Homeschooling is becoming a popular alternative to traditional methods of education. With control over what direction you wish your child’s education to go in or perhaps they are on an early career path that you want to encourage, then homeschool an attractive option. For some, homeschooling is a relief from the confines of typical education but a lot of people struggle on how to homeschool. With countless homeschool resources and carefully guided homeschool curriculum, it has never been easier to become involved with your children’s education. Online homeschool options also take a lot of pressure off you as a parent trying to implement a curriculum. With a wealth of expertise online and plenty of fresh resources, homeschooling has become an easier task than ever.
What is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is a movement that consists of parents and guardians taking the reins for their children’s education. It defies the typical forms of traditional education which see children learning in classrooms and schools. There are, of course, multiple reasons why children would be homeschooled rather than taught in traditional education formats. It may be the case of sickness, religious beliefs, or dissatisfaction with the educational options provided. Some children thrive outside of a school setting and homeschool is a particular way of becoming attuned to their educational needs.
For those panicking about not holding education qualifications, this is not a prerequisite. Providing your child with structure and personalised education is achievable through the wealth of online homeschool resources available for those who require it. Online homeschool education has provided a valid alternative to children who aren’t able to attend schools or colleges.
How to Homeschool
Deciding to homeschool your child is a huge decision but, luckily, knowing how to homeschool your child has never been easier. There are plenty of homeschool options available and, with a little research, all of that becomes apparent. There are plenty of materials available for you to begin your homeschool journey, from magazines like Homeschooling Today or going online. There are materials in places like libraries, a wealth of books available to buy, as well as plenty of people to talk to who homeschool daily. Taking time to research a structure or route that is suited to your child will take some pressure off how to homeschool.
You are never alone. There are plenty of people worldwide who are also homeschooling their children – even in your local community. Use the internet to connect to people here and abroad to learn and review their at-home teaching habits and skills. They can advise you on how homeschooling works for them and things they would like to finesse. Gleaning information like activities your children may want to participate in like sports or clubs that are suited to your child’s interests, as well as finding additional tutoring is crucial to developing a structure for your homeschooling. There may even be options to collaborate with people on science projects or languages, be it in person or over zoom.
Deciding on a curriculum is a difficult task and there are plenty available to decide from. You can create your own through free online homeschool resources or you purchase them through several reputable sites and catalogues. There are multiple ways subjects can be covered and they can be tailored to your children’s needs and interests. From topics in numeracy to geography, there are an array of interesting subjects for your children to delve into with your guidance.
When working out how to homeschool, it is also important to consider the space that you are going to dedicate to the task. Do you want to do it in the dining room? Do all of your children need an individual desk? Does a board need to be brought in? Does everyone have a computer? Organising a space that can be dedicated, at times, to your homeschooling needs is important. Having an empty wall to put up class schedules or deadlines is a great idea as well as it gives children a visual of what has to be achieved.
Setting goals is an important task as well. Even if you are going at a slower pace than in school, it is good to sit down with your child and verbalise what you want to accomplish. Thinking about sports and socialisation is an important task as well. How will extracurricular activity feature in your homeschooling lives? Being able to set a structured timetable of activities and topics is a great way for children to feel involved in their education and pick ways of keeping fit or occupied constructively.
Buying a diary or a large space to outline these goals is a great way for your child to visualise where their education is going. Making a structured schedule that they can follow creates a mission for them as well. Knowing what they will be doing for the week and for how long allow them to become accustomed to a routine and knowing they can discuss whether they’d like to amend certain aspects of their day is important too. Flexibility is one of the many benefits of homeschooling and allows room for you to adapt to circumstances and your child.
Communicating with people on an online forum or in-person is a great way of staving off isolation when homeschooling. Chatting to others and gleaning their experience takes the pressure off you as well, when you realise everyone is trying to do the best for their children. Learning from one another and developing structure ensures that your homeschooling will be a success.
Homeschool Curriculum: Educating for all Exams
Every school has a curriculum that they follow that helps students prepare for exams and further studies. It’s a good structure for children and is a fantastic way to create a direction for your lessons. There are plenty of free homeschool resources online available but there are also curriculums for purchase that can cover an array of needs. These curriculums can be based on what direction you want your child to take. Perhaps it is simply to provide a routine for them, for them to be able to take typical exams like GCSEs and A-Levels. Perhaps homeschooling is simply a temporary measure and you want your children to eventually go back to traditional methods of education – there are curriculums to suit everyone’s needs.
