Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Plan Home Schooling

homeschooling afternoonImage by hbakkh via FlickrDr David Batencourt

Home schooling a child can be a long and tedious road. Many parents have no idea of the amount of work that must be placed into a child's curriculum. In fact, developing a curriculum takes time, thought and a plan.

To develop a curriculum for your child you should know about what grade level the child is capable of completing.

Does the child have any special needs or concerns that need to be addressed in the curriculum? Will the child need to complete any additional credits or need to complete Advanced Placement classes? Will foreign language be necessary? Are there credit recovery classes that have to be addressed? What learning styles does the child use? All questions that will have to be answered.

Because of the internet, parents now have several choices for curricula. I recommend that parents consider a well developed curriculum for their child instead of developing one on their own. This can be accomplished through the multiple online schools that are currently on the internet.

This allows the parent to assume the role of a coach instead of a teacher. Taking the burden off the parent for developing lesson plans, activities and testing and allowing them to focus on the child's education. The parent only needs to follow the plan from the school. This option gives the child a solid structure to learn in and gives the parent a well defined plan.

The second issue that parents usually encounter is what to do with my child. You have to realize that this is school and that there needs to be a certain amount of structure in order to succeed.

The child needs to have a well defined work space where books, pencils, pens, paper and the computer can be located. This will be school. Do not get into the habit of letting your child set on the sofa with the television going attempting to do school work.

Next, define a timeline. When will school start and end? When will lunch be? Snack time and recess time? Write it down and post it on the wall in the school area. Let you child know that this is the normal schedule that will be followed each day.

Your child also needs to know that the schedule may change if there are activities or field trips. You as a parent must remember that this is your school and that you can manipulate the learning environment to increase your child's educational experience.

An example of this would be when I take my child to the tidal pools to explore the oceanic environment and water quality. This puts science into action allowing my child to live what she is learning in science. When we return home we alter the schedule for the day and then make sure we address the areas we missed tomorrow.

Home schooling can be a long a tedious road but it is one filled with beautiful colors, sounds and textures. Just do not forget to look around.

About the Author

Dr Batencourt is the regional admissions director for Forest Trail Academy. He home schools his children through the use of the internet, travel and learning adventures.
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