How to Homeschool Successfully
Though the school system in America was once the only way that children could legally receive an education, that has begun to change in recent years. Many states have legalized homeschool and families across the nation have taken advantage of the ability to spend time and explore the world together. If you are considering this lifestyle, you may be wondering how to make it work, including selecting learning materials and how to live on reduced income. This article has some great information to help you get started in this exciting adventure.
When figuring out what to teach your children, there are many options available. Which ones work best for you will depend on many factors, including their ages and the interests of your family. You should begin by finding out what the laws are in your state. Some require that you follow strict guidelines, including lesson plans and annual testing. Others allow parents free reign to teach their children with testing once every two or three years. Most states that have legalized homeschool fall somewhere between these two. You can contact your local school district or go online to find out what you must do to adhere to state law.
Set Your Goals
Assuming that you have some freedom in curriculum, you then need to figure out what you are going to teach your children and how. There are many thematic units available that incorporate everything from writing and math to history and science while delving into a particular topic. These can be great for families with children of multiple ages. The assignments can be catered to the ages and learning styles of each child. There are some fantastic ones available for the Christian and secular households alike. Read reviews from other homeschool families prior to making a purchase.
If you would rather select your own assignments and workbooks, you have even more options. You can go online and find websites that have spelling lists for every grade. Make certain that you cover the basics of phonics and reading before pushing too hard with the spelling. The more comfortable your child is with the written word, the easier it will be for them to grasp the concepts behind spelling.
For younger children, you can turn many play activities into learning opportunities. For example, sorting laundry can be a great way for them to learn about colors. Also, youngsters can help you out in the kitchen and gain hands-on experience with several mathematical concepts. The children can count the number of ingredients and learn to use a measuring cup all while you create a meal together. Going out into nature is also great for small children. They have the opportunity to learn about science and the environment.
As they age, you will need to make certain that you progress their activities to keep children stimulated. You may have them explore a concept and write a paper on it. Perhaps you could present older children with a troubling social issue and challenge them to think of creative ways to solve it. Diving into scientific and mathematical concepts in a productive way is a great way to keep them excited about learning.
Many homeschool families also incorporate some type of foreign language into the curriculum. Even if you do not know how to speak a different language, there are a great deal of programs and websites out there that you can use. Make certain to look into them first and see how well others have learned a new language from them. Your child will develop a greater appreciation for the world around them this way.
You also want to make certain that your child still engages in regular physical activity. In addition to playing with kids in the neighborhood, you may want to enroll them in some sort of sporting activity. Martial arts are a great way for boys and girls to learn discipline while receiving a regular workout. It will also expose them to other kids whose parents have a similar mindset to yours. Some children also like to play ball or related activities. Once in high school, many school districts will allow homeschool children to participate in extracurricular activities as long as they maintain a certain level of scholastic achievement.
Because homeschooling will require that at least one parent be at home, one of the challenges homeschool families face is living on a reduced income. By working on a budget and minimizing unnecessary expenses, most find that this is not an issue after a short period of time. The parent who does the homeschooling may find a part time job outside of the home if everyone agrees it would be beneficial. Alternatively, that person may find alternative means to making money, such as babysitting or working online.
A great project for homeschool families that will also save money is to create your own food. Having even a small garden with tomatoes and herbs will provide your family with fresh food. Potatoes are a staple that grow well, providing you have adequate room. Your children are certain to appreciate the fresh food because they helped to grow it. You can also work in lessons about nutrition and reducing your carbon footprint. Even the smallest children can practice counting by seeing how many strawberries are on the plants each day. Remember that learning is not just about sitting down with a workbook and regurgitating facts.
There are many reasons that so many families are choosing to homeschool their children today. Whether yours are related to religion or just a desire to spend more time with your kids, you and your children can have a great time with the experience. Make certain to follow the laws of your state and to find opportunities to educate your youngsters about the world around them. Look for new and exciting ways to introduce new concepts, including how to save money. By doing so, you allow your family to grow closer while your children are given the opportunity to grow and learn.
Category: How To