Homeschool Basics From Children's Education Consulting - Stamford Moms

by Ellen Weston, Children’s Education Consulting

Homeschooling: Another learning option for your child

Parents are increasingly homeschooling their children. Since the advent of COVID-19, schools have grappled with ways to create a safe school learning environment for the opening of the 2020-2021 school year. Yet, parents remain cautious and are choosing to homeschool as another learning option for their children.

Reopening School Plans Vary

Some private schools with sufficient square footage and a small student body will reopen full time with a normal schedule as long as they comply with local and state departments of health laws, expectations and recommendations. Larger private schools will reconfigure classes and schedules to comply with safety standards.  They will offer a Hybrid Learning option or 100% Distance Teaching and Learning. Connecticut public school districts were required to submit reopening plans that addressed the health and safety of staff and students. Their reopening options focused on: a 100% in-person classroom scenario with safety protocols, a Hybrid Model, or 100% Distance Teaching and Learning. The Stamford Pubic Schools will re-open the 2020-2021 School Year with a choice of the Hybrid Model or the Distance Teaching and Learning Academy.

The Homeschooling Option

Regardless of these options, many parents are finding the reopening of school for the 2020-2021 academic year to be a scary undertaking or non-workable and are turning to homeschooling. It is important that parents be mindful of the challenges of becoming their child’s teacher. Here are some key areas that will help to make the experience both rewarding and successful.

Be Mindful of Your Strengths and Weaknesses:

Parents become their children’s teachers with the best of intentions. But, sometimes, unwittingly, they may enjoy and find it easier to teach certain subjects more than others. On occasion, parent teachers may be so enthused with the teaching of a favorite subject that less time is devoted to their weaker or less favorite subject.  For example: as a parent teacher you may feel inadequate in math or disinterested in science.  But, you love to read and write.  So, it may evolve that more time is spent on those more enjoyable subjects.  The downside will be that your student receives less instruction and learning time in your least favorite subjects and not sufficiently master them.  Solutions such as private tutors and online resources are available to help you teach your child in your weaker or least favorite subjects.

Organizational Skills:

Organizing and planning are the benchmarks of the homeschooling classroom. Organizing the homeschool day, the homeschool room and homeschool paperwork require planning, time, and thoughtful strategies.

Some states require a homeschool progress report, a record of grades or a portfolio of your child’s work. So, your organizational skills will be important to keep good records of your child’s homeschool years. Your record keeping may be done manually in a daily journal, a notebook system or on the computer. Connecticut doesn’t require such reporting. But, many parents may enjoy keeping portfolios, progress reports, or work samples as mementos of their children’s homeschooling years. If you anticipate moving to a state that requires reporting, then it would be wise to maintain records.

Patience:

Homeschooling parents must be patient as they teach their children, just as teachers must be patient when working with students. Each student learns differently and at a different pace. Sometimes, different teaching strategies will be necessary to meet your child’s learning style. Since homeschooling parents are exclusively responsible for their children’s education, they must exercise a considerable amount of patience.

Time:

Homeschooling is a major time commitment. It will require a good portion of the day to effectively teach your child, Further, more time per day may be required if you have multiple children or children in higher grades. Therefore, homeschooling parents must set time aside every day and not permit themselves to get distracted. And, it’s not a good idea for parents desiring to homeschool to have full-time jobs because of the time commitment. Parents attempting to do this would not have the time required to provide effective instruction, and they would be under considerable stress.

Effort:

The level of success of homeschooling will correlate with the level of effort invested by both the parent teacher and the child student. Homeschooling is hard work but it is rewarding.

Discipline:

Discipline is another important aspect of homeschooling. This is because parents are responsible for determining the amount of time they spend in instruction with their children. They must also discipline themselves to put considerable effort into their daily instruction. And, homeschooling parents need to be disciplined to “be present” for their student children and not be preoccupied with chores, errands, or distracted by part-time jobs.

Homeschooled children may not experience the same pressures as exist within a public school classroom to work hard and participate. Therefore, parents are responsible to ensure their children exercise self-discipline and put forth meaningful effort.

Conclusion:

When parents are new to homeschooling, it can seem overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be a stressful time. These homeschooling basics will help you have your homeschool up and running as stress-free as possible.

Homeschooling can be a wonderful learning option for your child. It is a time to enjoy doses of humor, have realistic expectations, and keep a low-key relaxed approach. Parents who adopt an approach that embraces all these elements will ensure a rewarding and successful homeschooling year.

To discuss this article, or to seek guidelines and support, I invite you to chat/text Ellen Weston at (203) 559 5359.

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