Tips to Becoming a Great Homeschool Parent
Homeschooling is a major responsibility and so it is impressive to see more and more parents taking on the task of formally educating their children. People who are passionate enough to follow through on their sense of dissatisfaction with the school system already have a much needed quality to be a successful homeschool parent - they are inspired and courageous. Sometimes though it takes more than a vision to make a success of a project and here are some basic ideas on how to navigate the world of teacher worksheets, rubrics, lesson plans and study skills with losing one's way.
It is important for a family to have a clear idea of why they are taking on homeschooling. It is in a way a collective decision and so all those involved must be ready to take the plunge. An enthusiastic commitment from both parents and the children can help the project get off to a great start. It is worth considering writing down a vision statement so that you and the rest of your family have great clarity on what you hope to achieve through homeschooling. While this may sounds way too goal-oriented for those who like to be more spontaneous, it is a good test in whether you can articulate your philosophy in a way that reflects your family members and you.
The legal framework of homeschooling can seem daunting to those venturing into this adventure for the first time. The good news is that though it is a messy tangle in some states, it is possible to achieve the end-goal of educating your children outside a conventional school legally. A good way to handle the legalities is to talk to other parents who have gone down the path of homeschooling.
These parents are a crucial resource to homeschooling parents in many other ways also. While teacher resources and worksheets are available to give a parent-teacher the guidelines of how to handle topics, other parents trying to school their children can offer valuable insights on how to approach the whole process.
Remember to draw a line between home and school because there is the real danger of the two merging into one and this can be detrimental to the health and education of the children. The best of homeschooling parents set aside certain hours of the day for assigned school work and they also try and limit this work to a certain physical space in the house. This kind of definition of space and time can be very helpful in keeping things in context.
It is advisable to have some way of assessing or measuring your child's progress. While there is the motivation to keep a homeschooled child away from the rat race of grades and ranks, there is a legitimate need to track progress and so it is best to decide on a format for testing.
A homeschooling parent has to be a harsh self-critic. It is possible to get carried away with the idea of raising perfect children and so a parent should watch out for all the pitfalls of children being entirely taught by their parents. This is the context in which the vision statement comes in handy because it serves as a good bench mark. If a parent finds that the children are not headed in the originally intended direction, he or she should have the courage to discontinue the experiment and let the child join some other format of learning.
A homeschool parents should have patience, knowledge, creativity, passion and flexibility to be truly successful.