10 Expert Tips For Homeschooling To Teach Your Children Well

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With back-to-school policies varying by state and changing almost daily, you may be thinking long and hard about homeschooling your children.

You may prefer keeping them home, rather than risking sending them back into public or even private schools.

These top-10 homeschooling tips are good for any age group. The activities vary, depending on where your child is in the learning process.

RELATED: 3 Homeschooling Tips & Tricks For Working Parents This School Year

One caveat: First and foremost, don’t try to mimic the classroom setting. You won’t be able to do that effectively, especially if you are working with limited space.

Instead, focus on building a space that works for you and your kids. Here's how you can make sure the entire homeschooling process is harmonious and effective.

Here are 10 expert tips for homeschooling your kids.

1. Designate a space in your home just for learning.

Use an actual chalkboard or a whiteboard. Prices range from $12 to $40 and up.

If you're budgeting, you can get blackboard paint from any hardware or most arts-and-crafts stores and make one on the wall.

Section out the area with masking tape, then paint. It dries quickly, and your child will love it beyond homeschooling needs.

2. Create a schedule for each day.

This should include learning, stationary activities, and exercise.

Try to map out the entire school year, or at least the timeframe from start to the next break.

This will keep you motivated and organized. It also allows you to give your child a preview of what comes next, and get them excited about it.

3. Go beyond the classroom.

Homeschooling is an excellent opportunity to see how your children learn and retain new information.

For science learning, go outside and identify plants and what they need to grow. Bake something and explain how the batter changes to a solid.

Find unique ways to use your environment in order to keep them invested in the learning process. You can also use movies as learning tools, as well.

4. Incorporate the entire family in the learning process.

For example, if you're studying history, make it about your child or children.

Tell them their own history and segue to the story of their birth, something funny they did as a child, etc. Tell them your history, and so on. Help them see the relevance of history as interesting and learnable.

5. Talk to other parents and see what they're doing.

There are a lot of great ideas out there, and collaborating with other homeschooling parents trying to master it will give you much-needed support.

You'll also need to decide which parent will be the main teacher. Determine your work schedule if you're going to be working from home while your kids learn.

Talk to these parents to find our their tips for making sure everyone stays on task.

6. Remember that you're helping your children learn.

Try not to read directly from a book (unless it's storytime) and engage them in the storylines behind the history.

For example, Washington crossed the Potomac River on Christmas night, with high winds, rain, snow, sleet, and temperatures between 29 and 33 degrees.

Relate that to your life with your children. “Instead of eating a great meal in a warm house and opening presents, they were crossing a river in freezing snow and cold in an open boat.”

7. Have backup learning resources available.

While your connected devices provide instant gratification by Googling facts and dates, you cannot depend on it if it breaks, if you lose power, if, if, if...

Therefore, use technology, but have a backup plan in place. Notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons or paints, and more will enable you to pivot easily if there is a technical issue with any device.

RELATED: 3 Helpful Questions To Teach Kids Conflict Resolution Skills

8. Be flexible with your teaching.

Don’t be locked into your curriculum. If the methods you are using are not working with your children, switch it up.

Talk to your kids. Ask them why they don’t like this subject, or where they run into challenges.

Very often when children experience anxiety, it is difficult for them to express that. Anxiety floods the brain, essentially blocking learning paths. Be flexible.

9. Be gentle with yourself and your children.

Especially if this is a new and different method of teaching. Start with one subject. I would select your best subject, because you will naturally project your own enthusiasm into the teaching.

Concentrate on that for the first week, then move to the next subject in the second week, and so on. This will allow all of you to ease into this new way of teaching and learning.

10. Always work in reading and math.

These two subjects are the key to higher learnings. Remain teachable, because there is always something new to learn. Make math fun!

Take your child grocery shopping for their favorite foods. Show them how to add it up to see if there's enough money. Add taxes in, a sale item, a discount. Relate the learning to their lives and their preferences.

Give them word games to show them how important proper punctuation is. There are many examples online, but one of my favorites is to ask students to punctuate this sentence:

"Woman without her man is nothing"

Two versions invariably come back:

  • "Woman, without her man, is nothing."
  • "Woman, without her, man is nothing."

You can do the same for any other grammar lesson.

I will recommend you take one to five minutes to relax your brain. This quick meditation will allow positive energy and thoughts to flood your brain, relaxing you for the day ahead.

If you're not sure that homeschooling is right for your kids, then you may wonder what the benefits of homeschooling are.

Here are 9 benefits of homeschooling your children.

1. Transformative learning experience.

This is a change for everyone, and it can be to your advantage. You will see firsthand how your children learn.

2. Customized learning plans.

You can adjust your lessons, so that it speaks directly to your child’s interests, academic levels, and natural strengths.

3. Flexibility.

The flexibility of homeschooling works, no matter what challenges your child presents.

For example, your creative child might want a break in the day to paint, write, or draw. Your active child may prefer an activity or exercise break (or several).

You can also teach life skills, like managing a home, spending, and the importance of civic duties.

4. Your Pace, your choice.

You can choose the pace and approach for your educational schedule, grade levels, even graduation requirements.

5. Individualized attention.

You can give your child one-on-one attention for subjects that prove challenging and uncover any mental blocks.

6. Impactful and meaningful learning.

Your children are less likely to goof off, probably because they know they can’t get away with it. But that means your teachings are having a much more direct impact.

7. Accommodation-friendly.

If you travel due to work, are part of a military family, dealing with an illness, or have physical challenges, homeschooling allows you to easily accommodate your space to address these challenges individually and directly.

8. Legal compliance.

Homeschooling will enable you to meet attendance laws around the world.

9. No bullying zone.

Last and certainly not least, you can eliminate bullying in all forms.

Homeschooling has many benefits for physical and mental health, social development, and fostering less peer-dependence with a stronger, more frequent family atmosphere.

As an education leader, it is equally as important to take care of yourself.

Take breaks as you need them, leave the house if you're able to for a walk (either alone or together), have lunch outside, etc.

If you feel overwhelmed, take a minute for calming deep breaths and the one-minute meditation. You will feel as if you’ve had a little power nap afterward, and you will have recharged your brain for the next session.

RELATED: 5 Brilliant Homeschooling Hacks Every Parent Needs To Know

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Maureen Cronin is an author and intuitive energy healer who helps people overcome trauma and loss. For more information on how she can help you, visit her website here.

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