8 tips for home-schooling
Home-schooling your child has become an ever-increasing trend, with more and more parents opting for the less traditional way of educating their child. Some parents find that their child thrives in a home-school environment where following the national curriculum is not compulsory.
Parents do not need to be teachers or necessarily have teaching experience and there are plenty of private tutors out there that can help stimulate the subjects your child is really interested in. Home-schooling your child can be very rewarding but can also be a difficult and daunting task; following a few simple tips can make the process a far smoother one.
Read; in all senses of the word. Read to your child, have your child read to you, read aloud together. We all know that reading plays a great factor in your child's development and the more they read the more they will both enjoy it and learn from it. Take the time to explore different books at your local library and make sure you are members there so that you can borrow books and return them on a regular basis. Incorporated into your schedule this will become an important part of your routine.
It is also vital that you, as the parent, reads about home-schooling and different teaching methods. The more informed you are the more your child will benefit.
2. Decide on the best approach
The great thing with home-schooling is that there are no real rules to follow and you have the freedom to decide what your child will learn and how you will go about teaching it to them. Learning life-skills is often more important to parents home-schooling their children than teaching them a foreign language or chemistry. Knowing how to use a washing machine, change a car tyre or ride a bike are important skills that children will take with them into adulthood.
Take the time to discuss with your child things they would like to learn about then decide the best way to approach these lessons. There are plenty of free resources that can give you advice on the different approaches people use when home-schooling their child. Take the time to try different methods and go with those that best fit your child.
3. Have patience
Patience is something that goes hand-in-hand with home-schooling. Like anything new, home-schooling your child successfully will take time for both you and your child. It is perfectly natural to try methods that do not necessarily work for you both; having the patience to persevere is the key to success here.
Your child will of course grasp some things more naturally than others and this will also require a good amount of patience on your part. Always praise your child's efforts and if something is difficult for them find a different method of explaining it to the until they feel comfortable enough to move on. A private tutor is the perfect solution for some of the problems parents face with home-schooling. If your child has difficulty with certain subjects, needs some extra help or simply needs more stimulation then a private tutor is your answer.
4. Get in touch with other home-schoolers
Home-schooling always seems to bring the feeling of unsociability and loneliness but it doesn't need to be this way at all. There are home-schooling communities all over the UK where parents get together with their children and plan different days out or joint lessons. Being social is an important part of growing up and children will always need other children their ages to interact with and talk to.
Join different groups and meet people that are also home-schooling their child. Aside from meeting new people you will have the chance to exchange ideas and plan visits together.
5. Learn about different home-schooling styles
Finding the best method to home-school your child can often be challenging and it is important to find the one that best suits both you and your child. The more options you have available to you in regards to different methods and styles the more prepared you will be to make decisions.
There are many great books out there that are available for parents to read and better understand different home-schooling styles. These 3 books are great reads for home-schooling parents:
- No Sweat Home Schooling: The Low Stress Way To Teach Your Kids by Kelly Wallace
- The Everything Homeschooling Handbook: All you need to create the best curriculum and learning environment for your child by Sherri Linsenbach
- Children's Book of Experiments: 30 Incredible Experiments for Young Scientists by Jaroslaw Wasilewski
6. Know your child's learning style
Learning styles play a major part in how your home-schooling journey will go and knowing our child's learning style will almost certainly ensure a happier learning environment. Whether you child learns best through auditory, visual or kinaesthetic methods, knowing how they learn best will be a great way to figure out the best teaching methods.
To find out more about learning styles read our blog on 'Understanding Learning Styles - is your learning style compatible with online education?'.
7. Keep a home-schooling plan
A great way to get into a good home-schooling routine is to have a plan. Home-schooling is all about flexibility but having a good plan of subjects and topics you want to cover and educational visits and outings will keep you ahead.
A great book for home-schooling parents is 'Simple Homeschool planner'' by Schoolhouse Heaven. A simple way of keeping a schedule and organising your days.
8. Be creative
One of the best things about home-schooling is that you can be as creative as you like without having to follow rules. Have a budget that will allow you to do different activities with your child and plan them together. With home-schooling the world is your oyster so use imagination as freely as possible. Visit fire-stations, forests and beaches, join support groups and take long trips to places your child has never seen. Your options are endless and with some careful planning and lots of creativity, learning can be a truly wonderful experience.