Knowhow-Now Article

Smart Tips For The Homeschooling Parent

Homeschooling is no easy business, but the rewards for you and your child can last a lifetime. If you are considering this avenue of education, check out the following helpful tips that can make the decision easier and the experience more productive.

Tip: A good way to accomplish this is to establish a 529 plan and make contributions to it. These are plans operated by the state, and their specific purpose is for college savings.

1. Make sure homeschooling is right for you. It's not an easy decision, nor is it one you should make overnight. Think about the long-term commitment and future impact on your child and family as a whole. Can you afford to dedicate the time involved? Are you qualified and up-to-date on things like mathematics and technology? Look at the big picture and do some serious thinking before pulling your child from the school system and dedicating yourself to homeschooling.

Tip: Make a hand signal that you and your child know, which lets you tell them in a discreet way that they are being inappropriate. This technique can give them a warning that they are in trouble before any punishment is administered.

2. Check out your local laws pertaining to homeschool. Although homeschooling is widely accepted and even considered an advantage from the collegiate perspective, local laws may be tricky. Investigate the stipulations and criteria you must meet and be sure to act in accordance with all laws; parents can face serious trouble for failing to comply or working separately from the system.

Tip: Know what your child is doing at all times. You'll find that most education professionals are more than happy to let you know what your offspring is experiencing in the hours he or she is away from you.

3. Arrange an area of your home into a classroom. No matter what the age of your child, it's essential that a schooling section be designated in your home. Keep it simple and free from distractions and make it a suitable place for focusing on learning. If you've got a little one to teach, make the area fun and visually appealing. For older kids, keep it functional and comfortable.

Tip: Do not give your child everything he wants. It is important to give your child some of the things they want, but do so when it works for you in terms of budget, time, and other factors.

4. Organize your lessons ahead of time. Study a teacher's guide and have your curriculum set up months in advance, this will maintain fluidity of your teachings and ensure that your child meets all of his or her academic goals by the end of the school year. You must be ready for each day and individual lesson, but keep the end-goals in mind as well.

Tip: Do not smoke in your home if you have children living with you. It's a good idea to give up smoking entirely.

5. Look for outside evaluations of your child's academic progress. This is not to imply that you yourself are not qualified, just that you may be biased to your own child or the program you set up. It's always good to have an outside source verify how well you're doing and will also give you a great opportunity to show off your hard-earned accomplishments!

Tip: The birth of a second child brings with it the challenges of meeting the needs of one child without neglecting the other. Dividing your attention between your two children will be the hardest.

6. Seek support from the homeschooling community in your area. You might be surprised at just how many families in your area have made the commitment to homeschooling and many of them are organized into a network you can tap into. Partake of the various social, sporting and academic adventures, which will benefit both you and your homeschooled child.

Tip: Teach your young child how to organize by providing specific places for him to put away his things. Toys, art supplies, puzzles, and games will be strewn throughout the house if your child hasn't been taught where these things belong.

7. Keep it fun! Yes, homeschooling is serious business, but just like a traditional classroom, enjoyment must be woven into the process. Whenever possible, add creativity and humor to your lessons to keep your child entertained and engaged as well as educated. Take a break once in a while and visit a museum, art gallery or science center and incorporate a lesson into the full sensory experience.

Homeschooling can yield amazing results in your child and essentially forge their success in the future; the effort you put in now will really pay off for both of you!

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