New To Homeschooling? Try Our Essential Tips For Parents
Posted by Niels Madsen on
Homeschooling is never as easy as it looks—something that millions of parents across Canada have been discovering.
Trying to balance the task of managing your child’s education and your own life can be difficult, but thankfully there is a wealth of information, resources, and support out there to help you.
This guide will look at some of those resources, as well as offering some helpful tips on how to make your homeschooling adventure an enjoyable one for you and your children.
Stick To A Routine
Making sure that you and your child are adhering to a routine is vitally important, but that doesn’t just include the schooling activities.
Setting up a regular playtime, as well as more social activities and mealtimes, will help give the days the same sense of structure as a schoolday and maintain a sense of normality.
Your regular weekly schedule could include:
Regular bedtimes, wake-up times, and meal times
Blocks of learning time dedicated to individual subjects/areas
Time to talk to friends and family on a daily basis
Daily physical activity
Space for ‘free/creative time’, where they can choose the activity or explore areas that interest them
Create A Home Learning Space
Before you begin creating the ideal home learning space there’s one rule you need to keep in mind—you aren’t trying to recreate a classroom.
This means going into things with an open mind, and trying to create somewhere that has:
Ample storage space
A location near the rooms where you spend most of your time, so that you’re available if your child has any questions
Once you have these basic elements, you have free reign when it comes to how the space looks. You want to go with an aesthetic that works for you and the "students", which could include something pleasing and creatively inspiring.
For example, you could set up a homemade art galley or bring in a chalkboard they can write or draw on.
Most importantly, design a space with your child’s personality in mind. You want to create somewhere where they will be relaxed, free to express themselves, and happy spending long periods of time.
Having said that, this isn't a space to spend 6 straight hours in. Move around the house, and set up different areas for different subjects if you can.
If you don't have extra space for this and have to use the dining room table, try and arrange it differently during schooltime and sit on different sides than you would during mealtimes. Try and make the line between schoolwork and leisure separate.
Your Role As An Educator
For most parents, homeschooling will be an entirely new challenge, and it’s important to remember that finding the right approach will take time and patience.
Even those that have planned to homeschool, it still takes time to make things go smoothly, so being thrust into homeschooling at short notice is a big adjustment that won't be perfect right away.
That being said, there are some loose guidelines you can follow to help ensure you’re on the right track.
A Student First Approach
A good teacher understands when to lead, and when to follow, something that is even more true when it comes to homeschooling.
While you will have an understanding of the shape you want the curriculum to take, and the goals you want to achieve, it’s important to ensure that the journey is guided by input from your child.
That means letting them learn at their own pace, explore supplementary concepts that interest them, and learn through a medium and style that helps them retain information.
Some people learn better with video, others prefer to read. Know what is the best method for your child and emphasize that as a learning tool.
Let Them Follow Their Passions
There is a key distinction between ‘replacing’ school, and ‘replicating’ it. This means you have greater freedom to let them explore their passion projects or to teach subjects that fall outside of the curriculum but interest them.
When figuring out your homeschooling approach you should try and find the right balance between enjoyment and education, all while ensuring they’re following a regular schedule, even if you are colouring outside the lines.
Use The Resources At Your Disposal
When it comes to homeschooling it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to go it alone.
There will be a whole host of resources available to you, and this begins with your school’s teachers. They will be providing guidance on what you need to be covering, as well as being on hand to offer advice and help facilitate any group activities that may be happening online.
In addition, there is a vast array of workshops and resources available offering educational material and activities to help you and your student, including those offered by organizations with years of experience when it comes to homeschooling.
In British Columbia this includes:
This is the most important rule. Homeschooling isn’t an exact science and every child and parent needs to find an approach that works for them.
This means you need to be patient and forgiving. No one gets it right at the first try, and there will be a lot of experimenting until you settle into the right pattern, but once you do the experience can be rewarding and enjoyable for you both!
Here at Madsen Langlois, we’re committed to being there for all of our customers throughout this difficult period, whether that’s offering advice, helpful content, or meeting your property needs. To stay in touch with us, follow us on social media, or contact us to find out more about what we can offer you.