As with any new project there is lots of excitement on the part of the parent and student who are looking forward to being at home instead of a public school and the parent taking on the role of teacher. However, there is a lot of planning that needs to be done before any books are opened or computer is turned on and the school year actually begins. Taking time to prep in advance is one of the best ways to avoid headaches and stress that are often come as life tends to do…that is alright because homeschool allows you to adjust easily to a day’s unplanned events. Online programs provide lesson planners integrated with each class so the student can see what they should be doing each day and for younger grades with a book curriculum a planner should be included which clearly marks out the days lessons. Take advantage of these tools so that you don’t have to re-invent the process and adjust easily when things come up.
In public school, the move to 6th grade often comes with switching schools and going from the top of the elementary hierarchy to the bottom of the middle school group. This can be scary and overwhelming but as a homeschool student this entire situation is avoided. The environment doesn’t change if the student was previously taught at home so this challenging event is completely avoided. It’s interesting to note that middle school is a peak time when parents decide to make the switch to homeschooling because of the atmosphere at this level and the typical social behavior.
Having the right tools and resources is a critical piece in homeschooling so parents must take the time to research the various options and methods to find the right fit for their student. There are local homeschool groups that work together to share the tasks or online portals where students can login to take courses and complete assignments with access to teachers for help. Students often provide important feedback to parents seeing the approaches, but parents must make the best decision related to cost, quality of education, accreditation and what works best for the home.
The quality of a student’s education is based on a few things including the curriculum and teachers providing the instruction. Some parents are looking for a specific type of curriculum that aligns with their world view perspective such as a Christian online homeschool program. Others are more interested in looking for a program that offers a college prep track, Honors and even possibly dual enrollment with an established university or college. When researching the various websites, look at the curriculum options and their purpose statement that outlines their approach to education and student learning.
After researching, there does not appear to be any stipulation that parents must choose a homeschool program that is situated in their state of record. This means that if you live in Texas then you can partner with a school in Florida but before making this decision it is important to consider several factors.
Every child learns differently, while some do fine in a classroom environment with a large group, others need more one-on-one attention on a regular basis. How your child learns best should be one of the first questions a parent asks themselves and discusses with the child. If they do better on their own then the online portal for classwork and study is an excellent approach; however, if they need a group environment then consider partnering with other families who want to homeschool and set up days/times to meet. Kids can do their own work but the group setting can help encourage them and provide the ‘traditional’ classroom they are looking for.
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