So you have finaly decided to home school your kid! Congratulations on this new role which you have taken on in your life. Well, not that every parent is not already a teacher. Of course they are! However, this is a different sort of teacher and this role will take careful planning and lots of committment in order to make it the very best role that you will play in your child’s life that it can possibly be.
First of all, you will want to set aside certain hours that are designated for school hours. Not that these school hours need to be inflexible, but the times when changes are made should be only the exception, not the rule.
Have a certain area at home which you set aside as the classroom. This does not mean that you have to have a special room that is set aside with desks and chairs etc., but it does mean having one spot, such as the dining room table that is used consistently for this purpose during the school hours. This will help both you and your child to develop a mind set of thinking of this as a time for learning as separate from a time for play or other distracting activities.
Try to make sure that there are as few distractions as possible during the school hours. Engage the help of your family and friends to make this happen. Making them feel a part of this can go a long ways towards avoiding hurt feelings if you have to cut short a telephone call to get back to your work or if they come to visit and find that you really are not available when school is session in progress.
If you are used to having a regular telephone ‘gabfest’ with a friend or family member at a certain time each day, maybe you can arrange your child’s recess time to coincide with this. Most important, be sure to communicate to others the importance of your new enterprise of home schooling.
Perhaps someone likes to stop in and get you to go on spur of the moment shopping trips with them in some afternoon. Explain beforehand that you will not be able to do this as regularly as before but you might also engage their help in planning educational trips and letting them be a part of those education trips.
Do not think of yourself as ‘playing teacher’. You are not playing! This is your job. One of the most important jobs you will ever have in your life, in fact. Treat it that way. You are most likely homeschooling in order to see to it that your kid has the best education possible. See to it that you do not short change them.
Try to plan ahead. Talk with other parents who are or who have home schooled experience. Have a curriculum planned. Do not just sit down at the table with your child and open a book to see what you will be teaching for that first class of the school day. You must study beforehand. Know what you will be teaching and have a plan as to how you will present each subject to your children. Respect the homeschool hours the same as you would if you were working outside of your home. You can accomplish much and your child’s successful education can be one of your greatest accomplishments you ever have.