Homeschooling can be a wonderful experience when it is is out of a conscious decision within the family. When it is imposed on you because of life circumstances, it is a bit more of a challenge. Here are a few tips to ease the process.
START YOUR DAY WITH A PRAYER
Even if you are not very religious, try to start each day with prayer. You can lead it or take turns within the family praying aloud. Praying is not only a way to transmit religious traditions to younger generations; it is also a way to address problems or life stresses you might be facing at the moment, and help you bond with one another. In difficult times, it is good to create a sense of family unity.
INCORPORATE MULTIPLE LEARNING STYLES
You don’t have to do everything the way it is done at school. Use the curriculum and the workbooks, but feel free to add learning games, reading out loud sessions, experiments, etc. It will create a joyful learning environment and will make the whole process easier for the children, and therefore, it will improve their retention of information.
It is the best way to stay on track. Keep a daily planner of goals to achieve by the end of each lesson. Take notes of everything, from schoolwork to household chores to share within the family. To encourage focus, try to create a comfortable, yet very tidy space for schooling, and let your children participate in the creating of this homeschooling environment.
CREATE A HOMESCHOOLING GROUP
Look to other homeschooling parents for advice or help. Communicate with your children if you can, they can be a great source of help. Exchange ideas, create coordination sessions to try to all keep the same level, provide each other support and tips. You may get great teaching resources.
DON’T TAKE ON TOO MUCH
Do not say yes to too many extracurricular activities, so that you and your kids do not get too tired and overwhelmed. Participate only in activities that really matter to your family and can help relieve some of the stress.
TACKLE THE HARDEST SUBJECTS FIRST
If your child is struggling with certain subjects, such at math or science, teach those in the morning when everyone is more alert. Save easier subject for later in the day.
KEEP IT FUN
Look for creative ways of teaching to make learning more fun. Younger children may enjoy having dolls or stuffed animals in the “classroom” that will “participate” in the lesson. Ask those toys questions and have your children answer them in different voices, as if impersonating the dolls/toys. For a history lesson, record a video of your child pretending to be a news anchor as he delivers “news” that might correspond to the lesson of the day.
There will be many times when you or your children will get frustrated. Don’t be discouraged! Take a break. Go outside for some fresh air or sunshine. Get a snack, play a game together.
GIVE THE CHILDREN A VOICE IN THEIR CURRICULUM
Especially if they are teens. The teen years are an excellent time to begin handing some choices over to your “students”. Allow them to pick some of the topics of study. It will keep them motivated.