Any parent who has chosen to homeschool their children will probably already know that it comes with an abundance of challenges. Homeschooling has burgeoned because of recent lockdowns and social distancing protocols. More parents than ever are now looking to educate their children themselves.
There’s no denying that homeschooling can be tricky, regardless of whether you are doing it because of the COVID-19 pandemic, or because you want to give your children the best educational opportunities possible. Effective homeschooling entails so much more than simply following daily lesson plans and annual curriculum. Or supporting your kids in achieving good grades at the end of each year.
Luckily, teachers around the world have been quick to step in and offer actionable tips for effective schooling at home. Here’s what every teacher wishes parents knew about homeschooling, and how you can improve your kids’ home education experience.
Foster a Good Teaching Relationship
You will already have a relationship with your children as a parent. This existing relationship creates the perfect foundation on which to create a teacher-student bond. This is a somewhat different relationship to the one that you’ll naturally foster with your children, but it shares some similarities. Both relationships require mutual respect, patience, and understanding to work.
You can motivate your kids to learn at home by encouraging and inspiring them to actively participate in the subjects you’re teaching. It’s not just about covering a specific method or curriculum. You need to engage with your children on a personal level to generate enthusiasm and interest in your homeschooling environment every day.
You may not feel completely qualified to be a home teacher yet, but creating a teaching relationship may help to make your lessons more effective, regardless. You and your children can strengthen your relationships even further as you discover the terrain of homeschooling together. Be clear with your kids that you are taking up the role of teacher and explain to them exactly what this means. Clarify that mutual respect will help them learn and create a pleasant and constructive work environment for all involved.
Make Learning Holistic
Many parents and educators alike make the mistake of believing that teaching is about relaying information alone. Children are no longer seen as empty vessels waiting to be filled, and the constructivist theory has proven this. Rather, they are curious individuals who want to learn and explore in a hands-on fashion.
Their brains are adept at taking in new information, but they need to understand it holistically to apply it. They have their own unique personalities, insights, and beliefs as well, which can affect how they comprehend what they’re taught.
Your role as a homeschooling teacher is to teach your children how to learn so that they can delve into new topics on their own.
If you can encourage their curiosity and interest, they will naturally gravitate towards learning and personal growth. There may be a curriculum to address, but giving kids a passion for knowledge will help them retain and apply what they learn long after they have left the classroom.
Inspire Them with Your Passion
It’s your responsibility as a home educator to foster your kids’ passion for learning. The most effective way to do so is to lead by example.
If you lack interest in a certain subject, your children may notice your disinterest and naturally avoid learning about it. Even if you are uncertain or uncomfortable with certain topics, try to avoid showing these feelings. Instead, be eager and motivated about the opportunity to learn together.
You can lead by example by implementing structured rules around technology use and screen time in the home classroom. You can create a schedule for your children with rules for all family members about how they should behave during studying hours. Likewise, you can also set firm boundaries regarding leisure time.
If you can show your kids how to structure and discipline themselves, they will be significantly more likely to follow your lead while learning from home.
Supervise Your Kids During Classes
It’s simply not realistic to expect children, especially younger ones, to have the discipline to sit still and learn on their own. Young kids need regular supervision to tackle their daily lessons. This means that parents need to walk through each school day with them, even during video classes with other qualified educators.
You can probably allow your children to become more independent if they are older than 10. Still, you will need to keep track of progress and step in and offer structure if they cannot provide it for themselves. This is especially true for children who used to be in traditional school systems, as studying at school and relaxing at home was the norm.
You can help to create a distinction between work and playtime by building a dedicated school room or area for school time. Provide your children with comfortable desks and chairs, an all in one desktop computer, printer, stationery, books, and any other equipment they may need.
Consider Your Children’s Social Needs
Homeschool socialization may differ greatly from the traditional school environment. However, it offers several added perks if it’s undertaken in the correct way.
Many studies show that children who interact with people in a variety of age groups often grow into well-adjusted adults. Particularly compared to those who only interact with children in the same age group as themselves.
While homeschoolers may indeed be more mature because of their spending more time with adults, they still need friends of their own age bracket as they grow. These peers will be at the same developmental level as them and can help them create irreplaceable social bonds.
It’s crucial that you find other families with children of similar ages to give your kids a chance to socialize while homeschooling. This may give you a chance to socialize and build lasting connections yourself too.
Conquering The Challenges of Homeschooling
Homeschooling can pose challenges for children and parents alike, but most of these obstacles can be overcome. This is true even if you are new to the world of home education.
About the Author:
Alisa Taylor, editor at large and content monster, shares awesome vibes and magic words wherever she drops her ink. Her strongest areas are business, graphic design and education, but she’s always looking to refresh knowledge and widen expertise. She loves taking her dogs for long walks in the woods, and after that, she spends her breaks on gaming and reading. Want to get in touch? You can email her at [email protected]