If you avoid being too focused on trying to set up a conventional classroom environment, you will come to realise all the benefits and opportunities that home educating can bring to your children.
We’ve put together 10 easy tips for home-schooling:
Looking at algebra formulas or physics equations can be quite overwhelming, especially when many of us haven’t had to use these since school ourselves. Rather than struggling, read up and learn together with your child, as this also shows them that you can never stop learning no matter what your age.
Cuddle up and read
Whether you are reading schoolbooks together or just reading your own books individually, cuddle up on the sofa with your children and read them together. Whatever the weather, get a blanket or turn on the fire to make your learning environment cosy and stress-free.
Bake a cake
Not only is baking fun and you get something delicious at the end of it (usually), it’s also a great opportunity for younger children to follow instructions and get some real-life maths practice – like adding and subtracting. For older children such as students, it helps them to learn homemaking skills in a real-life environment. No matter what age your children are, baking or cooking together creates conversation and helps your family to connect, building memories together.
As well as things like baking, finding out what hobbies your children enjoy doing will enhance your family relationship, and at the same time build memories together. This can also create extra learning opportunities, especially in older children where it can turn to extra school credits.
Involve your children in everyday life
Try not to think about the educational value in everything else this will become tiresome. When you’re doing everyday activities such as the food shop or just running errands, you can take your children with you as this doesn’t have to be a separate part of your day.
Family day trips
Children love school trips and days out, so why not do this as a family while being home-schooled. This may actually be an opportunity to learn more than they would do on a school trip, as there are no distractions from school friends. It’s also a chance for the whole family to get involved and where both parents (particularly if one is a non-teaching parent) can learn what their children are studying and what they enjoy.
If it’s just one parent that’s home-schooling, ensure that the non-teaching parent gets involved in a practical way – rather than just listening to their children verbally explaining what they’ve learnt. There are a number of ways this parent can interact, such as painting with them in the evening after their workday, reading to them before bed, or teach them how to change the oil in the car at the weekend. Obviously, such activities depend on the parent’s abilities and talents, and what they enjoy doing themselves.
It’s not all about academics
While academics is important during home-schooling, character training is equally as essential, so ensure that this takes some focus. The books and online learning will be there for another day, as sometimes other areas that involve challenges require your attention instead.
Life events are not a disruption
Every family at some point will have to deal with some sort of life event, whether that be a death, a new member of the family, moving house or an illness. Don’t consider these events a disruption to your child’s education, but as an opportunity to bond and grow together as a family as you tackle them.
Get involved with your community
Find ways as a family to get involved with your local community, whether that be volunteering at local events or something like community litter picking.
Learning happens around us all the time, and sometimes it’s in ways you least expect. So doing activities such as these, embraces these moments and gives learning an opportunity to happen in a way that’s more fun and interesting, rather than being an interruption to your child’s education.