Today our guest blogger, Katrina Hatchett, shares her top ten tips for homeschooling online.
Homeschooling can be an overwhelming prospect. The number of options, from course types to yearly planning templates and even opinions on how to organize a study room, can leave parents in despair about how to move forward. This guide is designed to outline ten top tips for parents just starting out in their journey to homeschool their child online, with the hopes of challenging those anxieties with easy advice that can make the transition less scary and more straightforward.
Tip 1 – Pick An Ethos
There is a vast range of online schooling programs out there. Most follow one or more schooling philosophies. These can range from Socratic or Classical, to more scenario-based methods, like the Charlotte Mason approach, where children are encouraged to explore and learn through practical, real-life examples.
Tip 2 – Choose Homeschooling Supplies
These can be the most expensive aspect of the transition from state school to home. Find second-hand materials or share with other homeschooling parents to reduce the cost.
Tip 3 – Create Structure
Create Structure – Children thrive on structure. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to maintain without some planning. Create a learning space for your child which is consistent and familiar. You may set up a learning room with a specific desk and computer to use whenever classes are taught. “Create a timed schedule so that your child will begin to anticipate when they will be entering the learning space and start to build good habits, along with a strong sense of routine,” says Kevin Leopold, a tutor at Brit Student and 1 Day 2 write.
Tip 4 – Set Targets
One of the most effective ways to make sure your child is continuously improving is to set goals. Many online courses will help with this process; however, it also helps to really consider which programs will give you the freedom and space to tailor your targets to your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Find courses that are flexible and customizable so that your child’s goals are achievable, but also challenging.
Tip 5 – Refer To The Learning Objectives
Online homeschooling can sometimes mean that parental engagement can naturally relax. This is fine. However, special effort should be made to run through the learning objectives for the week and to check regularly that your child is working towards and meeting these outcomes.
Tip 6 – Check Your State’s Laws on Curriculum
Try to use this as a guideline that you can compare online courses with, and refer to this as a rule of thumb that will allow you to organize your child’s school year within the legal framework of your state.
Tip 7 – Make Connections
When children and parents are placed outside of conventional school settings, it can be tricky at first to find a way to connect with communities. We strongly suggest that those who want to homeschool their children online connect with their local organizations on sites like home-school.com and homefires.com. This will allow you to start building a network that you can draw support on as you develop your way of learning with your child.
Tip 8 – Future-Proof Your Child’s Education
You may choose to homeschool temporarily or in conjunction with a part-time state school education, but for many, this is a permanent or long-term decision. Parents may not consider college when they first start out but planning a curriculum that encourages independence and self-sufficiency will help your child thrive in a less structured environment at higher levels of education.
Tip 9 – Consider Scholarships
Your homeschooled child may be an excellent candidate for a scholarship at either a college or university. “Do some research on local scholarships for homeschoolers and make sure to work out how to apply for these. This could save you a lot of money and set your child up for a bright future”, explains Clyde Gibbs, a blogger at Next Coursework and Writemyx.
Tip 10 – Remember, You Are Learning, Too
No one is perfect. Give yourself the freedom and headspace to be allowed to make mistakes. As you make the best learning environment for your child, you should accept that this will take practice and reflection. Making mistakes is part of the journey to an excellent online homeschooled education for your child.
These ten tips on homeschooling your child online should give you the peace of mind to make the best decisions in this process, and also help you avoid some of the common difficulties parents can face. Learning at home can give you a chance to really watch your child grow and develop into their own person, and many parents take great satisfaction in watching the process unfold. It can be scary and daunting at first, but with persistence and consistency, you will find your hard work paying off as you nurture your child’s future independently.
Katrina Hatchett is a lifestyle blogger for Academic Brits and Origin Writings. She loves to help others find more balance and peace in their hectic schedules. She is a firm believer in meditation and finding spiritual ways to address everyday problems. Katrina also writes for the blog PhD Kingdom in her spare time.