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There are so many valuable reasons to turn to homeschooling to ensure that your kids get the very best education possible. Whether you’re going for the hybrid online model, using a standardized curriculum or going off your own expertise, homeschooling is a great way to connect with your kids and educate them to the best of your ability. While the pandemic might have pushed you towards a temporary homeschooling setup, you may find that homeschooling is right for your family in the long run, especially after you learn the basics.
While it’s true that not every mom is a superhero ready to tackle every loose end, and that every mom is certainly not a qualified teacher or child psychology professional, that doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to give your child a quality education. It’s all about finding balance, knowing how they learn and listening to one another.
1. Know Your Child’s Learning Style
While there are subsets within them, there are three main learning styles, and your child will likely fall into one of them. Those styles are visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning. One of the beauties of homeschooling is the ability to tailor each child’s learning experience to their needs. This means taking note of their learning style and formatting your lessons accordingly. That way, they learn easier and quicker.
2. Lean Into Their Natural Skills
When tailoring the education to each child, it isn’t just about style. Often, it’s about subjects and skills. While the school system gives equal time to each subject to enrich every student, homeschooling gives you the unique opportunity to dive deep into the natural skills and subjects that excite your child. While you should give time and attention to all of the necessary subjects, devoting extra vigor to those your child adores will nurture their skills and help them get excited about learning.
3. Use Minimal-Supervision Tasks
One of the common homeschooling misconceptions is that as the parent, you need to stay on top of your child at all times and micromanage them. While each child will need different amounts of attention and assistance with their studies, you can use minimal-supervision tasks during dead times to help teach them independence and allow them to feel a bit of freedom. You can be available if they need your help, but allowing them to work on assignments and projects independently can be a relaxing and even rewarding experience for them, while also giving you some downtime.
4. Solidify Your Resources
Whether you take a minimally supported approach or you’re using an online curriculum, it’s important to use tools, learning aids and resources that work for you and your kids. While going the route of online school puts all your resources in one place, it doesn’t give you the freedom to select the exact resources you’d like. Shop around for online curriculum, textbooks, workbooks and even video libraries that will aid your homeschooling journey — it’s better to get your ducks in a row sooner rather than later, that way, you’ll always know where to turn. It’s important to get everything organized, too, so you never have trouble finding what you need.
5. Build a — Not too Tight — Schedule
One thing that might surprise you as a new homeschooling family is how little time actually goes into the schooling itself. So much of the eight hour school day that most standard schools utilize is actually spent doing housekeeping, semantics and bouncing between rooms filled with kids who all need individualized attention in their learning. When the learning is one on one — or one on two or three — your kids might get all of their necessary work done in just a few hours. That’s why having a schedule can be so helpful in homeschool life. When you know where your days are going, they’ll be much easier to handle. Striking a balance between going with the flow and having direction is usually the best route.
6. Connect With Homeschool Groups
Homeschool groups can be great for bringing kids some healthy socialization and helping them learn diverse ideas and interests from their peers and a variety of other educators. If you know other families that homeschool, you can start a group with them, or you can search for already existing homeschool groups in your area. By sharing leadership responsibilities, you can learn from other, experienced parents while your kids soak up all the knowledge they can.
7. Turn to Extracurriculars
One of the best benefits of homeschooling is being able to expand interests and hobbies to truly tailor your childrens’ education to their needs. By incorporating extracurricular activities into their schedule, you can both use them as an anchor for your family’s schedule, and allow them to inspire and enrich your child’s learning experience. Think of them more like electives or additional classes.
You Can Homeschool Like the Best
No matter what your schedule, curriculum and social circle looks like, you have the ability to give your kids the very best education possible. Whether you’re going online, homeschooling old-school or temporarily going homebound due to the pandemic, there are so many ways to get organized, get inspired and get learning.