by Lisa Jackson | 6:18 am

Given the numerous problems plaguing public educational systems today, homeschooling has become an increasingly interesting proposition for countless families. It is important to note, however that the key to solid homeschooling experiences is knowledge. By reading the piece that follows, it is possible to gain a firm grounding in the principles and methods necessary for successful education at home.

When you have a variety of ages in your homeschool environment, you can use older students to teach the younger ones. This is especially true of reading, where those who read well can read to the younger kids, pointing out words they may not be able to read on their own yet.

While most states require that homeschooling programs teach a standardized core curriculum, the fact that you are working one-on-one with your student also usually translates to significantly more free time. Consider allowing your child to choose which elective courses they want to take to fill this time, or hire a tutor to supplement comprehension in the tougher subjects.

Limit the distractions in your workspace. This does not mean that you have to have a classroom. Simply, shut off the ringer on the phone, turn off the television and if the computer is not used for school, shut it down. The fewer distractions you have to compete with, the smoother your lessons will go.

Treat homeschooling like a job. You’re a teacher now, and that means you also have to seek out more education. Professional teachers take “PA” days to attend conferences and training, so you should, too! Find homeschooling events near you or even attend one as a vacation. You’ll find they teach you not only specific topics you might not know a lot about, but also how to be a better teacher and how to plan out homeschooling lessons like a pro.

Finding time to cook at big meal at the end of the day can be tough when you are homeschooling children. Plan your meals ahead of time and precook as much as you can. Baking a lasagna during the weekend and freezing portions can really be a lifesaver during the week when you don’t feel like cooking.

You should keep well-organized records of the work that your child is doing and the progress that he is making. You will need to be accountable for this when you report to the state. Keeping good records will ensure that you comply with state standards in case there is a dispute with the state about your homeschool arrangement.

Having life skills is as important as general book learning. Including these skills in your child’s learning is key. Everyone knows that you need to teach your child how to read, write, and do math, but schools, and many homeschoolers, neglect skills like financial planning and home repairs. It’s possible to teach both! Use gardening as a lesson in the life cycle of a plant, fertilization, chemistry, and photosynthesis.

Think of yourself as a guide rather than a lecturer in the homeschooling environment. The truth is, you are probably going to come across topics that you don’t understand very well. Have fun learning with your little one and don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know; let’s research it!” when a difficult question arises.

Homeschooling

Remember that curricula and books are only tools. Having “superior” tools and lesson plans does not mean that success is guaranteed. Tools are important, but they are not everything. Everyone will have their preferred materials when it comes to homeschooling, whether by preference or what they can afford. The point is to make it work for your desired curriculum.

It is very important that your child realizes that just because they are getting schooled at home does not mean they can come and go as they please. There are certain things you need to do to make them realize this. For instance, teaching them in the living room in front of the TV is not likely going to help them take the work seriously. Find a designated, quiet area in your home to teach them.

Homeschooling your children should not mean that they are exempt from tests and quizzes. It is important that you give your child a test as often as they would get one in school. This is a great way to determine which area your child is progressing in and which areas require more work on your part.

Homeschooling is something that appeals to a growing number of families, each of which may have a different motivation for making the choice to educate their kids at home. The best way to prepare for the challenges of home-based education is to acquire a great deal of information in advance of beginning the process. By reviewing the above material as necessary, it is easy to keep a strong educational foundation and philosophy in place.

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