As this school year starts with no right answer on schools, some may find themselves considering homeschooling.
First, let me assure you that this year homeschooling won't be normal for us either, as many of our usual social activities are also restricted.
Is homeschool the right option for you and your kids? Maybe.
Helpful I know. ;) Here are some things to consider.
Regardless of what you choose, you must do what is best for you, your children, and your family.
If you are joining your public or private school's online platforms, you should know that you technically aren't homeschooling.
The benefit of this, is that it is school, just at home. You won't be picking your kid's curricula, or grading assignments, or hopefully doing any more than the homework you usually helped them with. So relax and don't worry about joining homeschool groups or getting curricula. Your child's days will be busy with work from the school. They will still be part of an accredited school and get a report card.
However, the drawback is the same as the benefit. You will be considered a student at that school and therefore required to meet their workloads, time, technological and other requirements. If you're looking for more "freedom" than a traditional schedule, then this might not work for you. For example, if you think your child needs extra time this year to work on getting their reading better or math drills, you don't truly have that choice to make. If you're doing school at home for multiple children, this can be not only a technical challenge (with multiple computer classes going), but a parental challenge of keeping younger kids especially engaged with a computer screen all day.
The first thing to look at if you're considering homeschooling, is what your State Requires of Homeschoolers. Usually the requirements are very simple such as registering with your state or district or end of year testing (which I assure you is easy to get done.)
I would then ask you to consider what you want your days to look like. Are you envisioning yourself with apples on your sweater, writing ABCs on the chalkboard? Or are you seeing your family out on nature hikes? Reading books by the fire? Watching documentaries? Painting in a field? All answers are ok. Homeschooling is really a reflection of your family culture.
Are you teaching some of your subjects to multiple children or each individually. If you have multiple students homeschooling. I highly recommend combining some subjects, such as Literature, History, Science and more. Once you do your Math, Reading, and Writing on individual levels, it is easier to do some things together.
Before you buy anything here are some questions to ponder:
- What things have I always wanted to teach my kids about (a hobby, language, geography, culture, music, cooking, sport)?
- If I could do anything I wanted for 1 year with my family, what would I do?
- What do we love doing together?
- What did I love doing in school?
- What does my child(ren) love doing?
- What is something I would like to learn about?(space, gardening, art, history, a culture, language, programing, technology)
- Do I enjoy reading aloud to my child(ren)?
- Am I nervous about teaching a certain subject?
- What subjects do I look forward to teaching and do I dread?
Picture a perfect day in your home and describe it. What would a total failure look like?
Once you have some of these answers, then you can begin to make choices for your homeschool curricula. (see next post coming soon!)
I'll address the elephant in the room. This pandemic holds socialization challenges for all of us. Regardless of what schooling option you choose, assuring your child has healthy, safe relationships should always be a priority. That ay mean planning more outside events this year and thinking outside the box.
If you have any questions about homeschooling or would like help choosing curricula for your family, contact me.