Homeschool Parenting: 5 Things You Must KnowJul 2nd, 2011 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: New to Homeschooling
Top 5 home school things a parent must know
Deciding to homeschool your child can be a complicated and anxiety-inducing process. You want to know you’re making the right decision. Being a homeschool parent-teacher means traveling a unique – and unfamiliar – path with your child. The preparation you need to put into it is critical. Here are five things you must know about homeschool parenting:
1. Make a Plan
Before jumping into a curriculum, as the parent of a homeschooler you’ll need to answer some questions before you begin. How does your child learn – visually, audibly, or experientially? That will determine the best methods of teaching your child. Ask yourself – what is your underlying reason for wanting to homeschool? Is it for safety, academic or performance-related, or faith-based reasons? Your motivations and values will affect your selection of a curriculum. Lastly, depending on your child’s age, try injecting some of their passions into the curriculum; it can create additional interest in their schoolwork. This goes for their weaknesses, as well. The answer for the student who has trouble understanding math subjects isn’t a math-free curriculum. Children need to be well rounded – challenging their weaknesses while giving them an outlet through their passions is essential.
2. It’s a Family Matter
In most homeschooling families, one parent is principally involved in the teaching while the other is off at work. But the working parent has a number of important roles they need to play, from supportive parent to school principal and chief-disciplinarian to co-teacher to…well…just mom or dad.
It’s important for the non-teaching parent to be involved, so that teaching becomes a team effort. A working spouse can take time when he or she gets home to put on an educational hat. Sharing a passion with your child – whether it’s computer engineering, hiking, or a sport – is an amazing way to both teach and enjoy quality time.
3. Patience is a (Critical) Virtue!
It is common for homeschool parents to become frustrated and worried when their child doesn’t seem to be grasping the material. But remember, during the day you are the teacher – not the parent – and you’ll want to keep your emotions in check. Sometimes parent-mom can be a softy, but teacher-mom should always focus on providing a strong education. Always insist your students rise above mediocrity.
4. Create a Classroom
Most families have a home office that offers a less distracting environment for dealing with their work lives. Homeschoolers are no different. They need a place to “go to school” that is distraction-free and separate from their non-school lives. The space should be comfortable, with those things they need to perform their schoolwork. For example, an internet connection, good lighting and no screaming siblings. Wherever possible, the space should be the student’s permanent school…not a dining room table that is cleaned off every night before supper.
If homeschool parents had a nickel for every time someone asked about the socialization of their children, most of them would probably be taking a long overdue three-week getaway to Tahiti! The truth is homeschooled children get plenty of socialization, both with adults and with their peers. Homeschooling has opportunities that traditional school students couldn’t even imagine. They can volunteer at a nature preserve, get involved with church groups, play sports, or participate in a variety of clubs and activities. Homeschoolers tend to have more time to interact with a wider variety of people over the course of a day than children in traditional classrooms.
In fact, the diversity of their experiences and their more frequent interaction with adults is responsible for homeschoolers scoring higher on maturity tests, exhibiting fewer behavioral problems, superior social skills and performing better in their academics.
Above all else, homeschool parents need to be flexible. They should constantly look for educational opportunities around them. Listen to your child, and build their education according to their passions, strengths and weaknesses.
What do you think is the most important thing a new homeschooling parent should know?
Additional homeschooling posts:
Starting Homeschooling Step Two-Know the Law
When individuals .