Deciding to teach your child at home is a decision that may seem like it is simple. That is far from the truth. In fact, it is much more difficult to teach a child yourself than to have them enroll in a traditional school setting. Here are several tips that will make the process a lot simpler for you.

While most states require that homeschooling programs teach a standardized core curriculum, the fact that you are working one-on-one with your student also usually translates to significantly more free time. Consider allowing your child to choose which elective courses they want to take to fill this time, or hire a tutor to supplement comprehension in the tougher subjects.

Before you even begin your child’s homeschooling year, decide how many weeks you would like to accomplish the school year in. You can then break your courses up into weeks to set even tighter schedules. Do not forget to pencil in any vacation time that you will be taking so you do not forget to account for it.

Sit down as a family each Sunday and discuss the upcoming week. This allows everyone to know what is expected of them during the week and how each person can help make the week more successful. Planning also gives everyone the opportunity to take part in field trips and projects.

Even homeschooling teachers and students want to feel included. For that reason, you should both consider joining a homeschooling support group. Your student(s) will get to talk to other kids who understand the lifestyle and challenges of homeschooling. Likewise, you can get input, advice and general support from other parents that have already struggled with and succeeded at homeschooling.

You expect your kids to be organized, so you have to be, too. You need to have your lesson plans in place long before you start them. You have to have lists of resources, materials at the ready and all the supplies you think they or you might need over time.

Treat homeschooling like a job. You’re a teacher now, and that means you also have to seek out more education. Professional teachers take “PA” days to attend conferences and training, so you should, too! Find homeschooling events near you or even attend one as a vacation. You’ll find they teach you not only specific topics you might not know a lot about, but also how to be a better teacher and how to plan out homeschooling lessons like a pro.

Plan out a ton of activities to accentuate your child’s learning. If they’re learning about history, have them act out the time they’re learning about. They can dress up, speak like people of that time and even engage in battle, if that is what the topic is. It gives them a chance to truly experience what they’re learning, immersing them in the topic and ensuring they learn as much as possible from the lesson plan you present.

Homeschooling has to be fun! Excitement helps a child want to learn, and the more you can provide, the better. While creating the lesson plans, the teaching itself, procuring supplies and other tasks related to your new job can be frustrating, the end result is so positive that you should consider it as you trudge through your day. Include activities which are fun for both yourself and your kids, such as cooking, music lessons and acting scenarios out (don’t forget to dress up!)

Now that you are armed with some great tips about homeschooling, you are now on your way to being a great teacher. Do not worry if some of your subjects are a little rusty. The best part about homeschooling is teaching something to your children while you learn new things in the process.

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