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Top 5 Tips for Homeschooling

Even before the spread of covid-19 forced many to study at home, the option of homeschooling was already an increasingly popular choice for many families. Why is that? Two common reasons are dissatisfaction with local schools, and kids’ personal issues like anxiety or having to endure bullying from others. There are others, of course, who do it just because they think it’s a better solution for their particular situation.

If you’re thinking about setting up your own homeschool operation, there are things you definitely need to think about. In this article we’ve prepared 5 top tips for parents trying to get into homeschooling.

1. You need to plan carefully

Homeschooling takes a lot more planning than you first realize. It’s not just a question of opening textbooks, answering quiz questions and checking answers. You need to prepare a careful budget of all the items you’ll need. Research will have to be done into secondary school courses, special assignments, registration, test dates, locations and more for GCSE and A-Level exams. The list goes on. Sit down with your entire family and talk through every aspect in detail.

2. Create a separate, dedicated study space

If your home space allows, create a separate space for studying, perhaps a spare room or dining space if you don’t use it. Why? Having homeschool and home life spill into each other can create chaos, so it’s nice at the end of each day to be able to close the door on the study space and move naturally back into home life. A dedicated space will also be more productive, and by your design can contain fewer distractions.

3. Try out different learning styles

As you start out, experiment with different teaching styles to see what kinds of things work best with your kids. Do they prefer working with face-to-face home tutors? Are they more comfortable online? Do they respond well to a strict lecture-style, or a more dynamic open discussion? While homeschooling, you can offer the ultimate personalized and holistic learning experience for your kids if you take time to try out different methodologies.

4. Harder subjects should go in the morning

It’s well documented that our brains receive new information best during the morning time. Whichever subjects your child finds the hardest should therefore be placed during morning class. Typically, these are math and science classes, but every child is different, of course. Use the afternoon for lighter study and/or activities that can work off their lunch and expend some energy.

5. Use advantages not afforded to State schools

State schools are often restricted by rules imposed by the school leadership, local council, county and even teacher unions. How you teach the classes, and what you teach in class is therefore limited. As a homeschooler, you have a unique opportunity to include new teaching materials you find online, different pedagogy styles, and classes that you feel are important that public schools miss. For example, you could start teaching your kids about personal finances during middle or high school. Show them how credit cards work, how to balance a check book, how to open bank accounts or entrepreneurial skills.

Homeschooling works

When you get it right, homeschooling can be an extremely rewarding experience. The paperwork side of things for older kids’ tests can get complicated, but nothing is impossible. If you have a homeschool dream, following these tips can help make it reality.

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