peers in the same grade? 

To begin with, probably the most significant observable and measurable quality of homeschooling is the ability to focus on a task. The age multiplied by four is a decent general rule of thumb for how long a pupil can stay concentrated on a task without needing a break (minutes).

Your six-year-old should be able to concentrate for 24 minutes on a task that interests them (6 years x 4 minutes).

Going back to where you see yourself falling on the line of philosophies to education in your home, the answer isn’t so straightforward. If you follow the “unschooling” philosophy, you’ll be satisfied with the simple observation that your youngster has a newfound interest in a variety of subjects.

You’ll be more interested in seeing finite proof that your child is improving if you’ve taken a more constrained curriculum approach. As a result, I’ve provided some useful hints for you.

Of course, this isn’t always the case, but it’s an excellent place to start. Keep in mind that this applies to concentrating on tasks that are interesting to you. They’ll probably go insane if they stare at multiplication homework for 24 minutes.

Next, concentrate on what you’re asking them to do rather than (at first) on how effectively they’re doing it. For example, if you haven’t created a routine of reading for 20 minutes every night at 6:00 p.m., you shouldn’t be too concerned with the number of words your child can read. Establish a routine first, and then monitor your child’s growth.

Time your child reading for one minute and make a mental note of the words they read poorly within that time. This is a rough estimate of your child’s fluency (words read per minute).

You’ll be able to monitor more things as your child becomes older, such as multiplication facts, division procedures, and the capacity to research and create reports with few grammatical errors and complete quoted evidence. Enjoy the process and remember that you’re on a learning adventure that should be thrilling!

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A Possible Next Step

Be sure to consider every member of your family as you make this crucial decision. Even if your student has no idea what homeschooling is, set aside some time to talk about it. Allow them to express their joys and concerns, and be open with them as well.

Take the next step, though, to guarantee that this is in your family’s best interests, particularly your child’s. Of course, you may not have that luxury and will be forced to make a choice; in such a case, I hope you found this information useful.

Reference:

HealthLine: What Is Unschooling and Why Do Parents Consider It?

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