Homeschoolers are often written off as crazy, dysfunctional, and lacking in social skills by those outside of homeschool circles. As stereotypical as those labels are, it is clear that homeschoolers are successful in teaching children at home. There is no reason that public school children can’t be as successful in school. If children and parents learned to think like a homeschooler, they could also enjoy the success of homeschooling, even if they are afraid to step away from public schools.
The way homeschoolers think isn’t really that foreign. Basically, parents must first, take full responsibility of their child’s education. Second, parents must spend time instructing their children. Third, and finally, parents much teach children to learn. As a public school parent, you may already think that you do these things already, but homeschoolers take it to another level. We don’t allow others to dictate what and when our kids will learn, and reserve that right for ourselves. We spend hours of one-on-one time teaching, and instructing our children. We train our children to be natural learners, so that they fill every waking hour with discovery.
But how do you do this while sending kids to school? How do you do this and work? If you are expecting me to say this is easy, then I’m sorry, it is not. Homeschooling takes a great deal of time, and commitment, but aren’t your kids worth it?
Start by educating yourself about what is required of your child in school. Measure that against what your child is accomplishing. Also measure that against what your personal goals are for your child. Be an advocate for your child, filling in their education with things you find important. Don’t wait for the schools to enrich your child with music, dance, and arts. Purchase your own curriculum if you think the one the school is using in ineffective. Don’t ask for or desire permission to educate your child.
Sit down with your child every evening. Whether your child’s teacher has assigned homework or not, review what was learned for the day, and make sure your child understands the concepts. Take it upon yourself to teach those concepts or to make sure the teacher spends extra time with the child. If there is no homework, create some. Go over spelling words. Do math drills. Teach a foreign language. Remember it is your child, and you have a right to enrich their education.
Don’t spoon feed the child. When your child asks a question, teach them to look for and find the information. It may be easier to answer the child, but it is so much more valuable for them to find their own answers. In addition to this provide an endless supply of books to read and set an example, of reading and researching yourself.