Maximize Your Homeschool Options to Give Your Homeschooler a Custom Education
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One of the primary benefits of homeschooling is flexibility, and one of the best homeschool options you have is the ability to adapt education to meet the needs of your child. Whether or not your child has special needs, your child is a unique learner, and your new homeschool curriculum, online program, or other educational resource may not quite fit your child. You may have to adapt how your child is taught to maximize your child’s potential. Sometimes you may need to change for a lesson or a day, and sometimes you may need to make long-term changes to make your homeschool successful. You know your child best, and you can modify instruction based on what you know about your child’s learning, but sometimes even the best planning can result in “stuckness.”
One way to recognize when you need to adapt education for your child is when you can see that what you are doing or what you are using is simply not working. One rule of thumb when a particular method of learning isn’t working is to go in the opposite direction. For example, if your child is stuck doing a worksheet, try some hands-on learning instead. Your child may simply need another way to approach a concept or master skills. Then you can remember that successful change and use it again in the future.
Of course, even better than figuring out what to do when your child is stuck is to have a toolbox of strategies ready or even make some adaptations before problems occur. Here are some ways to adapt education and take advantage of some of the best homeschool options to help your child succeed:
Make It Techie!
Let’s face it, most of our kids use technology better than we do! They also may find it more engaging than some other activities. Just because you may have learned everything with paper and pencil doesn’t mean your child needs to do the same. Technology is here to stay, and knowledge of its use can be a valuable byproduct of using it for learning.
Sometimes kids find handwriting difficult or even uncomfortable. If this is the case with your child, try using a computer rather than paper to practice writing. Sometimes using a keyboard can simply be more motivating. If your child seems to prefer typing over handwriting, find a quality learn-to-type program so that good habits are formed.
Try technology for support!
There is truly an app for everything, and technology can be used to help your child with everything from spelling words correctly to keeping organized. Browse the app stores to see what is available to put on your child’s devices.
Try computer games!
The Internet has allowed for even more homeschool options. One such option is the ability to have your child practice needed skills using fun educational online games. Practice math facts, spelling, and much more. Some of these games are even multiplayer, allowing your child to practice with other kids from all over the world!
Try an online programs!
If you are finding that your child does much better using technology, you may want to consider switching your whole approach. There are plenty of online programs, like Time4Learning, that can handle part or all of your homeschooling needs.
Make It Hands-on!
Kids learn in all kinds of ways, and your child may benefit from being able to touch things and move while learning. Consider including hands-on activities to make learning more interactive and engaging.
The power of manipulating physical objects to learn has long been accepted in the field of education. Bringing manipulatives into your homeschool can help to make learning more concrete. There is also a good chance your child will be more engaged and motivated, too!
Try playdough activities!
Kids love playing with playdough, so learning with playdough can be both fun and effective. You will be amazed what concepts can be learned and what skills can be improved with a little bit of playdough.
Try acting it out!
Your child can learn a lot from acting using scripts, but informal acting can also help with learning. You don’t have to stop at preschool either; older children will enjoy the change and the opportunity to move and even be silly. Play store to learn about money; do a pretend road trip to learn about geography, or act and dress like Romans to learn about history. Think about the great memories you can make while you learn!
Make It Audible!
Sometimes children need a break from all the reading and writing. Using audible learning resources may be the trick. These are especially great if you are roadschooling or if you are just taking a road trip for the weekend.
Try podcasts and audio recordings for children!
Podcasts are another way to learn through audio. There are lots of different topics available, and you can learn while doing something else (like cleaning or driving). You may have to do some online research to find them, but the results will be worth it. You can buy audiobooks, get a subscription for an audiobook provider (like Audible), find audiobooks online (especially on YouTube), or borrow CD’s and other media from your local library.
Make It Visual!
Sometimes including a movie, short video clip, or some other visual can be the thing that makes the learning click. As children, we learned a lot from educational videos like Sesame Street and The Electric Company. Our children can learn in this way, too!
Try Educational Series!
There are newer versions of the educational programming we may have watched as children. Find out whether your child likes programs like The Magic School Bus or Bill Nye, The Science Guy. There are so many more options, and your child will be learning without realizing it. With a little planning on your part, you may be able to connect ideas that are learned in actual lessons with the shows your child is watching.
Many of the common streaming channels we have (e.g., Netflix, Amazon) have specific sections on documentaries. You can also subscribe to documentary-based channels like Curiosity Stream.
Try Youtube Videos!
There are YouTube videos on almost any topic that can possibly be in your homeschool. With proper searching, you can find tutorials, short instructional videos, and even whole-course series (e.g., Crash Course for your older children).
Try Educational Videos from Your Library!
Local libraries often have collections of educational videos you can borrow. Be careful to note return dates since videos may have shorter borrow times than books. If online access is better for your family, check with your library or get an out of state membership to access videos your local library doesn’t offer.
Have fun adapting your homeschool to your homeschool. Remember to consider all the best homeschool options that are likely to work for your child, and rest assured that adapting education for your child is a process. You will find methods that work and methods that don’t work. Communicate with your child and ask for ideas, too! Having the flexibility to change instruction—whether it be methods, pacing, formats, or materials—is one of the most potentially beneficial aspects of homeschooling. Be creative and have fun learning!
Do you know of any other ways to adapt your homeschool? Have you found great resources to learn in another way? Share them with our A2Z homeschooling community here….