Home Schooling - Read These Tips Before You Commit

By Paul Blumenfeld

More and more parents are considering home schooling, for a variety of reasons. Children often face overcrowded classrooms and dangers such as drugs and violence in public schools. There are many advantages to home schooling -convenience, safety, personal attention and parents' ability to teach what they consider most important. Before you begin home schooling, however, you should be prepared for what is actually involved.

Homeschooling your children require some sort of structure, though not as rigid as you will find in most school systems. There are different style of teaching, and you may nor may not want to give your kids tests similar to those given in public and private schools. A formal assessment is usually necessary, even if you homeschool, so that you can keep an eye on your child's progress as the weeks progress. In fact, some states require specific types of testing to make sure your kids are keeping up. Regardless of state laws or requirements, it is essential that you monitor where your kids are in regard to comprehension through some format of formalized testing.

In traditional schools, the teachers have to follow a set teaching outline and don't always get a chance to be more flexible in their methods. Creativity is sometimes frowned upon. You, however, have complete control over how creative and/or flexible you want to be with your kids. Obviously, one benefit is that you won't be trying to teach in an overcrowded classroom with 20 to 30 kids. You will only be concentrating on your child or children. As a result, it will be a lot more convenient to go on field trips, have custom designed lesson plans, and formulate your very own system for teaching your children. You may want to take kids to places like libraries, museums or various cultural destinations to make things more interesting. Hands-on experience is a much better way of teaching than just book learning and will make learning a lot more interesting for your children. They can learn how shoes are made from a boot maker, how cakes are created from a baker, and they can learn about the algae that turns the local swimming pool green from the man who sells pool supplies at the local Lowe's Home Improvement Center. Special interests or budding talents can also be easily encouraged if you are only teaching your child or children. You can give them encouragement and more specific information about their area of interest.

When home schooling, you have to remember that kids all have different learning styles. Parents are typically not aware of how their children learn which means that over time, you will have to learn how to teach your kids in an appropriate manner that is beneficial for them. Some kids are visual learners, while others learn better by hearing the lesson. A variety of techniques, such as songs or flashcards, can be implemented to help children with these different learning styles. Whatever your child responds to the most, you need to incorporate that into your lesson plans. Your option to modify your lesson plan is a great benefit to your children, especially when you notice changes in their ability to learn and how you need to modify your doing.

If your children have previously attended a public school, it won't take them long to realize how different being home schooled can be. This will be a learning curve for you, the new home school parent, and you will be required to learn many new skills. You'll find that it can be challenging at times, but if you persist, you'll find it's well worth the effort to play such an important role in your child's education.

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