How To Home School A Child – Tips, Advice And Guidance

Attending school may not be appropriate for every child or every family. Home schooling therefore provides a great alternative and allows the tailoring of a child’s education to their learning style and personality. It also allows  tailoring a child’s learning to the lifestyle without the limits of conventional schooling hours. In this article we look at how to effectively home school a child.

Make Time For Home Schooling
Although parents can choose to educate a child at any time of day and on any day of the week, it’s important to work out how education will fit this into a lifestyle. Before home schooling begins, sit down and make a timetable of when lessons can occur to fit with the rest of the child’s lifestyle and the needs of the child. It’s important to understand that children often learn better in small chunks and some children will be more open to learning in the morning whilst others will learn better in the afternoon or evening. The beauty of home schooling is that the education can adapt to these hours whenever necessary.

Plan the Curriculum
In homeschooling, parents are not obliged to follow the national curriculum set by their government when it comes to home schooling. Parents need to check what the legal requirements for education in their country are, parents also need to provide their child with a balanced education that will put them in good stead for the future. Parents should aim to teach children to read and write, do basic math equations and understand the world around them through geography, history and science. It may also be beneficial to incorporate other subjects too such as cookery, sports or information technology.

Once the subjects to be taught are decided, the next stage is to work out exactly what and how to teach the children the things they need to know. This can be done through formal lessons sat at a desk or by going on trips.

Gather Supplies
Although for most subjects, there will be minimal supplies requirements, for others you will need more. Paper, pens and general art supplies can be bought from the supermarket or dedicated stationary shops. There may be a need to visit craft shops for more obscure materials such as pipe cleaners, felt or tissue paper. Local libraries can be visited to find any books needed to support the child’s learning. There are a large variety of worksheets and educational resources available online too. Joining with home school groups and mixing with other parents will help gather supplies too.

Keep a Portfolio
Keep a portfolio of your child’s work to prove the child education being received is sufficiently varied. It’s unnecessary to keep all of your child’s work but it’s advisable to keep evidence of the subjects being studied and the child’s progress. This can take the form of pieces of the child’s work such as short stories or pictures. It can also include photographs of the child undertaking baking or on a trip out.

Give time to social activities
As well as providing a child with a rounded education, there is also a need to set aside time for them to be with other children of a similar age. This can be done through joining sporting activities or organised clubs such as drama, dance or a local tennis club. This will help to develop a child’s social skills and build their confidence and self-esteem.

Home schooling can be a joy and really suit certain children and domestic situations. Done well it can provide an excellent education, done badly it potentially could harm a child’s prospects for life.

Image Credits: Andreas Ebling and Marlene Manto.