Homeschooled children are not sent to school, they are lead into a better and more fulfilling education by our daily example, by careful productive nurturing, individual tuition and personal attention. Who else knows, understands and loves your child better than you yourself. Consider how well your child already knows you, how quickly and readily they are able to learn from your own experience. Consider how well you are able to tailor your childs education because you know your child better than any teacher possibly could.
Once you start homeschooling and find a plan that you think you want to follow always be prepared to try and try again, don’t always think that it will work the first time round. When children go to school the day is long, which does not mean that they do more than you can cover at home because they spend a lot of time waiting around and going from class to class. Don’t stress! There is no right or wrong way. Talk school over with them, ask them what they would really like to do and help them do it.
When starting to homeschool, don’t think you need to go out and spend lots of money on all sorts of expensive and fancy materials. You can begin with a few reading books, paper, pencils, and a desire to enhance your child and of course lots of love.
Learning is second nature to children as is playing and having fun. They love exploring the world around them and examining things that interest them. That is what learning is all about to children following their interests which will continue through life. We have all been through it but it is just a matter of how that interest is nurtured which will show later in life in the outcome of the individual.
Getting together with other homeschoolers is helpful for both parent and child. It is good for children to know that they are not alone in this and that there are other children who are also at home with their parents being educated. Also the parents can gain useful tips from each other. There will be so many questions shooting through your mind all the time when you first start which is a very normal thing to happen. If you know of another homeschooling friend, being in contact with them on a regular basis will be good support for you both and also your children will benefit from it too.
Reading to your children is extremely valuable and it is something you can start from a very early age. Even putting a book with bright colours in front of a newborn baby will enhance his/her little mind. Reading stories or books of interest is also good and enjoyable for you both. Put emphasis on teaching your child to read because it will be so beneficial to both you and your child once they can read because learning other subjects will be so much easier.
Many people think that homeschooled children loose out socially which is definitely not so. Children do not need to socialise all the time to become well-adjusted adults. Homeschooled children have good relationships with other children of all ages because they mix with them quite frequently and also they have good relationships with adults and are able to communicate with them well.
When giving your children exercises to do in various subjects be there. Don’t give them a page of adding numbers and then wonder off to the other side of the house to do housework. Sit with them and be there if needed. That is one of the beauties of homeschooling, to be able to give them individual attention.
Keeping a diary of what has been achieved each day can be helpful as you know where you are up to with certain subjects and also how your child is progressing. If he/she needs more attention with certain things or if they are going too quickly with others. It is also useful in case an inspection is done by education authorities.
Once school has started in the morning, discuss with your child what ideas you have for school that day. See if your child is in favour of them. If not, come to an agreement of what you must cover for that day. Discuss various ways of doing it so that all are happy. Always listen to reason and try not to have stress over it. Try have a plan that suits all needs. Don’t think of yourself as the fountain of knowledge.
If you are thinking of homeschooling and are just waiting for the time to be right, there isn’t a right time. Any time is right, provided you are doing it for the right reason, know why you homeschool, and get used to answering the question. “So why do you homeschool ?”
After all is said and done the greatest example to your children will be the way you live your life. Don’t set standards you don’t intend to keep yourself. Be careful with what you watch on television, how you spend your time, what music you listen to. Set good examples in all this, deliver punishment and reward on time.
Keep your Promises
If you promise your child two new videos a month, make sure you go out and get them each month, “Dad can we have a dog?”, “Yes, next year”, then go out and get a dog.
Be very careful with what you allow your children to watch and don’t allow them to control the remote alone or to channel surf. What goes into the mind, stays in the mind especially if you don’t want it to. Record quality programmes worthy of watching and then watch it together as a family. Consider turning off or muting adverts altogether.
Select and purchases quality video and DVD productions. Up until Rachel was 5 and 6 I am pleased to say that we only had one Disney video. Don’t rent junk movies at Blockbuster videos, they may well be highly rated, but by who? Instead choose videos that reflect truth and integrity even through the medium of fiction. Choose videos about real people of educational content. We get a lot of mileage out of music videos. Provide interesting and stimulating productions and if you cannot bare to watch it twice then why should they?
Lydia is musical and can play the piano by ear but that didn’t not stop us buying a piano, guitar, bugel, a few recorders and a trumpet. As and when the opportunity arises I would like to get a violin, trombone, huge double base, tamborine and drum set. What I am trying to say is expose your kids to music and give them access to musical instruments, who knows what good it is doing them. A great thing is that when kids come around that can play them they jump at the opportunity to tune and play the instruments as they ought to be played much to the amusement and benefit of all present.
A fishing rod, a butterfly net, bicycles, swing ball or trampoline are great outdoor toys which kids will use again and again usefully. Would you really enjoy playing a plastic product production game with four mechanical frogs where each player tries to consume as many yellow balls in the pool? Yeah sure! Instead get a game of “Shut the Box” which is worth the storage space when you are not using them.
PC & Video Games
Be especially careful about choosing and buying video and PC games. Consider how much time your child is going to spend playing them and remember much of what is out there is absolutely useless from the technical and spiritual perspective. I went to great pains to start my kids on the right foot and I feel it has been worthwhile. I will offer some suggestions in due course.
Bad Purchases & Worthless Gifts
If you make a bad purchase, admit it and store it in the rubbish bin. Note that if it is not good enough for your family to use, don’t give it to your friend or neighbour. If people give you gifts, videos, PC games etc. which are not suitable for yourself or family thank them kindly but refuse the gift.
Find and share a Common Interest
Find or enourage a common interest and share that with your child for example Rachel and I collect Enid Blyton books, she is 7 and loves reading them. It started when we were on holiday in Australia and we had to go to the secondhand bookshop every other day and purchase news books. Browse and surf the internet together looking for Enid Blyton fan pages, find out what the books are worth, talk about the stories after she has read them, collect video and story tapes, even if you don’t share a common interest find out what their interests are and encourage it and help them to pursue their interests.
Encourage your child to read
Encourage your children to read from an early age, begin reading to young children long before they can sit still, make it daily habit, a routine part of the day, is wonderful to stimulate newborn babies with card books and colour books, read aloud to your children, visit the library often at least once a week or even more often, find our your childs interests and try to select related books, find a series. Because ours love Enid Blyton we are trying to collect the entire range, write book reviews, buy book, borrow books, swap books,
I highly recommend the following book Honey for a child heart by Gladys M Hunt, ISBN # 0310242460 if you are interested in growing your child into a reader, this book provides ample motivation and encouragement as well as a selection of suggested reading. She has also written a book called Honey for a Teen’s Heart, ISBN: 0310242606 which I have not yet read but may interest you if you have older children.