Parents who choose to homeschool their elementary children are committing themselves to being intimately involved with their child’s education on a daily basis. Every subject can be taught by the parent if that is the option they select, along with the traditional responsibilities that come with this role, so it is important to find a balance so that everyone has a good experience and develops strong relationships.
First, set up a school schedule with a start and end time that stays consistent with the occasional exception due to unexpected events. While homeschooling is well-known for its flexibility, kids need structure, so they know what the expectations are and it establishes an understanding of rules, how to follow them and consequences if they are broken. This also defines when mom or dad is the parent and when they are the teacher so that kids are not always wondering which role they are interacting with. Kids love to ask questions and sometimes they need a ‘teacher’ to answer and other times, they just need their parent to respond in a way they normally would.
As a home teacher, parents need to work with a quality first grade homeschool curriculum (or whatever grade their student is in) that includes the standard concepts and skill development that kids should be learning at that age. Print curriculum may be recommended for use in the elementary grades because some kids learn better with the hands-on experience while older students have the option to transition to online portals for assignments and teacher instruction. Parents should familiarize themselves with the material ahead of time so they can prepare for the next lesson and research ideas on how to teach and get creative with difficult subjects. If you partner with an accredited homeschool program, they usually include a daily lesson planner with the curriculum to help parents and students work through the material in an organized and reasonable amount to finish in a timely manner.
Remember that young students will have trouble sitting all day whether it’s a desk in the classroom or on the couch at home. Create a schedule that gets them moving by adding in a PE class that can be inside or outside, include art or music lessons and come up with creative ways to make the material from the textbook come ‘alive’ for them. This can increase mental comprehension, helps with building additional skill sets and keeps them excited about school and learning. The majority of what a child learns will begin in the classroom but is reinforced and solidified through field trips, everyday activities and external interaction with peers.
Homeschooling your kids is a rewarding and challenging experience that can build strong family relationships, confident personalities and a strong knowledge foundation. Online resources are a great help in finding homeschooling tips and in connecting with established accredited homeschool programs, so parents have a support system to help them with each grade. These programs take care of the documentation, choosing curriculum and offer additional options for high school students on the path to college.
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