A Few Cheeky Reasons To Home School Your Kids
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to home-school your kids? Of course, for most, this is nigh on impossible based on work commitments, however, there are some real benefits you may not have thought of and might find interesting.
Now, this only works if one parent is able to stay at home and is able to provide the time and attention needed.
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If you homeschooled your kids you could work around any rotas or shift patterns. Think about it, just because school times are normally 9 am to 3.30 pm, it doesn’t mean you need to stick to such a strict schedule.
You would have the ability to go on holiday or take short breaks if you wanted or even extend holidays at the last minute.
Also, you could holiday offseason which means holidays would be a lot cheaper. We all know that flight and holiday companies pump up the prices for school holidays, don’t we? Well, by homeschooling your kids, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem for you.
No More School Runs
Yes, no more school runs. This act of trying to get your kids to school for a certain time would disappear from your schedule completely.
Your life would be without the panic of rushing through the traffic or shouting at them to get up or they'll miss the bus.
This means, bedtime would be slightly more flexible (we’re not talking about going to bed at midnight) but you wouldn’t have to worry about being so strict.
This one sounds a bit hippy but, when done right, can be quite a powerful incentive to home school.
Child-led learning by its very nature can be made much more interesting, less rigid and something your kids can look forward to rather than a boring lesson that serves absolutely no purpose for them in later life.
So, how can you make it fun?
* Go Exploring - Having your child at home means you have the ability to really explore and get out and about with nature. They have the ability to talk about what they see, take pictures of what they see, which they can look up and talk about later.
Instead ofbeing stuck in a stuffy classroom all day, they’ll be able to get out and be around nature, learn about the many species of birds, plant life and historical places you wouldn’t get the chance to go to on an ordinary day.
If you're lucky, the kids go on a school trip about once every 6 months. When they are homeschooled, they can explore so many different places multiple times a month.
Movement also helps kids who have mild ADD and ADHD. The fact that their senses are constantly being stimulated would really help.
* They can get more creative - Unfortunately, a kid’s creativity is often lost as they get older. I think this is because we socialise the creativity out of them by teaching them to follow strict rules and conform. If there are only purple pens available at home, why not let them take notes in purple?It doesn’t always need to be in black.
Instead of writing everything down in text, They can draw what they feel and play around with the structures of design in note-taking. This leads to experimentation and adventure rather than conformity.
Don’t get me wrong, conformity is extremely important, and most parents naturally teach their kids this, however, to be so strict with kids every minute of the day is one of the reasons we lose our a sense of adventure and creativity at such a young age.
* Involve the senses - Multi-sensory learning is so important for young kids. After all, at this young age, their senses are just starting to develop. In the early days, kids learn mostly through touch, sight and sound, etc.
Reading and writing are important, but not as important as getting to hone your senses. Not only is this good for their long-term development, it also helps them to create lasting memories they are unlikely to forget.
* Make use of context - This is something that is seldom developed in school. Child-led learning allows them to put their problem-solving and discoverability skills into practice as the things they are learning are more engaging.
Talking about and drawing the different types of farm animals is not as powerful as making several trips down to your local farm or being out in the middle of the countryside observing them.
* Encourages role play - If you know anything about any form of learning, you’ll know that role-playing is such a powerful tool. This is is even more effective when used with kids.
Since they have such vivid imaginations, they can really picture themselves and are able to reflect on the way they are acting, speaking and behaving. To jazz things up a bit, why not get them to dress up and really act out their roles?
* Get as much feedback as possible - As you know, our kids progress a lot faster with constant feedback, encouragement, and motivation.
As parents, we can do this by providing constructive feedback at the right place and at the right time. Oftentimes, when we come home from work and our kids ask a question, we haven’t always got the time or energy to explain or answer them properly. If you think about it; parents have all the time in the world if the kids are homeschooled. Nothing will aid their development and creativity more than receiving valuable feedback
* Summarise and display progress - Now, no one saying that a lack of a fixed curriculum is easy. It certainly isn’t - even the thought of it can be a bit daunting. Don’t forget, if you do decide to go down the route of homeschooling, your local school, district or county are happy to help in providing a basic outline or guideline of a curriculum.
The main difference is, you won’t need to stick to this 100%. You are able to be completely flexible and with your time together. Even keeping a journal and noting down everything you did for the day would be helpful.
Write Your Own Timetable
This follows on nicely from the last point; there’s no need to have a fixed timetable and you don’t have to follow the national curriculum so closely, rather use it as a rough guideline if you like?
You would be surprised at just how far your kids will progress without such a rigid timetable. Maybe, you were watching a programme or film the night before and your kid shows a particular interest in it. You can spend a lot of the day talking about it. If there’s a question you can't immediately answer, you or they can go online and find the answer.
Also, kids learn and perform differently at certain times of the day. Some kids just can’t get started in the morning and are more receptive in the afternoon and some kids perform better in the morning and find it hard to concentrate in the afternoon.
Whatever timetable suits, is ultimately the best timetable to stick to.
Benefits of One-to-One
This one is probably the most compelling reason to homeschool your kids on the list. It really can’t be understated just how powerful one to one contact is for them.
Having the ability to have your undivided attention and being there when they need a question answering means you can pack a lot of education into the schedule in a shorter length of time.
Most kids have to wait until the teacher is free if they have a query and some don’t even bother to wait. In some instances, a day’s learning can be packed into a few hours at home.
Again, this follows on perfectly from the previous point. With one-to-one teaching your kid has more interaction with you. They are less likely to hesitate if they need a question answering than they are holding their hand up in class and facing the embarrassment of looking stupid for asking.
I’m sure we can all remember times when this happened to us in the past at school? It’s not very pleasant and for most kids, it is an undesirable situation to be in.
This can be a little more difficult if your have kids of different ages. It won’t always be easy to give them all your full attention at the same time. However, the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives by a factor of ten.
There’s no better way than giving your kids self-esteem a boost than to offer encouragement and help on a one to one basis. For example, if your kid is really struggling on a particular topic, there’s no reason why you can’t sit down and take your time explaining how things work and being able to structure the lesson appropriately based on their learning style.
Best of Both Worlds
Just because you home school your kids at a young age, it doesn’t mean you have to home school them into their teen years.
There’s no reason your kid can’t attend the school system later on in life. In fact, this would give you the best of both worlds, really - it's nice to have that flexibility and choice. Saying that, it’s a lot easier to educate them when they are younger than home schooling them in their teens.
Some Useful Resources
Educating Your Child At Home - Educating your child at home ('homeschooling'): when to get permission, telling the school, curriculum, SEN.
Active Learn Primary - A digital learning space for your pupils and a toolkit for you, so that you can search, plan, allocate and assess all in one place.
Museum Crush - The most beautiful, intriguing and powerful objects have one thing in common: they live in museums.