Five Keys to Homeschool Success
By: Pamela PriceBe open to real, transformative change in how you think school works best.
When parents contemplate homeschooling their kids, they often believe that they must recreate a traditional school day right down to a rigid schedule and stacks workbooks. For some families, ones in which the learners and educators enjoy a rigid structure, that approach works well. For others with a more freewheeling learning style—and for parents who must work but who have adequate access to childcare during their working hours, there are many alternatives to the traditional model. Spend time considering various approaches to homeschooling and give serious consideration to what techniques are best for your family. You may decide to draw elements from several styles for a custom, authentic approach.Design your schooling efforts to work with your family.
Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy.” While it is useful to research how other people homeschool their kids, which curricula work for them, and how they arrange their home learning environment, homeschool parents are ultimately masters of their own home. Therefore the schedule, curricula, and other elements of your homeschool should reflect your family’s values, beliefs, learning styles, and work flow. Working parents may discover that their children perform best doing lessons at night or on weekends. Ultimately, the “right” or “correct” choice is the one that works best for your family.Adjust your own expectations.
Ask an experienced homeschool parent for advice and odds are that she’ll tell you to learn to live with imperfect housekeeping. Yes, in a house where the kids are home most of the time, your home is going to look “lived in.” Most parents discover that the benefits of homeschooling, especially the sense of familial connection, are more rewarding than spotless floors and tidy closets.Focus on the present.
When beginning your family’s homeschool journey, it’s easy to fret about the future: I’m terrible at moth, so how can I teach algebra? Should we send the kids to public high school so that they earn transcripts for college? When you feel anxiety start to rise, remember that change is inevitable and that the best thing that you can do for your children is to give them what they need academically this year. In all likelihood next year’s homeschool plan will be at least a little different if for no other reasons than your children will be a year older and you’ll be a more experienced educator.Get support.
Designing and implementing a homeschool is both challenging and rewarding. Naturally, there will be days when the obstacles loom larger than the opportunities. For this reason, you need to seek out support for your efforts. San Antonio is a largely homeschool-friendly environment. Even if you encounter resistance from family members and neighbors to your homeschooling, you can find support here locally for your choices. Furthermore, online websites abound for all types of homeschoolers, including parents of secular and gifted kids. Seek out and surround yourself with people who understand what you seek to achieve. With practice and a few cheerleaders on your side, you’ll gain even more confidence to pursue your family’s educational goals.
Resources:homeschooldiner.com/guide/intro/main.html homeedsa.com/secularhomeschool.comgiftedhomeschoolers.org Pamela Price is a former academic and career adviser at UT Austin, journalist, and the author of a forthcoming homeschool book by GHF Press www.giftedhomeschoolers.org/ghfpress.html. Price blogs at her award-winning website, RedWhiteandGrew.com, where she offers online homeschool start-up workshops, too.