My friend Sophia, decided to homeschool her daughter. It came as a shock to me because I believed that homeschooling for kids cannot be a wise option for working parents like us. So, I thought of sharing this homeschooling experience with you all.
Time passed by and Sophia’s daughter Emily completed her first year of homeschooling. At a common friend’s birthday party, I met Emily and noticed a positive change in her. Contrary to my expectations, she seemed to be more interactive and confident like never before.
This is when I started giving it a serious thought to homeschooling. And decided to think out of the box to understand the whole process of homeschooling.
I skimmed and scanned through the websites and read informative articles related to homeschooling schedules. So, I am jotting down my findings to help you clear the air related to homeschooling. And help you to design a homeschooling schedule for your child.
Homeschooling is an excellent option by stakeholders across the world. And it is becoming more and more popular day by day. UNESCO has declared that around 1 million parents in the USA have already opted for home-schooling. However, the benefits of Homeschooling can be fully enjoyed only with wholesome and balanced planning. Parents aim to make their children happier and productive. And this is the reason they often choose to homeschool them. This is a big responsibility and calls for a lot of research before they actually get started with it.
Let’s understand what all parents must know before they opt for homeschooling for their child:
As per the homeschooling experience shared by many moms, a child’s perspective has to be taken into account:
- What is best for the child– Decision to homeschool should not be a mere reaction to issues of a traditional school. Bullying, school violence, special needs, family constraints, etc. should be analysed well before understanding what is in the best interest of the child.
- Legitimacy of Home-schooling – Looking at the futuristic aspect of opting to home-school is an obvious check before starting with it. Definition and laws related to homeschooling differ from country to country. Partial knowledge can be misleading and might end up in wastage of the academic year.
- Specific condition of the child– As a parent, you need to decide the best option of tailored education for your child. What might work for one can fail for the other? Strengths of the child, pain areas, and interests, etc. should be the basis of deciding the path of homeschooling. Moreover, the learning style of the child is also imperative while deciding the homeschooling.
- Availability of teaching material- Feasibility of providing all the material at home is a must to be checked before jumping to any conclusion. Homeschooling option is utilized the best by resourceful parents who can arrange for supplementary material and general content for the child’s education. In case of opting for an institute that provides homeschooling, such challenges are generally curbed.
From the parent’s perspective:
- Understand your day’s plan – Homeschooling is a responsibility for the parents and they need to spare adequate time to plan, execute, and monitor their child’s homeschooling activities.
- Be Realistic – Just like any other situation, we should know that development of the cognitive domain is a time taking task. Miracles will not happen overnight. The ongoing process of education and child development should be understood well before getting right into it. Some research on the common learning theories of child psychology (Constructivism, Multiple intelligence, stages of cognitive development, experiential learning etc.) can make you aware of the basics well. And you can plan your child’s homeschooling schedule realistically.
- Understand the aspect of social development – Planning homeschooling for kids also includes the planning for extra recreational activities. This helps in developing the social domains of the child and supports holistic development.
Being a successful homeschooling mom, my friend Sophia, was an obvious source for my information. She gladly took me through her best practices while sharing her homeschooling experience
And made me aware of the points that we generally never brood upon:
Best practices during homeschooling for kids:
- Break free from ‘Traditional school conventions’–
For many of us, traditional schools are the main reason for choosing to homeschool. Therefore, reiterating practices of a regular school should be a complete ‘No’ ‘No’.
- Invest time and money in the best possible arrangements beforehand–
Once you decide to chalk out a homeschooling schedule. Make sure, you arrange a fully functional device with an internet connection. All the required software and applications should be downloaded/installed well in advance. Technical challenges can bring down the overall experience if left unplanned.
- Assign a specific space for studying –
The ‘Homeschooling space’ as they call it. A personal corner to get the child all set for studying. A practical step of applying the ‘classical conditioning’ theory (learning through association)
- Never ignore allocating time for outside activities –
Well-rounded individuals are a product of the right childhood foundation. We cannot understand holistic development in the absence of outdoor activities.
- Don’t get carried away with too many options–
Too many methods, fun projects, study material might sound good for us. But we need to go down to the age of our children to understand the burden behind these activities. Many topics can certainly wait for the next time. Keeping it simple is the best technique to make your child ‘enjoy homeschooling’.
- Instilling a habit to read — read —– and read! –
Remember the legendary quote ‘Today a reader, tomorrow a leader’. Yes! It applies to all our young readers. Reading habits contribute to enriching vocabulary, developing attention span, and most importantly transport the readers in altogether another world. The benefits of reading can never be overlooked, therefore setting aside ‘Reading Hours’ is an essential part of the homeschooling activities.
- Don’t compromise on schedules without a reason –
As parents, we cannot ignore the demons of procrastination creeping in our schedules uninvited. Very often these can be bigger than we assume. Sticking to schedules is a constant answer to unforeseen challenges like these. However, in case of genuine issue considerations should be different. Motivational techniques also help in keeping the spirits up and high.
- Be open to most uncommon studying styles and timings –
No two human beings are alike, considering the individual differences of the learners. We should never underestimate the potential of a human mind. Some children prefer being night owls, and some are just not ‘morning babies’. Knowing what works best for them and makes half the battle won!
- Accept new choices –
As a homeschooling parent, it might sound difficult to accept new subjects in the child’s schooling. Prominent accredited homeschooling institutes like ‘International Schooling’ provide more than 80 courses to choose from. Parents who haven’t had homeschooling experience, opt to enrol with such institutes to get wholesome handholding for their children. Along with a fully valid high school diploma at the course completion. Subjects studied at traditional schools are the only options that the parents are confident about. But, in the case of homeschooling for kids, what-ever is in the best interest of the child should be opted. Accredited institutes guide parents like us to materialize the dream of homeschooling and make it possible!
- Keep researching –
While planning the homeschooling activities parents are always learners. In this age of digital revolution, blogs, posts, internet links serve as vital sources of credible information. Parents can choose to read a variety of informative articles on leading platforms like ‘Feedspot’.
Feedspot’s -Top 100 Homeschool Blogs contain a superlative compilation of the best pieces of information. Brush up your skills through their rich content and keep yourself updated.
With this much information and such enlightening homeschooling experience by my friend, I have decided to homeschool my child very soon. Customized homeschooling can be started at any time of the year.
My plan is ready!! What about yours?