Okay, so you've decided that you want to homeschool your child. You've heard all its advantages: you will be able to better guide your child the way you see fit; you can integrate his school lessons into practical, everyday life; you can cater to your child's individual learning style; you minimize his exposure to common school nightmares such as bullying and peer pressure. So where to start?
- First of all, it's essential to look into the laws and regulations of your area regarding homeschooling. It's as easy as checking it out online, or calling your local/state government about it. Just double check that you get the correct information about each detail at all times. You don't want to get the nasty news, for example, that your child missed the state yearly assessment exam because you didn't know he had to take it.
- Second, you can opt to enroll your child in a good home school program. Again, you may check online for the list of schools near your location that offer such programs. By enrolling, the parents are equipped with a suitable curriculum that they simply need to administer to their kids. Although you may revise this curriculum according to your child's needs and individual learning style (for example, you can choose to teach the days' lesson in arithmetic by bringing your child to a supermarket and letting him add apples and oranges together), it is good to be grounded in what particular topics and skills your child has to acquire and develop before moving on to the next level.
- Third, remember that just because home schooling is done in the comfort of your home doesn't mean that you are allowed to keep haphazard records. Some programs require you as the parent to submit records of your child's attendance and performance throughout the year. Again, how these records are structured depends on the program you're enrolled in. Also, keeping records of your child's performance would prove to be beneficial in monitoring how much your child has learned.
- Fourth, be sure to collect materials for the given curriculum that you believe would best cater to your child. Thankfully, the Internet is rich with resource materials and activity sheets that you could use with little or no fee at all. Also, let the lessons be as grounded in real life as possible. Bring your child to museums, parks, or even just around the neighborhood, to let him realize that learning is a concrete thing and knowledge is available all around him.
However, some programs are more structured in the way that the students are given specific books, which they are required to complete within the course of the school year. The outdoor trips could still be supplemental to this technique.
- Fifth, organize a specific classroom area in the house where you can keep all the instructional materials that you need throughout the year. This is just a practical tip to avoid cluttering your house, and to let you determine most efficiently what supplies need to be stocked once again.
Remember that home schooling your child is probably not as easy as it sounds at first. This requires commitment to focusing a specific block of your time to educating your child the way a teacher is supposed to. That's why in most homeschooling cases, one parent opts to quit her job and stay at home while the other parent becomes the sole breadwinner of the family. Though home schooling requires sacrifices on your part, the benefits do outweigh the disadvantages. Surely, the bond that would grow between you and your child as a result of this endeavor would be priceless. So good luck, and have fun with home education!