Being a home educator for more than five years does not make me an expert. I just have to get that one out before I blabber along – a disclaimer of sorts. The real gung-hos are those who still keep at it to the third or fourth child. The Duggar Family is definitely on top of my list, on that note.
If there is anything I should tell you about homeschooling, it is this – IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. This, I keep reminding my Christian Homeschooler readers. Hence, this post is an attempt to help parents who are considering homeschooling, which has become a very viable education alternative these days. Here are a few basics that helped us in our family’s homeschooling journey.
1. The very first thing to consider in homeschooling is your child’s personality. If your child has socialization issues to begin with, homeschooling should not be an option. And even if my son has a very outgoing personality, I still make sure that it is nurtured through his other supplementary classes like Karate and Sunday School.
2. The home educator’s availability. This, more often than not, pertains to one of the child’s parents. I have encountered a couple of grandmothers who do the homeschooling in the parent’s behalf. This is something that your family has to carefully plan out. As much as we would love to be creative and flexible as we home-school, a child has to have some sort of routine to look forward to. Personally, homeschooling works for us because I work from home.
3. Scout for the best homeschooling curriculum that will cater to your child’s needs. Ideally, a year before you start homeschooling. The more homeschooling curricula you are exposed to, the more options you have. If there is a particular program you think you can use, you have to make sure you not half hearted about it. Otherwise, you might find your uncertainty to be a stumper to creating a healthy learning environment for you and your child.
4. Provide your child his own “school office.” Ideally, this is a nook in your house where there is minimal distraction. Believe me when I say that I can never imagine we will be able to come up with this corner in our humble 48sqm. abode. As the old adage says, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” Being able to define where he works during homeschool is critical to his mindset about the “home school” setup.
5. Uniform. This is something that worked for us especially when we were starting. It is a challenge enough that the class is held at home, which is essentially your child’s comfort zone. Wearing his school uniform will help him switch from “play mode” to “school mode.”
For those who would love to know more about homeschooling, I also wrote a post that might be of interest – Questions About Homeschooling Answered.
We all know that the family is the basic unit in the society that plays the critical role of training the next generation. While we, as homeschoolers, are already doing (or at least considering to do) an extra mile to it, we might as well nurture the best homeschooling environment for our child.
The above article was also published via Philstar.com on October 4, 2011.