One of the hallmarks of homeschooling is flexibility but this can be taken to the extreme when parents leave too much room for ‘student choice’. This typically results in no set schedule, kids deciding how much (or little) they want to do that day and a mad dash at the end to get everything done and turned in on time. This approach does not benefit anyone, so moderation is the best course. Create a schedule that works for your family with the knowledge that there may be days when it needs to be ‘tweaked’ due to unexpected events or exciting opportunities.
Every child learns differently and has a unique perspective on their education. Parents have to be careful not to set ‘blanket’ expectations that apply to all their children in the same way because this will create stress, tension and failure points for students who aren’t able to meet that level. It’s good to set goals but these may look slightly different for each child based on their age, learning ability and interaction with their courses. The best online homeschool program is designed for students to succeed because they can complete assignments at a flexible, but consistent pace, ensuring they understand the current concept before moving to the next chapter. Textbooks or e-books are created so that each grade level is taught standard information that builds from one year to the next, is age appropriate and easy to understand with help from the teacher.
Homeschooling is a team effort as it requires cooperation from the student and interaction from the parent whether they are the full-time teacher or the support system and rules enforcer because the online instructors handle the teaching. Parents who try to do this on their own may end up overwhelmed, exhausted and short on patience because everyone gets frustrated and the process suffers. Instead, partner with the best online homeschool program, check out local homeschool groups and get on the Internet to research what lessons other parents have learned from their experience. Every family is unique so homeschooling has a variety of applications and techniques that can be used to create a positive and productive learning environment.
One of the best reasons to connect with an established program is documentation which is part of the homeschooler’s responsibility to show compliance for compulsory attendance, if required, and to keep track of the student’s progress. The online school will handle this for the parent when the student is enrolled in the program which means mom and dad don’t have to be administration gurus and it is one less task for them to handle.
Lastly, make time to be a family outside of the ‘schoolroom’. Teaching at home can easily take up the whole day or blur the lines between roles and over time that will create unnecessary tension because kids may feel they always have a teacher but not a parent. Homeschooling is simply an alternative that some families utilize instead of public education but when the school day is over, the family comes back together for fun and fellowship.
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