So you have decided to homeschool your kid but are terrified because you have no idea of where to begin?
Firstly, pat yourself for making a great decision. Homeschooling is the future of education and undeniably the best option to continue your kid's learning in the current pandemic era. Secondly, congratulations on landing at the right place. The experts at Cuemath, the world pioneer in online math education, provide an easy-to-follow 10-step process to Start Homeschooling.
1. Investigate your state's Homeschooling laws
Homeschooling is a legal way of education in all 50 states across America. However, each state sets its own education laws, so follow the regulations to comply. State homeschool laws in the USA are clearly defined and are easy to follow. If you stay outside America, we recommend you check your national and local homeschool laws at the onset of this journey.
2. Research & discover your Homeschooling style
Spoiler alert: Montessori is not a fictional planet from a sci-fi series. Instead, it is a Homeschool philosophy that adopts a humanistic approach to learning. Therefore, do not do hit and trial when it comes to your child's education. Instead, list out the pros and cons of each type of homeschooling philosophy, keeping your kids, your budget, your schedule, and your personal limitations in mind. Instead of a buffet, you also have the a la carte option in eclectic homeschool, where the curriculum is curated specifically for your kid.
3. Create a Mission statement
Once you are on the homeschooling road, it is easy to get off track, especially when your child struggles, isolation creeps in, or life throws you a curveball. Creating a mission statement will help guard against getting stuck or doubting yourself and remind you why you had started Homeschooling in the first place.
4. Define clear learning goals
Homeschooling is uncharted territory for many and might seem overwhelming at first. A plan is important, but a plan with clear goals is necessary for an amazing homeschool year. Academics are important but only form a component of a child's education. Physical activity, socialization, learning new hobbies & skills, etc., are equally important. Create a year-long calendar with monthly or quarterly goals. Just like a sprinter needs a clear and known track to figure how best to reach the finish line, you also need an efficient and organized plan for a successful Homeschool year.
5. Purchase curriculum
Once you have defined goals and have chosen a homeschool style, finding a curriculum that fits your needs is essential. However, don't go overboard. Your kid's natural curiosity and a library card will serve more than an overpriced boxed set of learning material. When doubtful, choose industry experts like Cuemath, whose curriculum is completely compliant with the US Common Core plus accredited by STEM.org.
6. Set up a designated space
Homeschooling is exciting, crazy fun, but often messy. Learning and living under the same roof can easily lead to disorganization and chaos—not the ideal environment to foster happy students. Setting up a designated learning space to keep books and other supplies will keep things organized and controlled. You won't be conducting classes at the kitchen table, but your kid may end up doing his work there. Once done, have them return their materials to the designated learning hub.
7. Chalk out a daily schedule
With a beautiful level of flexibility, Homeschooling runs the risk of getting distracted and go off track. Creating a daily schedule is vital because kids thrive when they have a basic structure to follow. Use flowcharts and color-code study time, leisure time, and break-time to keep it appealing for the kid. Then, you can put it up somewhere at the designated learning space where it's easy to follow.
8. Connect with other Homeschoolers
Networking with other homeschooling families will not only help avoid isolation, but it will also make the schooling process easier for you. Collaborating and sharing resources with other homeschoolers will enrich your child's experience and will keep you abreast of the latest developments in Homeschooling. Join a support network or find a homeschool support group.
9. Make learning/make time for a family activity
Learning can be double the fun if the whole family is involved. Find such activities. A family trip to the museum to explore the arts, or the zoo to learn about animals, sounds like a day. Join your kid in learning a new language on apps like Duolingo and see who rakes up more points. Read together or have a family member teach a new skill to others. Get creative and find new ways to involve the whole family for a memorable time.
10. Watch out for common pitfalls
Isolation, early commitment to a curriculum, and adjusting to the freedom and flexibility of schedule are common Homeschooling concerns. Remember, Homeschooling is a rewarding journey, so ensure that you prepare well and don't fall for these speed bumps.
The Cuemath Method treats Math excellence as a life skill. Cuemath offers Live Online Math classes for kids from KG to 12th grade. Book a Free online demo with their 10,000+ expert tutors to experience stellar learning outcomes.
-By Abhishek Deswal
Abhishek is an engineer with a math-focus outlook on life. Through his writing at Cuemath, he puts forward his belief that life makes more sense when seen through numbers. A former analytics professional, he enjoys theatre, football, and long runs.