For any parent considering homeschooling for their own children, weighing the pros and cons of it before making a decision is very important. There are many benefits to homeschooling your own children. In terms of private schools and their skyrocketing costs, homeschooling is a more affordable option.
In terms of public schooling, homeschooling allows more educational flexibility and can be scheduled conveniently around other family activities. Additionally, the curriculum and learning environment can be tailored to suit your child's individual needs. Flexibility of the operative word when deciding to homeschool.
When you decide to homeschool your child, you must have a clear, plan, goals and a curriculum to follow. Homeschooling also allows you this great deal of flexibility. Children can be taught in many different ways and many different things for a given subject.
Be careful. However, this very flexibility can also be your downfall if not handled properly, as you run the risk of providing an inconsistent and sub par education that leaves your child lagging behind his or her peers. Setting a clear educational plan means you have a better chance for effective homeschooling.
To set your plans and goals, it is a good idea to first take a look at your child's standard curriculum for his grade in a public or private school. See what the standard expectations are for a given subject level, then set your targets, timeline and curriculum for your child. Once you have decided what your child is going to learn, you can allow for some flexibility in how your child will learn best. Homeschooling also requires discipline, as it can be difficult drawing a distinction between home and schooling at home.
There are plenty of distractions in any household and when you get busy you may be tempted to try and multitask, that is, to educate your child and also do some other chores at home. Parents may even be tempted to give an assignment to their child and then leave to complete some other activities. By doing so, you are sending a negative message that his schooling is not a high priority for you, and this will seriously undermine the child's attitude towards his own education. So make sure to do household duties "after-school" hours and when "school is in," you and your child are both focusing 100 percent on learning.
This will communicate to your child that education is important and top priority. Homeschooling not only allows you to tailor education to your child's individual needs, something that is lacking in both the private and public school systems; it also allows you and your child to learn together, thus helping to create a valuable learning experience, and also to strengthen family bonds. In preparing to home school your children, you should also be able to have different learning tools available around the home. Different subjects may require various educational tools to help your children learn and understand their lessons better. For history and geography lessons, it is important to have a globe or a world map available as well as history and geography books within reach.
Joyce Jackson is an educational expert and consultant in northern California. For her latest book and information see Homeschooling Easy.