You love your life in the country, the serenity and the chance to truly embrace and experience nature. You also love your children and know that educating them is a necessity. But, when there’s not a public or private school close by, things in the country can quickly turn from magical to downright terrifying. Say the word “home-school” in some circles, and it means pure insanity.
We aren’t saying your children aren’t precious. It’s just that 24/7 with them can be a daunting reality. Especially when their education lies in your hands. Let us help.
We’ve compiled some tips on how to not only conquer homeschooling, but also enjoy it (seriously!). Here are a few ways to keep yourself in check.
1. Stick to a Schedule
When you aren’t required to arrive dressed and ready at school, it’s easy to let structure fall to the wayside. Sleep a little later. Send the kids outside to play all morning while you do chores or catch up on work. Plug a movie in so you can buy yourself two hours of peace and quiet. Fact is, allowing this here and there is fine. But it can easily grow to be the norm. Children thrive on schedules. Plan your day as if your children were in a traditional school. Set a time for each study and plan a curriculum to follow. Yes, it will require a lot of planning and work in advance, but it will pay off. Once you’ve designed the schedule, stick with it.
2. Use Your Neighbors
You might feel alone in the country, but in reality, you do have neighbors. They just might be miles and many acres away. Start seeking out people around you and chances are, there are others in your same homeschooling shoes. Once you locate your peers, join forces and create a co-op of sorts. If you are a history buff, you can be in charge of that. The literary guru can run the section on English. Combining forces, as well as minds, will not only help you when it comes to teaching, but it will also give your kiddos some peers.
3. Tune In To the World Wide Web
While many want to avoid the Internet when they're living the good life in the country, this is one case where it can be your best friend. This is another chance to reach out to others for support, guidance and advice. Pool your resources by searching the Internet as well as social media sites. If Facebook doesn’t have a homeschooling group in your town, start one in an effort to reach other home-schoolers. Same goes for online forums, where others can ask for advice and ideas. Seek online courses with curriculum ideas and study plans. In other words, use the Internet to your advantage. Use it for what it does best: Help you research and plan.
4. Hands-On Learning
You have an advantage in homeschooling. You can use your space and flexible life as a constant chance to learn. In public and private schools, kids spend a lot of time sitting at their desks. When you home-school in the country, you can take the classroom outside. Teach the life of a butterfly by actually going outside and finding cocoons. For math, count trees or cows or subtract fruit as you pick it. You have a huge advantage when you home-school, due to the very fact that you don’t have 24 children in a classroom and the great outdoors is your school.
Benefits to homeschooling
If you ever start to question yourself and your choice to home-school, remember these benefits:
It eliminates boredom. Since your children won’t be sitting in a classroom for 8 hours, they will be more involved in learning, and therefore, more interested.
It offers a safe learning environment. Bullying is huge in standard schools. By teaching your children at home, you eliminate bullying and other safety issues.
You can cater education to fit your child’s learning style and pace. If your child has a learning disability, you can find a way to teach to it. Or, if your child is more tactical than visual, you can also maximize their strengths.
By eliminating grades, your children will focus on knowledge instead of a red number at the top of the paper.
And, most importantly, remember, that even though many days you feel you might pull your hair out in pure frustration, this is a huge gift of bonding. You will never get this time back and will look back and feel grateful.