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Education

5 Ways to Elevate Your Homeschooling Experience

As we celebrate Homeschool Awareness Month in May, it’s important to remember why this alternative form of education can be great for many families.

5 Ways to Elevate Your Homeschooling Experience

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Homeschooling, once seen as a relatively uncommon practice, has quickly become the fastest-growing form of education in the United States. It’s a trend that started before the pandemic and became widely accepted as more parents wanted to find an alternative to the traditional school system.

Since the 2017-2018 school year, homeschooling has increased in popularity by 51%. As the years go on, this number continues to rise, proving that homeschooling is now a common and even preferred option for some parents. Parents are choosing homeschooling as an alternative to public and private schools for a variety of reasons. Many parents enjoy being able to customize the curriculum for their child in order to provide a safe and effective learning environment. Furthermore, the tailored and personalized approach that homeschooling provides has been proven to show drastic improvement in the child’s academic performance.

As we celebrate Homeschool Awareness Month in May, it’s important to remember why this alternative form of education can be great for many families. Like any form of education, homeschooling comes with challenges including increased time and effort required from parents. That said, the time put into homeschooling can be well worth it if families maximize the quality of their children’s at-home learning experience.

Below are a few tools and strategies parents can use to help their children receive a top-notch education in the comfort of their homes:

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Join a Support Group

Homeschooling support groups provide a sense of community for families who may otherwise feel isolated. Sharing experiences, accomplishments, and struggles with others who understand what you’re going through can help overcome feelings of doubt or uncertainty. Support groups are also valuable for parents to exchange ideas, discuss effective teaching techniques, and discover local resources. Whether it’s curriculum recommendations, educational materials, or advice on tackling a problem, being around like-minded parents and children can help tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Additionally, children have the opportunity to interact with peers who share a similar educational experience, and the group can help foster friendships and build socialization skills.

Mother homeschooling daughter with toys iStock

Understand Your Child's Learning Style

Every child is unique, with individual and specialized learning preferences. Homeschooling allows parents to tailor the curriculum to meet their children's specific needs, interests, and learning styles. This customization can lead to a more effective and engaging learning environment, while also addressing the needs and challenges of each child.

There are several ways parents can better understand their child’s learning style. Firstly, they can do some research such as asking past teachers for recommendations or checking to see if a tutoring center can do a learning style assessment. Additionally, parents can learn a lot about their child by simply observing patterns of their hobbies and interests. When parents specialize in homeschool instruction to fit the child’s needs, it fosters deeper understanding, encourages critical thinking, and addresses areas of difficulty.

Create a Dedicated Learning Space

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With homeschooling, it’s important to establish an environment equipped to meet your child’s unique learning needs by designating a space in your home for homework, studying and other learning-related activities. Whether it’s a cozy corner or a fully equipped office, having a space dedicated to learning helps children associate that area with studying and concentration. This setup doesn’t have to be perfect by any means, but a designated learning space can reduce distractions and create a conducive environment for focused learning.

Family homeschooling child in the kitchen iStock

Build Your Educational Resources

Explore a variety of educational resources available locally and online to enrich your homeschooling curriculum. Many libraries offer homeschooling support services, such as curriculum materials, workshops, and events geared toward homeschooling families.

Part of the beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility it provides. Consider taking advantage of local museums, zoos, botanical gardens, historical sites and nature centers for field trips and hands-on learning experiences. By utilizing these educational opportunities, homeschooling parents can provide a comprehensive and enriching learning experience for their children, tailored to their individual interests, abilities, and learning styles.

Be Patient and Persistent

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a successful homeschooling journey. Embrace the learning curve, and be patient with yourself and your child as you navigate this new experience.

Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace. Parents should be patient as their child may require more time to grasp certain concepts or skills. Rushing through the material can frustrate the child and hinder the learning process. By being patient, understanding and supportive, parents can help their child thrive academically, emotionally, socially and create a lifelong love of learning.

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As homeschooling continues to gain traction as a mainstream educational option, these strategies provide a roadmap for families to create fulfilling and effective learning experiences tailored to their children's needs and aspirations.

Author:

Becky Ward, Education Experience Specialist at Tutor Doctor, an internationally renowned tutoring franchise. With years of experience in the education industry, Ward creates resources for tutors, works with the franchisees, has been a tutor herself for decades, and is a certified Junior Kindergarten through grade 12 teacher with special education teaching qualifications.

This article was originally published on May 24, 2024

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Becky Ward, Education Experience Specialist at Tutor Doctor, an internationally renowned tutoring franchise. With years of experience in the education industry, Ward creates resources for tutors, works with the franchisees, has been a tutor herself for decades, and is a certified Junior Kindergarten through grade 12 teacher with special education teaching qualifications.

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