Homeschooling 101

Homeschooling or home school defined, is the education of children at home, usually by the parents or some tutors. Although legally accepted in all 50 states across North America, the debate about its overall efficiency and its credibility to replace a well-devised school curriculum has cause a lot of buzz among lawmakers, educators, and parents with opposing views on the matter.

Getting started as a home school parent is not as simple as buying books or creating a learning conducive room within your home. The decision to finally let your kids quit regular school and educate them on your own requires more than just wits and books. It requires a certain level of commitment and a deep realization that you now have the sole responsibility to teach your kids what licensed professionals were trained to do.

Some parents would feel a slight streak of guilt when thoughts about a certain level of deprivation enter their minds. If it’s any consolation, you have to know as a parent that certain circumstances actually make home schooling forgiving, if not magnanimous. It may not be as easy as you think but it’s not rocket science either. What you have to remember is that you and your kids can go through that learning curve together.

It’s great to set goals during the first year but set realistic expectations and expect some minor screw ups when you start homeschooling. It’s very probable that during this stage, you will be able to tell what techniques work, and what approach doesn’t. A thorough analysis will help you decide on whether to continue or stop homeschooling your children.

Some parents choose to quit after a year of trying the process simply because it just adds to their daily list of exhausting chores. For some, the harsh realities of the situation kick in after some time. Knowing that they don’t know much or aren’t really qualified to teach their kids (who may sometimes be a whole lot smarter than them) can sometimes be frustrating and heartbreaking for parents.

The good news is there are those who see the astounding benefits of home schooling and learn from the blunders that happen in their so called nesting phase. Some parents have stated that one of the best benefits that homeschooling did to their children is the strengthened character/moral growth, that most public schools don’t seem to put enough emphasis on.

Certain issues like poor public school environment, overcrowded classrooms, and substandard public school facilities have made home schooling highlight its reversed nature. If you are one of the parents who are looking into this option, there  are a few good things that you can do to start off as smoothly and as efficiently as possible.

  • Flexibility will go a long way. Be sure that you always need to have a plan B or even a plan C in place. Learn to roll with the punches without having to get up with a bleeding face, and a bruised ego.
  • Make plans, and stick with them. Whether it’s a time plan or a daily lesson plan, make sure that you don’t compromise flunking the your kid’s learning curve “just because”
  • Establish a constant and consistent learning pattern and study habits. Just because they’re home doesn’t mean your kids can just always “feel at home”
  • Never encourage spoon feeding. Let your kids commit mistakes and let them learn from it. They have to know that you expect a lot from them but at the same time, they should be well aware that you’re setting realistic and fair targets. Teach them to strive to do things right the first time without sounding like an impossible perfectionist.
  • Be creative. Just like adults, kids get bored too. Try to steer clear from daily long worksheets and back-to-back exam papers. Incorporate fun and games or other hands on activities to help them get the whole rationale of a day’s lesson without needing a pen and paper.
  • Discipline without rage. Make them realize that what they did was wrong and that there will always be consequences. Lashing out your anger will just make them associate the classroom with fear and inhibitions.
  • Make their “home classroom” conducive for learning. For toddlers, colors will help radiate a positive vibe while learning shapes, numbers, and the alphabet. Elementary level kids can be well stimulated by the presence of certain science models that you can buy in department stores. Strange looking artifacts with historical or scientific importance will also tickle their curiosity.
  • Last but certainly not the least, find yourself a support network. There are a lot of parents out there who share the same concerns as you, and it would help to listen to what they have to say about home schooling. You can also share ideas that will make homeschooling a rewarding and fun experience for you and your children

Being a home school parent can be as fulfilling as getting promoted in your own careers. You just have to know that just like any other job, there will be unexpected surprises and unwanted incidents that will sometimes make you want to call it quits. When you arrive on these bumps, just breathe, look at yourself in the mirror, and remember who you’re doing it for. Pretty much, you’ll all be geared up for the next subject after a short recess.

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