All of 2020 has been an endless rollercoaster. Just when it seems like the ride is coming to an end, you approach a free-fall, followed by twelve loop-de-loops, and get unexpectedly splashed by water! Have you been on this rollercoaster with me?? Good grief!
One of the current loop-de-loops that many families are experiencing right now is the gray area that is the future of their child's education. States & school districts experiencing drastic budget cuts, and with the constant threat of COVID-19 lurking, many are left wondering how their children will be kept safe & healthy under some seemingly limited (and somewhat unfathomable!) standards. Along with this uncertainty, many parents are contemplating transitioning to home education, because at least this way they know that their children will be educated in some form or fashion. Many parents have also used this uncertain time to jump on their previous quarrels with the system of education and take their children out of their schools for good. So, are you in this boat of home school transitioning? If so, I have five tips for you!
Home education IS NOT crisis schooling
When traditional brick & mortar schools were shut down this past spring, families were left to experience an obscure & literal version of homeschooling. There was no concrete plan in place for learning because of the unexpectedness of the schools closing. This new learning from home, or crisis schooling, was an on-the-job-training experiment that no one was prepared for. Families all over wondered how homeschoolers lived like this! Honest answer: we don't! Home education is a lifestyle; a way of life where families operate around the experience of gaining knowledge & understanding. We are constantly learning & exploring in just about every thing we do throughout the day, not only while we are engaged in a specific lesson.
Take some time off
When your child is transitioning from traditional schooling to home education, there is a shock that comes along with it - for both the child AND you! Life will look different, and you need to give everyone time to figure out what that will look like and how you will begin to conquer it. As mentioned in the previous tip, home education can not be equated to being educated at a traditional school. You need to allow your brains time to get used to this, in a process that is called deschooling in the homeschool community. Take time to learn in fun ways that your child may like. For example, allow your child to conduct a basic internet search on a topic that they seem to have taken interest in. Try finding supporting activity sheets, games, books, and videos to aid in their searching. You want to promote a positive learning experience so that your child will equate these feelings as they progress through their education!
Understand HOW your child learns
After you have decided that your family will be officially homeschooling, you must figure out what resources you will use to teach from or allow your child to learn from. There is an endless list of options available...so which one(s) do you choose? This question is in the top five list of questions I am asked as a home education consultant. I never recommend specific curriculum because as an educator & a parent I know that all children learn different. What works best for my children may not work for yours. What works for ONE of my five children may not work for the other four! So, what do you do? I suggest finding out your child's learning style. You can do this by conducting a simple google search for "free learning style assessments". There will be numerous hits from this search. You can choose the one(s) you wish to take on your child's behalf or allow them to take on their own. Once you get an idea of how they learn best, then you can work on finding or creating the curriculum options that work best for them!
Expect to fail
Yep. I said it. You're going to fail. Just like in parenting, in school, at work, in life! We all fail at SOMEthing. No one is perfect! Do not begin your homeschool journey with the perspective that the more you plan the easier it will be for you. Or if you follow all the Pinterest tips, your day will run more smoothly. And mimicking what other home educators do successfully with their family will lead to success for your own family. This is a new limb of life for you that needs to be nurtured and treated with care. You don't want to do so much and become overwhelmed right at the beginning. Take you time and learn from your mistakes! THIS is the "beauty of homeschooling"!
Get ready for take off!
Well...here goes! You are on your way, this time on a much cooler & more fun rollercoaster! Plan for fun times, exploring, one-on-one moments, and be sure you are doing all of this in a positive learning atmosphere. Many blessings to your family as you proceed to take off!! As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org!