Homeschooling has become a viable option for many parents seeking to expand and improve their child’s educational experience. The public and private school systems are limited, for practical reasons, as to how far they can go to meet a particular child’s educational needs. With homeschooling, on the other hand, the entire process is geared toward your child in a one-on-one manner. You can create a particular curriculum suited to your child, and teach in a way that works best for him or her. It is for these reasons, not to mention the economic benefits when you consider the costs associated with private schools, that many parents choose to homeschool their children.
When you decide to homeschool your children, you’re going to have to come up with a plan for how the subject matter is going to be taught, and a system to execute that plan. An important distinction you should make yourself aware of is the philosophical one of “homeschooling” vs “school at home.” The latter method is overly simplistic and doesn’t take advantage of the benefits that homeschooling can truly offer. While every parent is justifiably concerned about creating a disciplined academic environment if you simply “teach at home” both you and your child will be missing out.
As a teaching philosophy, it’s important to think of the process as “homeschooling” — this means that “home” and “school” become one: it’s not simply a case of school being conducted in a home environment. So instead of creating regimented lessons at set times – instead of your children sitting stiffly at a table while you give them lessons – be always ready to use the flexibility of homeschooling to your advantage. If your child has a question about a particular subject in biology, take him outside and show him nature at work. If he’s interested in a certain aspect of history, take him to the museum.
One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that it doesn’t have to be a regimented system: a day of learning that ends at 4 PM, Monday to Friday. When homeschooling is properly implemented, your child is always learning. During a unit on Shakespeare for example, maybe you’ll decide to take him to a performance of the play on the weekend. If he’s interested in computers, allow him to use his computer for a research project.
Although in some ways you do need a certain regimen when homeschooling, realize that your child’s education doesn’t have to end when you are finished for the day. Incorporating other educational activities into your daily home life will both expand your child’s education and make it more engaging.
Most children learn better in settings that they are comfortable in, and what setting is more comfortable than the home? So if your child wants to hear his math lesson while sitting on the couch, let him. If he wants to watch a movie in the evening, direct him to an educational one.
By blurring, as much as possible, the line between “home” and “schooling” when homeschooling your children, your children will benefit from a much more valuable educational experience than could be offered by the public or private school systems.