Homeschooling parents often turn to pre-packaged curriculums for their children. However, this approach can be unnecessarily expensive, especially if there is more than one child studying at home. Instead, some parents have taken to creating their own education resources and environments with school desks and small school chairs.
Here are some tips for setting up your own curriculum:
- Start with what you have
- Look for standard household supplies that can fill in for more specialized materials
- Do it yourself
- Get to know your library system
- Find the gems on the Internet
- Take advantage of learning opportunities available through local schools, colleges, museums, youth organizations and business
- Collect books, craft materials, educational toys and games used or at a discount
- Do your homework before investing in a textbook, an online school or a packaged curriculum
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Choosing to homeschool your children is an important decision. It involves quite a lot of planning and preparation, so it is best to begin the process slowly while creating a relaxed learning environment.
About.com offers some starter tips:
Start by collecting resources you already own, or can borrow, buy, or access online. These include books, globes, calculators, measuring cups, rulers and tape measures, art supplies, and internet access. You may also have a computer table, small school chairs and other furniture that will enhance your child’s new learning environment.
Next, explore local community resources. Look into enrichment programs, teachers and organizations in your area, and don’t forget to take full advantage of your local library!
Make sure to organize your household and set up a schedule for daily chores. Have your children pitch in with cleaning tasks, and share other responsibilities with your spouse. Collect organizing tips and easy recipes to make your life easier, and always ask for help if you start to feel overwhelmed! An organized, relaxed household will enhance your children’s homeschool experience.
Last, start a record of your homeschooling experience. In some cases this is a requirement, but every parent can benefit from this in many ways. An organized record can help you keep track of your progress, plan future lessons, and even compare notes and insights with fellow homeschooling friends, local groups and online forums.
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Many people have misconceptions about home schooling and about exactly what it looks like for a family. They assume that they child is sitting at his school furniture desk in his home all day long, learning just as he would be in the classroom.
Many families, however, select to home school because it can broaden the child’s horizons, rather than limit them. When done correctly, home schooling can allow students to get out into their communities more than other children might. They can use the resources at local museums, libraries, businesses, marinas and other locations as part of their educational endeavors.
In addition, in many areas today there are enough people home schooling that they can combine efforts. This could mean that the students learn together in small groups at one family’s home, creating a small classroom of sorts with school furniture in this location. Or, it could mean that they create ways to do after school programs together. So they can get out after their learning and enjoy art or sports together.
There are many possibilities and ways to engage the home schooled child that aren’t part of the traditional methods of learning. Since the child is not in a regular classroom, there is also more time and ability to travel, showing the student an historical location when they learn about history, for instance. Of course not every family has the money for this, but it certainly has an impact on the child to show them the Washington Monument when they learn about America’s founding.
Many people hear the words home schooling and they assume that it includes a child sitting at home all day with his parents. While this is certainly one way to do home school, it’s not the only way. And home schooling isn’t only for unruly kids who can’t fit into the school system or for children who are outsiders or outliers.
Home schooling has become a booming area of interest for many, with more than 1 million kids educated at home today in America. There are many reasons that parents select to home school their children and to set up school furniture, classroom chairs and other items in their own homes rather than in the school environment.
There are many reasons that people home school. Some do so because they believe that students can have more intense learning when they are in a 1-1 environment. Some home school so that their child can accelerate in areas of interest and have less focus on areas that aren’t as interesting. Most parents who homeschool believe that their ability to focus on one or a few children allows for much more focused learning and much less need to deal with behavior issues and commotion that is common in a larger classroom.
In some situations, it isn’t even the parents who are in charge of their child’s education at home. It could be that a few families get together to home school their children. They create a learning environment at one home with computer tables, classroom tables and other necessary items and they hire a teacher to be in charge of the student learning.
Certainly, home schooling isn’t for every family or every child; it isn’t something to write off immediately, however, as there is much more to it than some people assume.
If you worry that your child might not gain success if they are homeschooled, you can feel reassured when you see this list. This list, from Homeschoolacademy.com shows many of the famous and admirable people in our history who were homeschooled.
· Konrad Adenauer
· Henry Fountain Ashurst
· William Jennings Bryan
· Winston Churchill
· Henry Clay
· Pierre du Pont
· Benjamin Franklin
· Alexander Hamilton
· Patrick Henry
· William Penn
· Daniel Webster
· Alexander the Great – Greek Ruler
· John Barry – Senior Navy Officer
· Stonewall Jackson – Civil War General
· John Paul Jones – Father of the American Navy
· Robert E. Lee – Civil War General
· Douglas MacArthur – U.S. General
· George Patton – U.S. General
· Matthew Perry – naval officer who opened up trade with Japan
· John Pershing – U.S. General
· David Dixon Porter – Civil War Admiral
U.S. Supreme Court Judges
· John Jay
· John Marshall
· John Rutledge
· Sandra Day O’Connor
· George Washington Carver
· Pierre Curie
· Albert Einstein
· Michael Faraday – electrochemist
· Oliver Heaviside – physicist and electromagnetism researcher
· T.H. Huxley
· Blaise Pascal
· Booker T. Washington
· Erik Demaine – Popular Science Mag: One of the Most Brilliant Scientists in America
Homeschooling certainly has its advantages. And it’s a wonderful choice for many parents and their children. Before venturing in this direction, however, it’s important to have your eyes wide open. This includes understanding the challenges of home schooling and the frustrations that one might encounter. Here are a few of those challenges.
Frustration with Children: Certainly, if a parent is going to be the teacher, and the children are going to be in the house 24-7, the parents have to understand this burden. Not every parent can be with a child all day long, serving as both the parental figure and the teaching figure. Some parents get burned out in this situation and some find the frustration of teaching their own child overwhelming and insurmountable.
Appropriate Learning Environment: Working at the kitchen table isn’t always a good choice for homeschooling. You probably need to invest in school furniture including classroom chairs and classroom desks. Consider, as well, if you have small children at home who will distract the learning process and keep the school day from staying on track.
Level of Learning: As a child gets older, the school material needs to get more intense. Parents need to understand the level of learning that their child needs, and know how to provide it. If the child has surpassed the parent’s level of science or math understanding, for instance, it may be necessary to bring in another teacher or to find a group with whom to work.
Extra Activities: Some children are very social, while others don’t mind being in a homeschool environment with only a parent of a few other people around. If you have a child who is social, it may be important to find after school activities for the child. Consider joining together with other homeschool families to create sports activities, art programs and more.