For those who perhaps don’t know what a curriculum is, it is simply subjects that comprise a course of study. The curriculum serves as a guide to prepare children for a certain direction. That might be a broad range of subjects pointing towards formal examinations or it may be a specific course of learning that is guiding your children in a particular direction. The wonderful thing about homeschooling as well is the one-to-one aspect. Even if you have more than one child, the opportunity to teach in much smaller numbers reduces the amount of ‘school time’ and allows the curriculum to be covered more in-depth and at a level that is suited best to your child. There are plenty of methods of delivering curriculum but all have to be adjusted to suit your needs.
Examples of the curriculum include a traditional, national curriculum that helps kids that have been taken out of school for a short period. Collins Easy Learning workbooks are perfect examples of fun and educational books that allow children to learn at their own pace. You can buy a national curriculum where everything is structured for you with minimal planning so all that has to be done is teach it. Removing the stress of planning and knowing that your children can sit traditional exams is an attractive form of homeschooling for many.
Scandinavia is renowned for its high marks and relaxed forms of education, much of the education taking place in project-based formats. Taking a particular theme, perhaps the Vikings, and discussing that allows for children to explore lots of different aspects of knowledge but with a specific focus that pulls their ideas together. While this is a fantastic and creative way of providing and teaching a broad curriculum, there is a price for creativity. If you are teaching this way, this will involve a lot of hands-on planning and will require you to develop your structure for your curriculum.
Another popular curriculum often used is the Charlotte Mason curriculum. This is an older curriculum that is still well thought of. Created in the 19th century, the method encourages children to focus fully on their task for as long as they are capable of studying it. Favouring education for education’s sake rather than studying for exams, the Charlotte Mason curriculum prioritises a love of learning over simply learning facts that are meaningless and insignificant in the long run. Unsurprisingly, the arts and nature feature heavily in the Charlotte Mason curriculum, which encourages children to develop on their terms. You can buy a Charlotte Mason Companion textbook which helps parents implement her methods.
There are a variety of homeschooling options available that suffice for the education of children. If you feel torn between particular curriculums, fear not, the flexibility that comes with homeschooling ensures that you can mix and match your favourite aspects of each one. This can provide a wealth of information for your children (and for you) to enjoy. Remember to factor in your costs. What can you afford and are there ways of you achieving the curriculum you want for a smaller price? How much time do you have to spend? Do you want a full day of activities or heavily-structured morning lessons and free afternoons? Consider all these factors to build a curriculum for your children that meets all of your needs and provides the outcomes that you desire.
Online Homeschool: Homeschool Resources
Getting a curriculum can be a terrifying prospect for most children, but there are a wealth of online homeschool resources available to ease the worry. There is an abundance of free resources that take a financial burden off families as well and make engaging with education a fun prospect. Even if you are homeschooling to supplement your child’s education, there are some great courses that your children will enjoy taking.
TED-Ed seems to be an obvious choice for those who enjoy online resources. They are multiple TED talks that lessons can be built around and they are readily accessible from the TED-Ed website and youtube channel. Reading Eggs is another great resource. A subscription site, it teaches reading with an array of games and songs, developing rewards through a mobile app with each achievement. A perfect solution for children in primary school who are learning phonics and language. Exploratorium is a free website hosted by the San Francisco Children’s Science Centre. It offers an incredible supply of activities, interactive online resources, videos, and worksheets on science and mathematics. A brilliant way of keeping children engaged with science.
Mathematics is daunting to most people, nevermind children, but XtraMath makes maths a fun prospect for anyone working with numbers. A non-profit organisation, XtraMath features free lessons and videos with progress reports and resources to plan your lessons around. A valuable resource for homework help, it creates in-depth, independent learning for those wanting to develop their numeracy skills. PowerMyLearning is another brilliant example of online homeschool resources. It is a free web-based platform that hosts thousands of videos, interactive activities and games that encourage learning. Designed specifically for children to reinforce their learning experience, it’s a great tool to help children comprehend a topic they have just been taught.
BrainPop is an online homeschool resource that is fantastic for those who want to structure their learning through a familiar curriculum. While it is a subscription site, it has plenty of quality content that makes it worth its fee. There are quizzes, educational videos and games, animated films, and breakdowns on every subject to make learning fun and digestible. Not only accessible through a website, but it also has a mobile and tablet application that allows children some freedom of movement from their computer spaces. With a wealth of options for learning online, homeschooling has become an attractive option for many.
Homeschool: A Fountain of Possibilities
With homeschooling, there are plenty of opportunities to allow your children to learn a wide curriculum and acquire a wealth of knowledge from a variety of resources. Online homeschool resources provide opportunities for parents to deliver an education for their children in a non-traditional format and setting, and it is certainly a way to invest time into your children. With forums and plenty of free resources, there has never been a better time to homeschool your child.