Begin Homeschooling Your Young Child: A Guide to Help You Succeed
written by: Ronda Bowen
• edited by: Donna Cosmato
• updated: 5/18/2014
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when homeschooling a grade school child is to make sure that child has a strong foundation in reading, writing, and arithmetic. However, there are other valuable skills grade school children need to master as well. What do you need to do it successfully?
slide 1 of 8
The Decision to Bring (or Keep) Your Child at Home
For some, the decision to homeschool was made long before children were even born. For others, the decision to homeschool may come about through a variety of experiences - the student was floundering in a school, there's a lack of quality schools nearby, or the parent learns more about homeschooling from a group in the area where he or she lives.
When it comes to homeschooling, there is no one way to do it. There are multiple methods to sort through, and everyone has advice, though some of it might not be sound. Because it can seem so daunting to get started on your own homeschooling journey, it's important to organize this advice into subject areas. No matter whether you are new at the homeschooling lifestyle or you're a seasoned teacher in your home classroom, we've got advice to help you get through the grade school years.
slide 2 of 8
Advice on Making the Decision
Making the decision to homeschool is not something that should be taken on lightly. There are many different methods for homeschooling your children. You have to determine whether you've got what it takes to commit to homeschooling children. You also should carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling to see whether it is something for you. Once you've made the decision, it will be important to know how to talk to others about the decision you've made with confidence.
Classical, unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Christian, school-at-home - which is the best method to use for homeschooling? It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of options available to parents. The method you choose to employ is largely a personal choice. Ultimately, many parents tend to use a combination of methods, referred to as eclectic homeschooling. It's important to find out what works best for your family and then tweak it so that you're sure you're always using what works the best.
Once you've settled on the choice to homeschool and determined what sort of method you will use, it's important to choose the program that will work best for your family. There are a variety of programs available from programs that focus on certain methods to complete curricula to individual subjects. It's really important to make sure to preview any materials you will be using to make sure that they will fit well with your homeschooling goals and your family's values.
Prepare yourself: No matter how long you've been homeschooling there are going to be people who upon hearing about your educational choice will ask, "But aren't you worried about socialization?" If you're like many, and wondering how it is that bullying, access to drugs, and peer pressure are healthy forms of socializing your children, then you're not alone. There have been many studies performed investigating the best ways to socialize a homeschooled child - and many studies have found that homeschooled children are actually better and more confident in social exchanges than traditionally schooled peers.
There's a group of different schools on how to plan your lessons for homeschooling. Some methods for homeschooling don't require lesson planning, others involve meticulous planning. No matter which camp you're in, it will help you to at least know something about how to plan lessons for the purpose of teaching your students important information.
One of the necessities when working with homeschooled children is keeping accurate records for the long run. Whether the state you live in requires you to do so or not, you'll want to track your student's progress and ensure that your student is making adequate progress in his or her studies. You may wish to put together a portfolio of the student's best work for each grade level.
Homeschooling requires a lot of time - especially when you have younger grade school students. It's so important that you work to balance your life, schedule your time, and take time off so that you do not get burned out on your homeschooling experience. By paying special attention to nurturing yourself, you can be a better homeschool teacher.