Deciding to teach your child at home is a decision that may seem like it is simple. That is far from the truth. In fact, it is much more difficult to teach a child yourself than to have them enroll in a traditional school setting. Here are several tips that will make the process a lot simpler for you.
Whether you have already begun homeschooling your children or you are just considering it, you may benefit from attending a homeschooling conference. At these conferences, you will be given tips on how to properly teach your children. You will also be able to speak with other parents who home school their children and get advice from them.
As the parent of a home schooled child, you may feel lost when you do not understand a certain concept or subject as well as you’d like. It’s difficult to teach when you need to be taught yourself! Because your child’s education is at stake, don’t feel bad if you need to bring in another resource or person to help teach the challenging topic. The last thing you want to do is teach your child the wrong thing!
Even homeschooling teachers and students want to feel included. For that reason, you should both consider joining a homeschooling support group. Your student(s) will get to talk to other kids who understand the lifestyle and challenges of homeschooling. Likewise, you can get input, advice and general support from other parents that have already struggled with and succeeded at homeschooling.
Make sure you are aware of the homeschooling laws in your state. Homeschooling laws are different in each state, so make sure to research the requirements. In some states, you will have to give your kids standardized tests, while other states have relaxed laws about this for homeschoolers. In other instances, you may have to register yourself representing a private school.
Define an area in your home where teaching is to take place. While it may be tempting to let your child do their work anywhere, it’s important to have a defined area in the home that is dedicated to ‘school’. This area needs to be quiet, well-lit and free of all distractions.
Learning isn’t restricted to your children – you also have to learn as much as you can about the topics you teach, how to teach more effectively and how to run an efficient homeschool. You can find a plethora of information online on blogs, websites and through videos and podcasts. Locate experts in the field and follow what they share. Pick up books and keep them as references. The more you know, the more your kids will learn.
You should not consider yourself to be your child’s teacher. You are more the facilitator to their education. You are there to help them, not lecture them for hours on end. Allow them to do their studies on their own and help them with any questions that they may have. You could very well learn as much as your child does if you take the time to learn with them instead of lecturing them.
If you decide to hire a tutor to supplement your homeschooled child’s education, choose carefully. Make sure that the tutor has a degree in the subject he or she teaches. While a teaching degree is helpful, it isn’t a necessity to be a good tutor. Verify a potential tutor’s expertise and effectiveness by asking for and checking in with references.
Be persistent. If you are trying to teach your children something, don’t give up after one failed attempt. There is a time and a place to move on, but make sure you give it your best effort before you go back to the drawing board. Sometimes children just need to be exposed to something for a little longer before it “clicks.”
One of the things that holds parents back from homeschooling is the myth that doing so will end up costing more than private school tuition. While some of the learning materials out there are, in fact, expensive, there are just as many affordable, effective resources available. The Internet is a valuable clearinghouse for workbooks, lesson plans and discounted texts to suit nearly any need and curriculum. In this case, at least, money shouldn’t be the deciding factor.
If you want to home school your child but feel as though you need to touch up on a certain subject, why not take a college course? This will be a great way for you to learn more about the subject and pass this knowledge on to your child. Who knows, maybe when your child goes to college, you can get a job in this field.
Remember why you wanted to start homeschooling. Be prepared for some struggles, frustration, and days that just don’t work out well. Keep in mind why you chose to do this. It could be anything from being faith-related to wanting to be more involved with your child’s education. Whatever your reasons, keep them in mind when you run into a tough day.
You should steer clear of lectures in the classroom. Teachers are trained to deliver lectures effectively, while you probably aren’t. Your kids don’t want to be lectured to! Try to get on the same level with your kids instead, reading along with them and putting yourself in their place. It is probable that you are also learning a large amount yourself.
It is very important that you have your children do everything you would have them do if they were going to regular school. Have them do their chores still and give them an allowance every week. This helps shape them for their adult lives and gives them the emotional and social skills they need.
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