Homeschool Teaching Strategies

Parents that homeschool their children must be flexible in coordinating a curriculum, monitoring children's progress, and making any needed adjustments.

If you are considering the possibility of home schooling your children, keep in mind that you will need to develop teaching schools that are different from those used in public schools. Since most home schooling parents are not teachers by trade, they need to choose a curriculum that will suit their child's learning needs and then look for ways to help support that program as a home schooling parent-supervisor.

First, be sure that you understand the learning goals outlined by a particular curriculum. Check to see whether these goals are compatible with those outlined by your state as educational standards for each grade level. If you find gaps, you can opt for another curriculum or plan ways of helping to fill those gaps as the facilitator to your child's private, home-based education. For example, if a particular program of study does not offer much in the way of art instruction, you may want to register your child for private drawing lessons offered in the community by a retired teacher, for example, or in a class presented at the local art institute or civic center.

Next, observe your child's learning process to ensure that he or she is able to grasp the essential concepts of the home-based curriculum. Since public school supplements textbook study with teachers' lectures, home-taught children must do without the lecture component and rely mainly on textbook or workbook study. You may need to offer tutoring in one or more subjects, such as math, English, or science, so be prepared to brush up on your skills and figure out ways to help your child master them. Television programming, library videos, or home schooled groups of students taking a field trip can help to supplement a student's individual learning process through the printed word.

Then evaluate the manner in which your child absorbs information from the curriculum. If he is having trouble understanding the reading passages or cannot decipher test questions, you may have to work with him to overcome these obstacles. There may be ways to supplement or filter learning materials by getting additional books from the library or hiring a tutor in a special area that you are unfamiliar with to work with your child.

Finally, carefully assess your child's progress in the new curriculum. If her scores indicate she is not doing well, you may need to choose another curriculum or intervene with the current program to explore ways of helping your child develop academic prowess. Some kids do not manage independent learning programs very well, and may do better in a traditional classroom setting. If this is the case with your child, don't be disappointed. View the home schooling period as an experiment and help your child adjust to the classroom method.

Home schooling parents wear many hats during their kids' learning years. They must facilitate, evaluate, and supplement their children's progress toward academic goals by monitoring, checking, and teaching a variety of material and lessons. If you do not have the time or inclination to become actively involved in your child's learning, home schooling may not be for you.

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