Thank you Katherine for sharing your guest post!
Homeschooling is great because learning can take place anywhere, including your own home. Although I’m not totally homeschooled as a kid, I started to learn reading and writing at home with my mom as my teacher and a couple of curriculum books as her lesson plan. I had so much fun studying with my mom and learning to read and write for the first time.
My mom was a great first teacher for me. She was a cool, and she focused almost all of her attention on me. I think the bonding time between parent and child is one of the best parts of being homeschooled.
There are a few things parents should be cautious of, when they choose to homeschool their child. First, you have to be ready and there are a few things that you should avoid in your home while homeschooling.
Six tips to help parents and kids gain the most success from your homeschooling
Unnecessary Toys and Gadgets
Before you start your homeschool schedule, it is a good thing to discipline your kid to clear the room and put away all the unnecessary toys and items of distraction. Toys and gadgets can indeed be some cool and useful tools to teach your kids, but it can also be somehow counterproductive if you just let those toys and gadgets be scattered around the room. Kids have less attention span than adults, and therefore can’t be taught easily with all those distractions around them. My removing the items you will help secure an intentional “focus area” by doing this.
If you really want to incorporate the fun factor of learning, you can instead plan on your learning activities and play some cool games while teaching your kid/s the lessons for today. Barbie Dolls, play moneys, kiddie costumes, and other great toys can certainly be a good educational aides. But make sure that only those items which are NECESSARY for your lessons and learnings will be around so you would have fewer worries when capturing your kid’s attention.
The Preoccupied Mom or dad
Homeschooling can be successfully accomplished by either parent, a mom or dad. If you choose homeschooling for your kid/s, it is so much better if you will be completely hands-on on with them. You can probably hire a tutor, but nothing really beats “homeschool time” with mom or dad.
In case you really need to work or do some stuff, you can probably consider a work-at-home kind of job and fix your schedule so that you will still have time to teach your kids and make homeschool a quality fun time with them. If you decide to work, you should schedule your job around the homeschool time so you are not trying to multi-task while actively teaching your child at the same time. Consider working during early morning hours or late night hours.
All Work and No Play
Cliché as it may sound, but kids shouldn’t really be pushed too much whether they are homeschooled or going to a regular school. Yes, it’s good thing when kids excel and show some above average developments. But pushing them too hard to excel can produce a premature stress on their young bodies. Challenge your child, but don’t over do it. Once you feel like pushing your kids to their limits, complete this prominent saying — All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. Essentially, play is an integral part of learning.
No Fixed Schedule
Aside from the fact that you’re teaching your kids the essential academic lessons, you are also teaching them good manners and right conduct. You can’t teach your kids the art of discipline if you can’t even have a specific amount time for homeschooling and activities. Teach your child the value of time through creating a daily and fixed schedule for your every day homeschool lessons and activities. Don’t forget to practice what you teach and try not to be late. You may not choose to have a rigid schedule but children need discipline and often behave better when they are able to expect what is about to happen next, so some form of routine is critical.
Forgetting About the Older Generation’s Involvement
It is indeed good for every home school kid to play and interact a lot with his/her peers. However, don’t forget to also let them interact a lot with older people. Make it a point to visit the grandparents when you can and involve them with other extra curricular activities as well, like ballet, voice, or even cooking classes so they would have other “teachers in life” to look up to other than you. Church involvement is also a good thing. Aside from teaching your kid to give glory to the Lord, there he/she could meet a diverse group of people from different peer groups and learn lots of different things from them.
Expecting the Same Setup or Results as Other Home School Kids
According to homeschoolrecess.com, homeschooling is indeed a big tent with diverse cultures, beliefs, and other things in it. The outcome of homeschooling for your kid might not be the same as others. Perhaps you need a different setup due to certain reasons. That is practically the beauty of homeschooling, it is diverse and cool and comfortable. At the end of the day, it always boils down to the most important thing of all — the success on teaching your kids not just the academic lessons they need to know, but also the most significant life lessons they need to embrace and apply.
Being your child’s first teacher is commendable and when you choose to homeschool, give it your all!
Reader Question: What is one characteristic about homeschooling that you think many parents should adopt?