Homeschooling children has gone from being a strange, almost unheard of pursuit to something that is widely recognized. There are a multitude of reasons to prefer to keep your child at home, especially in their younger years.
Perhaps you are concerned about safety, which is unsurprising given the turn of events the 21st century has taken. Or maybe you doubt the educational system and would prefer your child to have a more rounded experience. Perhaps it just suits your other philosophies and thoughts as a parent. There is no right or wrong reason for looking into homeschooling.
If you are contemplating making the leap, you have to acknowledge that your home is about to become a school. It may be nice to think of having lessons outdoors in the sunshine, or going through maths sums on the floor of the den while you share raisins. Nice, but impractical. You’re going to have to make a few changes.
Thankfully, they are both small and undoubtedly worth it. If this is what it takes to allow you to school at home, I’m sure you can handle a little change. Here are four key points to look at. If you find your home setup wanting, then you can launch right into putting it right.
- Study Area
Try and create a designated space that is for written work only. This should be somewhere in the house that is not used for any other purpose. You want to be able to give your child real separation between home life and school life. Find a quiet area and look for age appropriate desks and chairs, along with a reading lamp for the winter months.
- A Schedule
Not only do you have to plan what you’re going to teach when, but it’s also important for your child to know it too. Think about it; at school, children are equipped with a timetable, so they know what to expect. You need to do the same for homeschooling. Tacking it on to the fridge is a good way for all parties to know where they stand.
While you could make it up as you go along, ideally you should be working toward the same curriculum your child should be getting at school. You’re going to need approved textbooks to do that. If you do want to introduce more practical elements, then set aside a special day to do them. Monday is always a good choice- easing into it from the weekend!
- Social Options
If you have a large family, this is less pressing, but it should still be considered. It’s important to ensure your child can learn to socialize with other kids. There are hundreds of ideas to help with this, including specific playdates with other children schooled at home. Browse online to find people with the same ethics as you, so there is no chance of tension or issues.
While homeschooling is not easy, you and your child could well reap the benefits in years to come. It will be a challenge, but it will bring you closer together, and give you the certainty that they are learning all the right things.