Activities to Help the Homeschooler
Homeschooling is not an easy task for any member of the family: the parent working outside the home has additional stress to provide financially while also offering support to the parent at home, the parent/teacher has to balance being both a parent and teacher while preparing and delivering quality lessons and projects, and the children have to take some responsibility for being engaged and well-behaved students. There are some activities and practices that can help each member of the homeschooling family make this educational model a success.
The parent working outside the home needs to stay engaged and informed of the daily school happenings and assist with instruction, looking over projects or paper, or designing activities when possible. It is important for the kids to see both parents invested in their education and for both parents to feel involved and supported.
The parent/teacher can use activities such as appointments scheduled into the weekly calendar for lesson planning, time spent perusing Pinterest and homeschooling sites and blogs for information and ideas, and preparing meals and snacks in advance. The homeschool experience is less stressful for the parent providing instruction if the lesson plans are prepared in advance, supplies are organized and ready for projects, and meals are planned ahead of time.
Activities that assist the homeschool student vary widely and are unique and specific to each child. Some students will benefit from a pre-instruction routine such as music and dancing, yoga, or a snack to signal it is time for the school day to begin. Children who are not eager to learn may need extra motivation to listen to instruction or work on difficult tasks; behavior charts, reward stickers, or other tools designed to encourage good behavior and hard work can be helpful activities for kids and parents to create together.
When homeschool families work together to brainstorm and chart activities, projects, themes and field trips, students are much more likely to participate and be excited about school day plans. Activities such as asking students to write down their goals for the school year, favorite things to learn about, or places they wish to visit not only give kids practice writing, organizing thoughts, and researching but also give parents ideas for lesson plans and projects. When students are required to plan a field trip, an activity pertaining to a specific theme, or project to work on a skill, they are flexing their higher level thinking skills, practicing writing and planning, learning how to use resources for research, and becoming an architect of their own education which will serve them well as adults.
When families work together to create an exciting, flexible, and intelligent homeschool model, everyone learns and succeeds together. Parents get the joy of watching their children mature and learn and children feel the pride associated with completing a difficult task or conquering a new skill. Activities that encourage teamwork, build critical thinking skills, and require students to take responsibility for their education are invaluable resources in education, especially in the homeschool environment.
For 15 years Mimi Rothschild has been privileged to help hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers educate their children at home. The MorningStar Academy is a private online Christian school offering diplomas and teachers. The Jubilee Academy is an online Christian curriculum provider offering over 150 full year online Christian courses for PreK-12.