Homeschooling Your Child: Get Started in 5 Steps
Parenting
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Parenting
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The entire years of 2020 and 2021 have been a rollercoaster ride for the parents and kids, especially the preschoolers and toddlers. Before they could experience the intense schooling journey, they underwent a crisis of online schooling and distance learning. But is this homeschooling your child? 

What Do You Mean By Homeschooling Your Child?

Zoom classes, online assignments, tests, uploading, and downloading, you did everything to ensure that your child keeps up with the school program. All we did was help our kids sit through the daunting online classes with their tests and worksheets.  Either we appointed tutors to give them next to formal education, or we let them be. Homeschooling your child has a much wider horizon. 

Many parents, including me, felt the need to take matters into their own hands and have the liberty to teach and educate our kids our way. That consisted of our schedule, our lesson plans, YouTube tutorials, play-and-learn worksheets, and assignments drawn out by yourselves. Parents homeschooling their kids didn’t have to depend on their curriculum to teach their children. Instead, they devised their study modules. They didn’t rush with their concepts. Instead, they imparted knowledge in a creative but practical manner. 

That’s what homeschooling is all about. But for your convenience, I’ll explain what and how homeschooling looks like. It indeed isn’t your regular 7 to 3 school time routine and similar schedules with lectures and periods that school follows. Instead, it’s a much more flexible, interactive, practical approach to teaching your toddlers. 

If you, too,  are thinking of homeschooling your child, and have questions about whether homeschooling is the right choice, then you have come to the right place. So dig right in and read on! 

The shortest answer to this question is, Yes. As long as you are committed, involved, patient, and have enough energy to teach your toddlers, then homeschooling your child can be the best option. 

You don’t need to have a meritorious educational background or expensive means and measures to homeschool your child. Parents with a high school education can be as good to homeschool their children as any highly educated professional. 

In homeschooling, your kid can learn things by doing basic chores. I threw two pillows; you threw three more; see how many pillows we have on the bed! 

Benefits of Homeschooling Your Child 

A positive academic, emotional, and social environment yields the best results of homeschooling. In addition, it’s been researched and proven that homeschooled children outsmart the typically schooled children. Besides the research, I shall provide you with varied homeschooling benefits from experience and Mary Pride’s Practical Homeschooling Magazine. The author of The Big Book of Home Learning

A Safer Environment: 

It’s not unknown that today’s school environment does more harm than good. School bullies, unrestrained children bringing knives or guns to the school, physical and or sexual assault by the teachers have made schools a scary place for children. As a result, your little munchkins are more susceptible to the unforgiving and unscrupulous world out there, and they may not know how to defend or protect themselves. 

Homeschooling ensures a safer, more personal nurturing, and mature and bully-free conditioning of your child. It provides that your children learn via practical and creative methods. Enjoyable education trips or vacations, flexible study schedules, joyful ways of learning help your child gain knowledge beyond the confinements of books and blackboards. 

Better Family and Social Values:

There’s no better person than the parents responsible for their kids’ moral, social, and family values. Parents put in an extra effort; they go the extra mile for their children’s betterment. They make sure to handle them with extra care when they harbour uncomfortable feelings or experience complex emotions. 

Inculcating family and social values in your child while homeschooling lays a strong foundation for life and all the lemons it throws their way. Unlike in schools, the children don’t miss out on learning the difference between right and wrong. It’s particularly taken care of during homeschooling. 

No Sexual/ Emotional/ Drugs Pressure: 

Homeschooling ensures less exposure to drugs, alcohol, sexual, and emotional abuse. But, unfortunately, children often fall under peer pressure and engage in harmful activities to their present and the future. 

As per a study conducted by the NCSA, National Centre for Substance Abuse, “5 million high schoolers say that they binge drink at least once a month. A teenager who starts drinking at 15 is four times more likely to become alcohol dependent than the one who waits until the legal age to drink.” Let’s not forget the enormous number of children falling prey to inhalants, street drugs, etc., with their classmates. 

According to a survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 81% of kids aged between 12-14 believe that they are pressured to have sex too early. The main idea behind the sex-ed is exploited. In homeschooling, parents wait for a likely age to have the ‘talk’ and teach life facts. 

Now that you have made up your mind that you want to and can homeschool your child, the next question arises:

  “Where and How Do I start?”

Anything new can seem daunting, challenging, and a thing that requires continuous research and effort. Homeschooling is no different. First, you shall need information about the homeschooling state groups, local support groups, curriculum providers, etc., besides procuring the school’s supplies and necessary literature on homeschooling.  

Research, Research, and more Research! 

Any time you begin, do not begin without having the proper and necessary knowledge of what and how you will do things. Proceeding without preparation always ends in a disaster. So, gain plenty of knowledge via magazines, “how-to” books, veteran homeschoolers. Join the local homeschool organisation. Educate yourself of all the routes and methods you need to take to understand your goal of homeschooling. You will have questions, and there will be people and literature to help you find all the answers. 

State’s Homeschooling Prerequisites 

State homeschool requirements vary from state to state, even country to country. For example, in the USA, you have to register yourself with the local superintendent by filing an annual declaration that you intend to homeschool your kids along with the home instruction plan. Whereas In India, homeschooling is not regulated by any authority. However, students opt to take grade 10 and 12 exams of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) or the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). It opens for them the options for higher education. 

Local Homeschooling Group

Get in touch with and meet the homeschoolers in your area to understand how you can go with your plans. Speaking with them and listening to their experiences will ease your stress and fill you with more valuable information. You will understand what works the best for you and your kids. You will learn which sports or educational clubs you can have your kids join, you will observe your children’s interests more closely. There may be weekly classes of something more exquisite than the regular schooling routine, like learning a foreign language, educational trips to museums, library visits, etc. 

Plan a Homeschool Curriculum

As per the USA homeschooling norms, the parents must register with an individualised homeschool plan with authority. You also have to submit the quarterly reports and conduct tests and assignments. The curriculum can either be obtained from the curriculum providers or the online syllabus, typical for all the kids of a specific age group. Such curricula are designed to suit your child’s interests. They vary from the conventional textbooks and syllabi. There is no restriction on what you want to teach your child anywhere in the world. It could be Advanced Math at the age of 7 if your child is a genius besides other subjects, or it could be consistent practice sessions of guitar and ballet. 

Homeschooling Space, Goals, and Schedule

Shall the homeschooling take place in your backyard while counting the lizards with your kid? Will you be teaching the Alphabet and numbers on a whiteboard? Do you need to set a schedule for your kids? Consider what, how, where, and how much you want to teach. 

Flexibility in the routine, a child’s changing interests, and energy are the key elements to consider while you sit with your kid. You can choose to stay strictly organised for the initial months to reach your primary goal of homeschooling. However, you can also devise weekly plans to touch and focus on subjects individually. 

Remember not to be rigid or lose your patience if things seem hard. Homeschooling is a tough job, and if you have planned to take it up, then you have the strength and the brains to get through with it too. Adapt to your child’s needs, and you will see how impressively your kid can learn.