Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The First Steps In Homeschooling

Make a Decision:
There are several steps that a person should follow when they are first starting off with homeschooling their children. The first step is to figure out whether or not homeschooling is going to be right for your child or not. Whatever decision you make is going to affect the future of your child immensely. You have to be sure that you can provide every single benefit that they would receive in traditional schools. Are you up for the challenge, and will your child excel at home? If not, it might be wise to enroll them elsewhere.

Know the Process:
Homeschooling is a very long process. You have to be aware of all the pitfalls out there – are you prepared to deal with potential learning disabilities? Are you able to abide by state laws regarding homeschooling? Each individual state is going to have its own laws. Though it’s possible you can just homeschool for a couple years and then send your kids to public school, you should really be in this for the long term. Have you got what it takes to teach your kids everything they need to know about the world until they leave the house? If not, can you get there over time?

Look for a homeschooling support group in your area. People in these groups can help you prepare and perhaps even share resources. It would also be prudent to make acquaintances with professionals at local schools, so that you can have connections if you ever run into a road block. You might even be able to borrow materials if you get in with the right people.

Be Organized:
You need to make sure that you have both the space and time on a daily basis to teach well. You probably also need quite a bit of space for incidental materials, such as arts and crafts, textbooks, etc. You want this space to be comfortable, but also appropriate for education. It’s time to WORK, not relax or play.

Learning Style:
Learn how your child learns things. This is going to help you decide which type of teaching style to use. The best way to do this is to test the child a few times on different methods. You can find dozens of tests like this online. Are they a visual learner? Audio learner? Physical learner? Also, find out what interests they have. If they love science, you’re going to need to find interesting ways to bring language arts and foreign language to them.

Since you’re teaching from home, make sure that you are providing your child with things they wouldn’t get in school. Take this opportunity to teach them more about the developing world and the role of other countries in world history, something that’s lagging in public schools. Also be sure to broach controversial literature that’s avoided in public schools – you’re in the comfort of your own home, so your kids should be able to discuss freely. People always argue that home schooled kids are too sheltered – take this opportunity to prove them wrong. Make it your business that your kids know WAY more about the world than other ones (from day one)!

Tyquonda Reynolds writes about education, international travel & saving money at www.backgroundcheck.org.

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