Homeschooling has had a bad reputation over the last few years, with a number of people claiming that the unusual way of handling a child's education doesn't work or is damaging to the child's educational needs. In fact, several people claim that homeschooling is harming the child rather than helping them and that the practice should be banned.
However, homeschooling can actually be extremely beneficial, especially for children who aren't very comfortable in social situations or those who suffer from learning disabilities. Many parents aren't up to speed on the ins-and-outs of the concept, though, so take a look at this list for everything you need to know about homeschooling.
10 You Don't Have To Be An Expert
Homeschooling parents don't have to be experts when it comes to teaching their kids the wonders of the world. Think about it: no teacher has the correct answers to all the world's questions. Therefore, you shouldn't expect to know everything either.
However, although you don't need to know everything, it is probably a good idea to brush up on some things that you might have forgotten. Things such as math, spelling rules, and capital cities are all good topics to review, but overall, it is important to show your kid that not everybody has the answers to everything and that it is okay to ask for help.
9 Plan The Day But Not The Week
There really is no point in planning a whole week's worth of lesson time, as it is likely that your plans will change on a daily basis. Yes, homeschooling is extremely different from regular schooling, with every day unique. It might be difficult to stop yourself from micromanaging every single aspect of the week, but it really won't help.
Instead, start the day with a small list of what you want to get from it. It is also important to remember to factor in regular homelife stuff too, such as visitors, field trips, family time and trips to the dentist/doctor and grocery store.
8 You Will Question Yourself All The Time
One thing you will definitely do is question yourself constantly. Questions such as, "is this the right thing for them?" "do I know what I am doing?" "are they happy?" will pop up inside your head on the daily, so don't worry, this is normal. However, the most important thing to do is not listen to them.
Chances are you do know what you are doing, or else you wouldn't have decided on such a major life decision in the first place. Plus, you would probably be worrying about the same thing if they were at a regular school. Don't sweat it, you've got this.
7 Make Sure You Have Plenty Of Resources
You might not need to be an expert on every subject but you definitely need to have the tools to at least pretend that you do. Resources are key for anyone who is thinking about homeschooling, and shouldn't be taken lightly. The Internet is awash with homeschooling resources websites and advice on what to use and what to avoid.
Firstly, you should start with the usual stuff, such as pens, papers, scissors, other stationery items and access to the Internet. Secondly, you could try to bring in some interactive lessons such as TedTalks or movies. Thirdly, don't be afraid to set large amounts of homework as well as set books to read and regular essays and papers. Oh, and tests, of course.
6 You Can Teach Different Ages
One thing people don't realize is that homeschoolers have the ability to teach all levels in one class. That's right, if you have a large brood at different ages, don't worry, you can plan your daily classes around their levels.
Let's say you have a toddler, a young child and a teenager. Make sure you choose something that can keep the toddler entertained for the longest time possible. While the toddler is doing that, you can explain to the teenager what they need to do and then let them work independently on their own. Then, move on to the middle child, who will need a bit of extra time one-on-one as well as some guided help along the way.
5 Socializing Isn't That Difficult
One of the biggest concerns about homeschooling is the worry that the children won't get to socialize and form friendships. However, although this can sometimes happen, it really doesn't have to be the case.
Firstly, children don't just make friends at school. They have the ability to make friends wherever they go, that's the best thing about being a child. So, make sure to enroll them in after-school activities, which is a good way to help them make friends as well as have fun. Plus, there are a number of homeschooling support networks that have regular meetups and playdates for their little ones.
4 Homeschooling Doesn't Limit Your Children
Some people believe that homeschooling limits a child's ability to learn, make friends and grow. However, homeschooling is actually rather the opposite, with the focus on learning much more apparent than it is at a regular school.
For instance, homeschooling allows the child to have a number of mini-breaks throughout the day, which in turn helps keep them less fidgety and more tuned in. In fact, a number of schools across the globe are beginning to implement this method, after noticing that the long lunch breaks can be more disruptive than productive.
3 You Can Be Flexible
Homeschooling can add lots of pressure onto the parent. However, the flexibility involved in homeschooling is extremely beneficial. That's right, try not to be afraid of being flexible, especially if your day isn't going as planned.
For instance, if your kid just isn't really into what you have planned, don't panic. Do something else. Go outside, watch TV, change the lesson focus, or do something completely different from what you would usually do. Sometimes it is not worth the fighting. Yes, rushing really takes the fun out of anything, so take a step back, decide on something else and just roll with it.
2 A Lot More People Homeschool Than You Would Think
For some reason, there is a stigma attached to those who homeschool, with the idea soometimes thought of as a little bit out there. In fact, homeschooling is more popular than you would think, with over one million kids homeschooled throughout the USA and many more across the globe.
Most parents prefer to choose what they educate their youngsters with, while some parents are afraid of the rise of school violence. Whatever the reason may be, homeschooling continues to rise and is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years. Hopefully, the stigma will vanish along with the increase.
1 Every Subject Every Day Is Not Necessary
One of the biggest fails when attempting to homeschool is the belief that you must teach every single subject every day. Think about it: did you study everything every day when you were at school? No way! So, why do it to your kid? In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to drop subjects entirely, if you don't see any reason to teach it to them.
Over the years, a number of math classes have been dropped by homeschoolers, who believe from their own knowledge of the working world that such things are unnecessary and pointless. Plus, most parents have a better understanding of what their kids need than their teachers, right?