A parent’s greatest reward is seeing their child succeed which will look different for each student as they find their own path in education and after graduation. Making the decision to homeschool means that parents want to be involved in the process and not just someone who listens on the way home from the bus stop. Online homeschool programs offer opportunities for parents to act as the part or full-time teacher in the elementary grades and early middle school years and then transferring completely to professional instruction for the last few years. When a parent is excited then the child will likely get excited about it as well because it is something they are doing together and a relationship is built over the years that becomes special and unique.
This is not to say that homeschooling is a ‘cake walk’ or that there will never be times that either the parent or the student will get frustrated, overwhelmed or want to take a break. For this reason, it is important to keep the lines of communication open and to clearly identify the boundaries of the school day. Homeschooling is great for flexibility but it is also good for the student to understand that there is a typical start and end time so they can make other plans and look forward to other activities. Parents can adjust as needed depending on the schedule and unexpected events such as taking a day off to play ‘hooky’ because everyone is stressed and learning will not be productive. Don’t be afraid to do this when it will benefit the group and provide a chance for each person to step away and relax.
Creativity is not part of everyone’s personality but it is just as important to include in the homeschooling routine as the 1st grade homeschool curriculum online program you select. The best textbooks and e-texts are a fountain of knowledge and will give students the facts and concepts they need to learn for tests, graduation and speaking intelligently with peers. However, these books are words on a paper or a screen and sometimes they need to brought to life through hands-on activities, field trips or lively discussions and debates. Parents are instrumental in this piece because it is up to them to incorporate this into the homeschool format but there are several ways to do so even if you are the most creative individual. Check out local homeschool groups and connect with their activity schedule, get involved with a local youth center or simply see what museums, fairs and educational activities your city has to offer. These are generally affordable and open to all students and can be great learning experiences when the parent ties it back to what the student has learned or is getting ready to study in the near future.
Learning at home can be structured where everyone does their work at the kitchen table or it can be taken outside on a beautiful sunny day, to a nearby park or on the couch. The change of environment and scenery is another way to stimulate the brain so that it doesn’t look at education as boring and mundane but gets excited about the changes even if they are minor and temporary. Parents can also make the experience more fun for all ages by purchasing bookbags and lunch boxes so that kids can carry their books (also helps with organization) and pack their meals (responsibility). These little things are useful for students who may have transitioned from a traditional school format into homeschooling and enjoyed these daily activities and routine. The best part is that it can be modified for each child so what works for one may need to be tweaked to get the other student motivated.
Setting goals may not sound like a way to make homeschooling fun but it is another opportunity for creativity and helping the student to achieve milestones and motivation. The goals should be small and applicable to the age and grade such as completing a lesson in the 1st grade homeschool curriculum online portal sooner than the lesson plan date. If accomplished, the student should be rewarded and encouraged to continue this behavior so that they can finish early or stay ahead of the recommended work which allows for flexibility should something come up. For older students, participation in sports and extra time can be based on grades and work completion since homeschoolers may be allowed to engage in local school sports. The purpose is to give students something to work towards that means something to them so it will look different for each child and it rewards them for hard work and commitment to the goal.
These are just a few ways to make learning at home look and feel different so that it doesn’t become routine and boring which are steps that lead to discontent and inefficiency. Decide on the best online homeschool curriculum and then supplement it with your family’s ideas of making school fun and new each day.