The popularity of homeschooling has seen a phenomenal rise in the last decade or two. There are plenty of attributes that have contributed to this rise. Parents prefer to home-school their kids to keep them away from the peer pressure and stressed atmosphere of the school. Moreover, in a home-school, your child gets single-minded attention, unlike in a public school, where there are at least twenty students in a class. With this form of education, you can keep the child under your supervision and also get to spend more time with him/her. But it also has its own set of drawbacks, that cannot be ignored. The most obvious one being – the child missing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the institution called “school”! The school atmosphere is completely different from the atmosphere at home, and in a school there is more focus on discipline, schedule and team work.
The choice to opt for homeschooling kids depends entirely on the parents. Keep in mind the following – to make the idea work, you will have to compromise your career and completely devote yourself in educating your child/children. Alternatively, you can hire a home-school teacher to educate your kids, but still, you have to be around to make sure that the teacher is doing the job well.
Getting Started with Homeschooling
It is an old concept, that has been popular since a long time. It is a legally approved concept in the United States (the state regulations may differ). As it gained popularity in the United States, the universities also started accepting students from such educational backgrounds. Thus the parents need not worry about the future education of their child and should focus more on designing the study technique and curriculum. To make the program a success, the atmosphere in the house should also be calm and conducive to study. Design the room using various charts and posters and create a fun atmosphere, for the child to study. Make it a point that you use a table and chair for studying, as the posture you keep while studying is also important.
#Step 1: Check the Regulations
Though the process is legal, the state regulations may differ. So, as the first step, do some research and understand the rules and regulations about homeschooling, in your state. Some states are quite liberal and do not even require you to notify the concerned authorities about the decision taken. Semi-Liberal states require you to notify them about the decision they make. The third category is the slightly strict states. The regulations in these states require you to periodically submit, the progress and evaluation report of the kid. And in the states that have the most strict regulations, the parents need to get the designed syllabus approved before they proceed with their decision. Some states that are strict regarding homeschooling require you to get certified for the teaching process, or allow you to keep only certified people as home teachers. The regulations also have mention of the number of days per year you need to teach the kids. Thus, you need to determine under which category your state belongs to and understand the rules thoroughly.
#Step 2: Design the Curriculum
Once you have complied with all the rules, the next important step is designing the syllabus. This is the most crucial step. You have many options to design the homeschooling curriculum. Think and determine what kind of education you want to give your child, and what you want to focus on. For example, for those who want to focus on arts, the arts related subjects should be the major crux of the syllabus. But to develop the all round intelligence of the kid, the curriculum should be a mix of all the subjects. For stricter states, the curriculum needs to be in conjunction with the state education curriculum. There are plenty of choices available for you to choose the right syllabus for your kid. In addition, there are many online packages and books based on grades available.
#Step 3: Plan a Schedule
To instill discipline in your kid from a young age, a balanced routine is very important. Plan your hours fruitfully, allotting appropriate hours to each subject. Monthly and yearly tests are also mandatory and should be a part of the schedule. But to avoid monotony in the process, you have to take efforts. One advantage of homeschooling is, you can be innovative in your way of teaching your kids. You have the freedom to incorporate your own ideas and techniques in the teaching method. You can also change the location of the ‘homeroom’ at your own will, and plan some trip to the park to make learning an interesting process for the kid.
#Step 4: Make it Easy for the Kid
Kids who have been to school and are now home tutored may find it hard to adjust to the new method of teaching. So, as parents you need to make sure that the child is comfortable with the new teaching method. The child might miss his friends – to avoid this make him join a library or a play club. This way the child will be able to socialize, and wouldn’t feel lonely.
Educationalists do not approve of this form of schooling, and believe that it deprives the children from their social life. They are also of the view that parents cannot give their hundred percent as teachers. But, if it is the only option you have, make sure you do it with perfection and dedication. With efforts from both the parents homeschooling can turn out to be a rewarding experience. Good Luck!