For those of you who are finding yourselves homeschooling – how wonderful! What a perfect opportunity for us as parents to inspire our children’s desire to learn through activities we wouldn’t normally do together. I am so thankful I have homeschooled my 4 children over the last 18yrs, as they have had great success;
- My eldest son (19ys) is employed full time in the building industry, now studying architecture and in the process of buying his first home and
- My other son (16yrs) has already completed a Cert. 111 in Patisserie, employed full time in that field and doing further studies in that industry ( The girls are still homeschooling).
Over the years there are some things that I have learnt and definitely know, make homeschooling easier if put into place as soon as possible. So following are my homeschooling best 5 tips for parents.
- Children love organisation, they may not admit it but they do! It gives them a sense of security which is particularly important at this time. So try to be organised as much as possible; write up a school schedule before the week starts – on a whiteboard if you have one and prepare where necessary the night before. It is also important – under normal circumstances, to include outdoor play/excursions every week and to have social time with other mums/children – when possible. Places like museums, art galleries, wild life displays/ zoo’s, exhibitions etc. open their minds up to endless possibilities.
- Always shower and dress appropriately – this means getting out of your pj’s, to face the day with enthusiasm! Also dedicate a part of the house for homeschooling, it really does make a difference.
- With younger children, their concentration span is generally about 20 mins, so start with a story in the morning and then talk about it together before you move on to a more hands on activity like; cooking, gardening etc. then go back to subjects like spelling, math, as not all children learn the same way and may have different learning styles. With all of that said free play/ time is equally as important, and I don’t recommend you direct activities 24/7 as children need that freedom to explore, create and relax on their own – and this is where you also get to relax!
- Homeschooling needs to be fun and your enthusiasm and zeal for teaching is an essential ingredient for their learning and it will catch on! Where there is fun and discovery involved in learning it enhances learning. In addition there is an opportunity to learn through every activity you do together. There doesn’t have to be books/ laptops open for learning to take place. I have had great success in incorporating moving with learning – where we’ve learnt maths, spelling, science and geography through sport.
- As the children get older make learning as relevant to real life as much as possible – with real life examples. You can teach them how to answer the phone, how to use a computer, office paper work, budgeting, how to pay a bill, meal preparation, how to set a table for dinner, how to clean- using homemade products, how to grow a herb/vegie garden etc.
In closing, being enthusiastic and encouraging children’s desire to learn helps prevent bad habits and in turn wasting time. I hope my ‘Homeschooling – 5 Tips For Parents’ has been helpful and please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. We need to keep encouraging our children to develop their skills and talents through learning and hobbies/interests so they are equipped to have things to do during times as these and for a successful future.