5 Handy Tips for Homeschool Moms
Any homeschool mom will tell you that homeschooling is as rewarding as it is challenging. The rewarding part comes when you get to witness those light bulb moments with your child when they finally "get" that math concept or when they really become engaged in some part of the learning process. The challenging part is pretty much everything else! Keeping on top of your child's academic schedule, making sure snack time doesn't turn into an hour-long ordeal, coming up with lesson plans for children of different ages all of these I'd firmly place in the challenging side! To help out the many homeschool moms out there, I've compiled what I consider the five aspects of successful homeschooling.
1.) Get on board with a local homeschool group or association.
This can be tricky, particularly if you live in a rural area and the nearest group is headquartered miles and miles away. However, it's always worth it to connect with other homeschool moms in person on a regular basis (beyond blog forums). Not only can you glean some great tips from likeminded parents, but you can also exchange books and other learning materials and get your kids plugged in to the events and activities planned for homeschool kids. In my home town, I know the homeschool proms were very popular, and the homeschool sports leagues were great for kids of all ages.
2.) Get help with tricky subjects.
Math is manageable for most parents of younger children, but once you get past algebra 1 and 2, things can get challenging (for many of us, it's been a while since high school or college!) Some of the higher-level sciences can be a challenge for some parents too (physics in particular). Look at the options available at the homeschool co-ops and Christian private schools in your area and see if any tutoring or special classes are available for homeschool children. You may want to avail yourself of a private school's lab space for frog dissection purposes if you don't want to invest in lab materials.
3.) Incorporate field trips.
Let's face it. Hanging out inside all day every day can get boring for both you and your kids. Try to arrange field trips and special outdoors projects for your children that are connected to what you're learning about that week. Trips to the zoo, along with assigning bug collections and flower collections, are great supplements to any homeschool science curriculum. Museums are great for history lessons, and you can come up with some great writing assignments for your children based on what they learned at the museum.
4.) Mentors can work wonders.
Research has proven over and over the benefits of mentors to young children. Look for older homeschool children (maybe even young teens) outside your family to mentor your children, and if necessary, even tutor your children in areas they're struggling in. Sometimes all it takes for your child to have a breakthrough in a subject is a peer's take on the material. The mentor will also benefit, as he or she will learn material in greater depth by teaching it. A visit by a peer mentor, even once or twice a week, can make a huge difference in your child's learning experience, as well as provide some fun socialization.
5.) Educate yourself.
Whether it's by taking a few night classes at the local community college while your husband watches the kiddos in the evenings or taking an online class or two from an accredited university, it pays to stay sharp yourself. While you encourage your children to read voraciously, do so yourself. Whether it's the latest great book on homeschooling or simply a work of classic literature, fill your mind up so you'll have more to pour out into your children.
This guest post is contributed by Alisa Gilbert, who writes on the topics of bachelors degree. She welcomes your comments at her email: email@example.com.