Knowhow-Now Article

Ten Tips For Homeschooling Parents

Homeschooling can be a fantastic way to educate and prepare your child, but it's not nearly as easy as it may seem! Use the following 10 tips to guide you through the planning and preparing and success with homeschooling.

Tip: By setting firm, yet positive, boundaries and rules for your children you can avoid a lot of family discord and everyone will get along better. Saying "Touch gently" gets better results than "No hitting" does.

1. Know your local registration and requirements. Laws differ by state and it's essential that you understand the ones that apply to your locality. Check with school administration and follow their advice carefully. Although homeschooling is now a widely accepted practice, not every district is encouraging.

Tip: Setting up an annual savings goal, and sticking to it, is a good suggestion on how to accomplish this. Tough it can be tempting in times of need, avoid depleting these savings for any reason, as it may be impossible to replenish once spent.

2. Understand your own teaching philosophy and purpose. Homeschooling is not just about ABC's and 123's; it's a lengthy and involved process that covers everything a child needs to know. Consider what approach you are going to take and how you will address various subjects, including science, creation, government and other controversial issues.

Tip: One of the things children enjoy most is playing. All children need to have playtime in their lives.

3. Organization is essential. You need supplies and an efficient system to proceed smoothly in homeschooling, particularly your lesson plans. This is something you should develop well in advance and have expert guidance with. Think just like a teacher and look ahead to the curriculum for the entire year, preparing all materials and keeping them organized.

Tip: Stop and consider the words you use with your child, and what they mean. It is important for your children to know that you are trustworthy.

4. Be a team. You and your child will be working closely in a challenging environment, so teamwork is essential! Keep the lines of communication open and look for cues that you are pushing too hard or perhaps proceeding too slowly. This is very much a give-and-take relationship that must be nurtured every step of the way.

Tip: Once your child is taller than 3 feet, or can get out of the crib, you need to get him or her a toddler bed. Because making this change may be frightening, help make it less threatening.

5. Join forces with other homeschoolers. You need support from other like-minded parents and your child will benefit from seeing the full spectrum of the homeschooling community. Be a part of online and local groups and incorporate that perspective into your program. Give and receive advice and be a better homeschooler because of it!

Tip: Any child who walks to classes each day ought to have reflective fabric on their clothes or book bags. This material also comes in velcro strips which makes it easy to put on and take off.

6. Set-up a school within your home. The physical aspects of your homeschool are very important to your child's ability to learn and take cues consistently. Prepare a classroom in a section of your home where you can instruct and they can learn without distractions. Make it off-limits to other activities and present it in a professional manner.

Tip: Be smart and pick your battles! Only fight over things that are critically important. While it is true that children need to have certain boundaries, it is also true that they need freedom to express their individuality.

7. Have a solid academic plan. You're probably not qualified to generate a complete itinerary on your own; find a good program to adopt and modify it to your individual needs. This plan is essential to consistency for your child and the overall success of your efforts.

Tip: You have to take care of yourself if you want to be able to give your best to your family. Take some time off for yourself, even if you have a lot of things to do.

8. Use a standardized method of evaluation. No matter what or how you chose to teach, your child's learning must meet an acceptable standard outside of your own opinions. Print out the same tests that are given in public schools, abide by the criteria of evaluation set by your local schools and keep your child in the loop.

Tip: It is important that you get your child to participate in after-school activities, such as sports. These encourage your child to become more social and make more friends, which can help your child all the way through adulthood.

9. Be open to the possibility of traditional school. Although most homeschooling families do not waiver in their desire to teach within the confines of their own houses, some kids feel the need to branch out and join the public academia. Think about your position on this and be prepared for questions and possible pleading to go that route eventually.

Tip: If you are having a second child soon, know that you will spend quite a bit of time choosing one child over the other during the first year. Dividing your attention between your two children will be the hardest.

10. Incorporate great social activities for your child. Homeschooling is by no means social isolation; enjoy all the sporting, scouting and scholastic adventures that are available. Be an active part of the community and offer your homeschooler the opportunity to shine in public!

Some of the most successful people on the planet were homeschooled and your child can excel at this method also! Develop a great program and enjoy the process.

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