As a home school workshop leader, I am often asked questions about how to get started home schooling my child. This page is especially for newbies, but the experienced home educators can also benefit. Most parents care very deeply about their children (more so than the Department of Education). Studies show that home educated children outperform their public schooled counterparts even if the parent holds no degrees.
So, I tell parents that home school is not the classroom, and that when you home school, the whole world is your classroom. That is important, because with a little information, one does not have to spend tons of money to do a good job. Put your money where it will benefit the child the most. Following is some information that will help you
1. The very first step is to know your state laws. Your State Home School Associations are usually most helpful in this matter.
2. Knowing your child’s learning style will help you save money on curriculum that does not work with your child. Workbooks work just fine with some children (45% of the population), but do more harm than good for the rest of the children.
3. Physically involving the child in the learning process According to Dr. Amen, a physician, and double board certified psychiatrist, whole brain teaching improves the health of the brain. It also helps you teach to the different learning styles, and children with ADD/ ADHD, Dyslexia, asperger’s syndrome and anxiety disorders. As a result children learn faster, retain more, and retain their love for learning for a life time. The following story is a funny, informative and inspirational story a certified teacher experienced in her journey to becoming a home educator. It reveals a lot about what works, and what doesn’t when teaching children. My journey from Public School Teacher to Homeschooling Mom
4. There are some good free computer games on line that physically involve the children in the learning process. But they are not good for teaching phonics, because they teach some of the sounds incorrectly making it hard for some children to blend the sounds to form words (it makes phonics pointless, and many children revert to sight word recognition). It is important that you teach the child the sounds (rather than a computer), so you know they are taught the basics correctly…We have provided you free videos to hear phonic sounds to help you do just that. (for parents….not the child)
5. Here is a link to save you money: How to Write Your Own Lesson Plans . It is easier than you might think.
6. Ring Around the Phonics (game for reading, phonics and Language Arts), and Math U See’s the beginning lessons, both teach to the various senses thus improving the health of the brain. Ring Around the Phonics has also shown to teach to different learning styles, and learning disabilities as described above. What is so wonderful about home schooling is that you adjust the lesson plans to the child rather than trying to force the child into a one size fits all lesson plan.
Sometimes parents feel they are not qualified to teach their child to read. I always ask them if they can read. If you can read, you can teach your child to read. It is very easy with a little information, and the right tools.