How to Enhance Your Child’s Schooling
By Amy Collett (Bizwell.org) and Terry Neven (Sunland)
If you’re looking into school options for your child, you will most likely find yourself looking at private homeschooling as a consideration. You might feel like you are inadequate to teach your own child, but the average parent, with some guidance, is capable of successfully instructing them! Many parents consider homeschool in order to have control over the school day, type of curriculum, minimize dysfunctional socialization and to have direct understanding of what their child is learning or struggling with academically. And there is more to schooling then just academics, there is character development, values and parental mentoring, just to name a few!
The good news is, homeschooling offers a world of opportunities for people who want to be more in touch with their child’s education and mix things up, adding variety to the educational experience. We created this article to help inspire you to find fun and exciting ways to enhance your child’s schooling.
Hundreds of publishers offer direct purchasing power to parents, so one can make the decision of which curriculum works best with your child. Guidance of offered in this process as well as the opinions of thousands of experienced homeschool families and the assistance of many great homeschool programs. Curriculum does not have to be expensive, complicated or difficult for a parent to understand how it works.
We know a lot of parents blanched a bit at that headline, but bear with us: technology should have a place in your curriculum. This isn’t an endorsement of mindless scrolling. Rather, it’s a reminder that technology is going to have a place in your child’s future, and it’s best to teach them how to use it responsibly early on.
Get an affordable family laptop you can use for lessons, coursework, and educational games. You can also connect with online homeschooling communities and set up virtual playdates or study sessions with other homeschooling families. This is a great way to get connected with the community, especially when meeting in-person can be such a challenge. If your children are playing educational video games, be sure you set time limits on screen time, but also ensure your internet is up to the task so they can enjoy smooth and uninterrupted gameplay.
Take Field Trips
Children love field trips, and one of the great things about homeschooling is you can go on one basically any day you’d like. Try to schedule outings at least once a week, and focus on finding ways to make them as educational as possible. You can tie trips into the curriculum directly by visiting museums or local landmarks, but you can also get creative.
For example, a trip to the park gives you a chance to collect leaves and learn about their structure. The grocery store gives your little one an opportunity to practice math that can easily advance as they age. Very young children can practice counting duplicate items. When they’re a little older, have them keep track to guess a rough total of your grocery bill. As they get a better understanding of math concepts, you can have them start taking discounts and taxes into account. Try to make a game of guessing the actual total as close as possible.
Remember: there are learning opportunities everywhere. Keep an open mind and try to spot opportunities for your little one to flex their mental muscles and expand their understanding of the world around them.
Be the Student
This is a super fun way to encourage independence and self-confidence for your little one. Create a regular interval (every other week or monthly is usually good to start, although you can boost it to more often as you go) where you have a day where your child teaches you something. Let them pick the topic, and point them toward resources where they can learn about that topic to teach it to you.
While they’re little, odds are they’ll be teaching back something you’ve already taught them. As they get older, however, they’ll have the skills and abilities to uncover new things and find their own information. When you flip the script this way and let them take the lead, you show them that you trust them to find and share interesting things. Plus, they’ll get to practice researching and condensing information in a presentable way.
Don’t limit yourself when it comes to homeschooling. Teaching your child on your own terms gives you the freedom to explore different methods of learning and discover what works best for you. Keep an open mind, and remember that the best method of homeschooling is the one that fosters a lifelong love of learning!
Depending on the state you are located in and the age of your child (Preschool – 8th grade or high school), record keeping can be important and sometimes critical for their post-secondary education. A good homeschool program offers substantial record keeping, transcripts, report cards and maintains a student’s cumulative folder for their educational history and future.
Sunland is a national homeschool program (established in 1986) who’s offices are located in Los Angeles, California, and was given special status in the 2008 California Appellate Court case, making private homeschooling legal for the first time in California. Visit their website at www.home-schooling.org.
Do you have questions about homeschooling? Contact Sunland today! 1-800-525-4419