Preparing for Homeschooling
Once you are convinced and have finally decided on homeschooling your child, prepare yourself for a roller coaster ride of excitement and anxiety. Even though the road ahead may be a bit bumpy, the rewards far outweigh the challenges along the way. Being able to produce a well-rounded, well-adjusted, confident, and even intellectually competent personality is one great achievement.
Here are some of the basics that will help you start with your homeschooling mission:
Check the laws
First, it is important to know the laws of your state, country, and local educational system about homeschooling. Some states may require you to file an affidavit with the State’s department of education. In some countries, homeschooling parents have the option to either be certified by the local education department or just homeschool independently. In some countries, homeschooling is plainly illegal, so as a parent, you first have to know the rules and requirements in your area before starting homeschooling. Some have minimum educational qualification requirements for the parent who will take the role of the teacher.
Next, find a support group. It is not unusual to be hearing words of criticisms and discouragement from well-meaning friends or relatives. Expect a lot of uneasy questions that may even make you doubt the validity of your decision. Being with a support group of like-minded people will insulate you from the dissuasions, pressures, and criticisms of regular school-goers. There are many e-groups on the internet classified according to curriculum, location, religious affiliation, etc. Many groups organize meet-ups and events such as field trips to the museum, zoo, fairs, sports and art classes, etc. Some children are able to build lasting relationships with other homeschooling kids. Socialization is another avenue being provided by these activities.
Choose a curriculum that suits your child best. This will take a large amount of research and sampling with your child. Various tools and methods are provided to aid you in the process of homeschooling. Because no child is the same, what works for one family may not effectively work for you and your child. The internet also provides a wide range of available materials to suit your needs and budget.
Record keeping and a daily schedule system is also important part of homeschooling. You will have to set a schedule for the lessons and activities. Because your child is studying alone with you or with only a couple of siblings, lessons do not always have to last 6 or 7 hours daily—unlike in a classroom set up where many children are packed in a single class, wherein it is necessary that classroom hours should be longer. Fun and flexibility are homeschooling’s cornerstones. Sometimes it would be necessary to let your child dictate the time. Do not overwhelm your child by stuffing too many skills and subjects in a single term or year. Make a skill list. Help the child learn the skills he or she is ready for.
Homeschooling requires work and a lot of discipline. It is important to set rules. Basically these are the prerequisites:
2) Eagerness to learn
3) Systematic work and effort
5) Time and patience
Check your motives for opting to homeschool. These motives and reasons are the pillars and foundations or your home educational system.
A balance between gentle parenting and good curriculum is the secret to a successful homeschooling. It is also important to ask your child’s feelings about studying at home. Homeschooling must be a mutual decision between you and your child. You may be surprised at the great advances in skill levels and enthusiasm for learning that children will show at the end of a school year. Most homeschooled children turn out to be more informed with a well-balanced personality as a result of being being taught at home.