How to Prepare Yourself and Your Child for Homeschool
Homeschooling your child can be very rewarding. Not only will they receive an education tailored to their strengths and interests, but you will grow closer together. However, setting up a successful homeschool environment takes some effort. Here are some tips to ensure you and your child have a great experience.
How to Prepare a Home
Believe it or not, it isn’t necessary to transform your entire home into a giant classroom. Ideally, you want to set up at least one designated area for homeschool time, such as a desk with a computer and all the supplies you need organized and labeled. Speaking of supplies, if space is tight, a caddy with pens, pencils, a calculator, pencil sharpener, etc. makes supplies portable, so you can take learning on-the-go. A shelf or other designated area for books also helps, but if storage is limited, you can always check out books from the local library or use an e-reader. When it is time for homeschool, turn off any other distractions (i.e. smartphones), so you and your child can focus on learning.
If you’re hesitant to homeschool your child because of gaps in your own education, there are plenty of resources online. On the internet, homeschool is available for students from grades K-12. Several companies offer online curricula for homeschooling. You can also hire online tutors or enroll your child in an online virtual homeschool. Many colleges provide online college courses for high school students, so your child can earn college credit. You don’t have to be the sole educator of your child when you homeschool.
Socializing and Networking
You also do not have to be the sole provider of social skills for your child. One of the main questions many people have about homeschooling is how the children will build “people” skills without going to a traditional school. However, there are many networks and support groups that organize play dates, field trips and other learning experiences for homeschooled youth. Just search for “homeschool support group” or “homeschool support network” and your town online to find local groups. Also, community organizations provide classes for neighborhood children as well as volunteer opportunities for older students. Museums, especially children’s museums, allow young people to explore new materials and interact with other children. Some local libraries also host story times for children during the day.
Homeschooling is a lot of work, but with some planning, organizing, and research, you can give your child a stimulating learning environment and create many great memories.
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