Tips for Homeschooling
Homeschooling is a parent-led home based education which is currently enjoying new-discovered acceptance both locally and internationally. The parents make a conscious decision to provide an education for their child or children in place of that provided by schools, and where the parents become the main teachers or facilitators in the program of education. It should not be confused with a mere replication of school in a home environment, but rather a holistic lifestyle that strips the trappings of institutional schooling to focus on fundamental training. Since homeschooling is a form of private education that does not rely on either state-run public schooling or institutional private schooling for a child’s education.
From a US Department of Education report, in 1999, approximately 850,000 students were getting homeschooled but by 2007, the number exploded to 1.1 million, and the numbers appear to be steadily rising. But what is causing the substantial increase? Why would so many parents opt for their children to be taught at home rather than in a school classroom? The most common reasons where covered in our previous article here .
You may feel unqualified or simply lack the resources to “teach” your children, but somehow that becomes the smallest of obstacles while homeschooling. There’s more to it than meets the eye and you soon find out that homeschooling isn’t easy, but it’s worth it!
Many homeschooled students have turned out to be very bright. And the rationale here is based on the fact that time and dedication is availed to the children. The quality is what makes the difference. Apart from the syllabus which is tailored and/or staggered to a child’s need like the conventional systems, children also gets to learn some of the skills that aren’t taught in school anymore, like leadership, taxes, business, dealing with challenges in life, and other personal and social skills.
Proponents of classroom education are often skeptical about homeschoolers suffering some disadvantages, most often suggesting a lack of socialization.
Most people think homeschooling is hard because they think that they have to know the material being taught. What they often don’t know is that you don’t need to know it. Or all of it. There are institutions that are offering alternatives by using qualified teachers to teach your children but in the home set up.
Although knowing the material could seem like the biggest obstacle (and a reason to not homeschool), it’s actually the smallest of challenges compared to the character challenges you will have to deal with in both in yourself and your children. This is where homeschooling isn’t easy, but worth it!
When kids have a mentor or someone that believes in them and coaches them, it’s amazing how fast they can learn and excel! This is one of the major strengths of homeschooling.
Research shows that the two most important factors in reading and overall educational successes are a positive home influence and parental involvement; homeschooling provides both.
Advances in digital learning and the availability of resources over the internet also make homeschooling easier and more effective than ever. This gives kids more time of their childhood to simply be kids.
Homeschooling, though, in many cases, can reap rich rewards and can deliver many benefits in making kids smart. On the flip side, some have expressed concerns that homeschooled children miss the advantages of learning in a classroom setting.
Also in some case kids may also not get an education that is well-rounded, and the knowledge learned may be confined to the biases of the parents. Parents who are not qualified to teach could limit the scope of a child’s knowledge. This, however, can be addressed by having qualified teachers with the necessary teaching experience. It is important for kids to explore other beliefs and points of view.
How Homeschooled Students Perform Academically
Homeschooling continues to provide high national test scores and well-rounded, diversely educated children. The statistics in Kenya may not be clear on this, and this proves that the industry is yet to immerse itself in this arena. In addition, many homeschool students also have the benefit of fulfilling graduation requirements and going to college earlier. This is attributed to the flexible nature of homeschooling.
Studies have been used to compare the pros and cons of homeschooling vis a vis the conventional structure, but in my opinion, the best comparison that stands out is getting to why parents initiate it. Most parents will pursue homeschooling with very good reasons, which generates the commitments to make it work. The desire to invest in a quality environment is what makes homeschooling worth it.
An article in the Journal of College Admission notes that homeschoolers’ ACT and SAT scores are higher than those of public school students, and home-educated college students perform as well as or better than traditionally educated students.
Due to this increase in academic performance, it is no wonder that colleges in the west are attempting to recruit more homeschoolers because of their high test scores coupled with their self-discipline for completing work. For many parents additional training like Kumon and online courses sets the children with order in their plans.
Tips for homeschooling
- A little of patience is required to accommodate the child to help them learn and understand.
- Use the internet to research on homeschooling culture such as homeschooling remodeling and decorating advice.
- You may prefer a separate place for educational activities to keep home and school distinct; others make learning space and resources available in all living areas to integrate education and life.
- Do research about home-school books and bookstores and libraries stock scores of workbooks, guidebooks, curriculum guides, and other resources targeted specifically to the homeschool market.
- Take advantage of what is offered for you to use as teaching tools like libraries, museums, cultural events, etc.
- Take advantage of the technological advance on the internet and the digital world to complement learning materials. For example, you can go to the Khan Academy channel on YouTube to illustrate via video math and science concepts or watch an on-demand historical documentary on Netflix. You can use Duolingo app to help teach foreign languages and Skype for live lectures.
Whether parents choose to homeschool independently or participate in a charter homeschool program, or simply retain the mainstream education, the reports by the US Department of Education clearly illuminate the international wide shift in attitude toward homeschooling. What was once viewed as uncommon has become a more conventional, and often preferable, option of education.
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