Playing an Active Role in Your Children’s Homeschooling
Homeschooling is an option that many parents make when they feel that, for whatever reason, their child will not be getting the best education in a public or private school system. Homeschooling allows for specific curriculum and teaching techniques to be applied that suit your child’s particular needs – something that is unlikely to happen in a large classroom. One of the benefits – and also one of the difficulties – in homeschooling is the extreme amount of flexibility it affords. In order to homeschool successfully, it is important that you understand this.
While there are many benefits to homeschooling, it also requires discipline. In the same way that working from home can be difficult, homeschooling can be difficult because it requires you make a distinction between home and school while still remaining at home. Like almost everybody, there are going to be times in your family life when you are extremely busy or dealing with serious distractions. It can be tempting at these moments to try and multitask: that is, to both educate your children and deal with other aspects of your life. There can be a tendency among homeschooling parents to place an assignment in front of their children and then leave the room to engage in other activities.
If you do this you will severely limit the value of your child’s education. When homeschooling you should think about public and private school systems, and use them as a sort of benchmark. You should be trying to surpass, or at the very least match, the level of education your child would receive in one of these environments. Now, if you think about a public school classroom, you’ll see that the teacher is always in the room. It is one of the most fundamental rules of teaching — even if the students have been assigned work to complete on their own in class time, the teacher remains in the room in order to assist the students.
You should also adhere to this principle. Children learn by example, in subtle ways that are not always within our control. If you assign your children work and leave to go do other things you are sending a message to them that the schooling is not of a highest priority for you. Even if they cannot articulate it, this negative message in terms of your priorities will affect the children’s attitude towards their education.
When homeschooling your children, the hours that you spend teaching should be hours in which your children’s education are the number one priority. Errands or other household duties should be left for “after-school” hours. When “school is in,” you should be to. Of course, there will be many instances where you will be trying to get your children to learn how to work independently, but at these times you should still be physically available for questions or your children’s need for assistance.
By always being present during your children’s education you make them understand that their education is a serious thing, not simply something to occupy them while you take care of more pressing activities.