Homeschooling parents have a single thing in common, the desire to teach their child the best that they can.
It is important for parents to remember the process of homeschooling is a large learning curve for both the student and the parent and mistakes are common in the beginning. The thing homeschooling parents must consider is that these mistakes can be looked upon as positive learning experiences later on.
Below are four common homeschooling mistakes and ways to avoid them:
When a family commits to homeschooling the key thing to remember is that the parent is now the students’ role model. This applies to attitude, behavior and organizational habits. It can be very frustrating for all involved when a five-room manhunt must be mounted first thing in the morning in order to locate a textbook or writing implement, therefore organization is key. Make sure teacher’s manuals, textbooks, paper, pens and pencils all have their own place in order to avoid starting the day with a scavenger hunt. Remember, the more time spent organizing before the school year, the less time that will be taken away from schooling during the year..
Ignoring input from the student:
Parents often have a plan for what they are going teach during a school year. Plans could be based on their own school experiences or a preconception of what they think a child the same age should know, but the amazing part of homeschooling is the ability to involve the student in curriculum decisions. It is important to set up boundaries when involving the child in decisions surrounding curriculum, however being willing to listen to his or her opinions and ideas will demonstrate a belief in him..
Don’t under schedule:
There needs to be a comfortable level of learning completed during the day in order to offer the student a variety of opportunities to socialize with other kids. Homeschoolers have any number of opportunities to be involved with, including community events, and organizations such as the local YMCA, play organizations, churches etc. Parents may want to look into other homeschooling groups. Many of these organizations plan activities and field trips in advance for a few months or for a year..
Don’t set unrealistic homeschool expectations:
Children learn at varied speeds and it is not uncommon for a homeschooling parent to compare her child to those of friends or other homeschoolers. Unrealistic goals will almost certainly be the downfall for even the most dedicated homeschooling parent. Taking on huge projects with the expectation of the child retaining more information, and at the expense of exhaustion, is not the best way to approach subjects. Being able to customize the curriculum and the amount of time spent on schooling may allow children to master concepts more quickly than they would in a formal school classroom...
In the end there is one clear solution to any of the common mistakes mentioned in this article, and that is planning. Parents should consider their child’s abilities, strengths, weaknesses and interests when putting together a homeschool plan. If all of these issues are taken into consideration, parents can arm themselves with the tools necessary to help their child have a productive homeschool year.