The Inside Scoop

A Veteran Homeschool Teacher‘s Insights

Twenty years of Home Ed

 have taught me a few things. Number one would be to never run out of M&M’s. You think I’m joking, but a handful can pull a frustrated parent or child back from the brink. I’ve seen lots of families come and go. Homeschooling may be the career that you retire from or it may be just another part of parenting that you remember fondly. Crisis schoolers may only be here for a season. In any case, here are some things that I learned along the way.

EDUCATION STANDARDS: home teachers need them too

  1. Follow the laws of your state. Look them up and make sure you comply.
  2. Choose materials that you like and can teach. You need that confidence to be successful in your homeschool. In the beginning, I used to have my math workbook, and as long as I stayed just a few days ahead of my kids, we were golden.
  3. Combine as many subjects and children as possible into small groups. Your one-room classroom will run like clockwork if you are organized.

MATERIALS NEEDED: how to place each child

  1. Keep your oldest at the top end of any age range materials. Learning at home is much more demanding than a classroom setting. Staying to the top will allow them to understand the events of the past sufficiently.
  2. Younger kids can listen in to History and Science, and it is enough, some public schools don’t even teach those subjects until Junior High School.
  3. Everyone needs their own Math and Language Arts program instead of sharing one. Kids can quickly jump back into school if they are at grade level in these topics. Even if you don’t plan on them ever leaving the home classroom, it is an insurance policy.

VERIFICATION: How do you know it’s working?

Steps to check for student understanding

  1. Talk, talk, talk. Look for connections to whatever you are studying and point them out to your kids. 
  2. Ask your children to share what they are learning with family and friends. It will be a boost to you to hear what they remember from the week.
  3. Don’t skip some kind of end of the year assessment. It helps you and your child to see improvement and skills that still need tweaking.

CAUTION:   

“ The days are long, but the years are short.”- Gretchen Rubin

I’m down to one teen at home. Our four older children are now adults. I still remember the excitement of our first box day, homeschool gym class, and even that time I slammed a math book down in frustration over some squirrelly boys just not paying attention.  All those days are part of our family lore. I wanted my kids to have a very different educational experience than the norm, and they did. Looking back, I can pinpoint exact moments of when each child discovered their talent, and that is something not every parent can say they witnessed.

Whether your children already flock to books or they’re any shade of reluctant, Bookish Society helps your child make life changing connections with literature, peers, and authors. See our Middle Grade and Teen Round Table Pages.

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