Education

published : 2023-09-24

Back to School: Tips for Homeschooling the Kids as More Parents Ditch Classrooms

Establishing a good routine and creating a designated learning space are positive steps to take with homeschooling

An image of a family engaged in homeschooling, with parents and children sitting around a table, taken with a DSLR camera

Amidst concerns of political bias in traditional classrooms and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education, an increasing number of parents are choosing to homeschool their children. This decision not only affects the children and their parents but also siblings and friends. If you're considering homeschooling, here are some helpful tips to get started.

Deciding to homeschool your child is a significant choice that requires careful consideration. Jamie Gaddy, editor-in-chief of homeschool.com and a mother of six, emphasized the importance of this decision, stating, 'This isn't something you take lightly. I mean, this is your child's education.' As a former teacher and a homeschooling advocate, Gaddy believes that homeschooling offers a unique education model that can truly cater to a child's specific needs and interests.

While embarking on the homeschooling journey may bring about some anxiety and worries, Gaddy advises parents to approach the process with a sense of relaxation. She suggests taking a step back and assessing your family, your children, and yourself before diving into homeschooling. Gaddy believes that homeschooling brings back the focus on 'family roots' and plays a significant role in shaping our culture and country.

Before getting started, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for homeschooling in your state. Each state has its own set of guidelines that you must follow. Gaddy advises parents to check their state's requirements for any additional obligations. While these requirements may involve some planning and preparation, it’s crucial to follow them accordingly. Additionally, parents should keep records of their children's grades.

An extensive range of homeschooling resources is available to support parents in their homeschooling journey. Gaddy mentions that homeschooling supply companies have boomed in recent years, offering kits for various projects and experiments. Online resources also play a crucial role, providing access to educators who can remotely teach specific subjects to students. Gaddy recommends parents take advantage of these resources to alleviate the weight off their shoulders and learn alongside their children.

A photo of children participating in a group educational activity outside, showcasing social interaction in homeschooling, taken with a mirrorless camera

Personalizing your child's education is a vital aspect of homeschooling. Gaddy suggests exploring websites like homeschool.com, which provides helpful tools to ease the homeschooling process. It's essential to find curricula that align with your child's interests and learning style. However, Gaddy advises against jumping into any curriculum without careful consideration, as it may not be the right fit and could lead to frustration.

Flexibility is key when it comes to homeschooling. Gaddy believes in flipping schedules and adapting to the demands of each day. Balancing work and play can be challenging, but finding a routine that works for your family is crucial. While there may be occasional disruptions, having a routine helps reduce stress and provides a structure for your child's learning journey.

Connecting with other homeschooling parents in your community can greatly benefit your homeschooling experience. Gaddy encourages parents to engage with local groups and seek support and advice. These connections can alleviate doubts or concerns that may arise during the homeschooling process.

One common misconception about homeschooling is the lack of social interaction for homeschooled children. However, Gaddy dispels this myth, highlighting that homeschoolers are often engaged in numerous educational activities and opportunities outside of their homes. Museums, educational events, and extracurricular activities serve as avenues for homeschooled children to interact with others and enrich their learning experiences.

While school is traditionally seen as the place to socialize with peers, Gaddy emphasizes that homeschooled children are just as involved in sports and extracurricular activities as their traditionally-schooled counterparts. In fact, homeschool students often excel academically, with higher scores on standardized tests and a reputation for being diligent learners. College professors appreciate the engagement and dedication of homeschooled students in classroom settings.

An image of a child engrossed in reading a book, highlighting the importance of literacy-based homeschooling, taken with a smartphone camera

To create a conducive learning environment at home, it's essential to establish a designated space for schooling. This space should be separate from areas where children usually play or relax. It doesn't have to be extravagant but should include a desk, chair, and decor that appeals to your child's interests. By teaching them to associate this space with learning, you can cultivate a sense of focus and concentration.

Maintaining a routine is equally important in homeschooling. While flexibility is key, having a consistent schedule helps instill healthy habits in your child. Establishing a start time, incorporating breaks throughout the day, and setting an end time provides structure and helps manage expectations. Though the routine may not always be precise, having one ensures success and reduces stress.

Homeschooling offers a unique educational experience for both parents and children. By embracing this journey with careful planning, accessing available resources, and fostering a supportive community, parents can provide a personalized, engaging, and enriching education for their children.

Homeschooling is a decision that requires dedication and effort, but ultimately, it allows parents to shape their child's education in a way that best suits their needs. With the right approach and support, homeschooling can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for both parents and children.