Prerequisites – Before the fun of Homeschooling begins!!
Well!!!! That’s true, Isn’t it?? The life lessons, hacks and skills that experience can teach us, no books can ever do. And that’s why a lots of parents choose to either Homeschool their kids, or inspite of sending them to school, keep the major learning locus with them through activities, trips, outings etc.
As fun as it may sound, Homeschooling is not a piece of cake. It requires a lot of involvement and commitment from parents as well as meticulous planning. Of course eventually the process is fun and leaning experience even for parents / tutors. But before you decide to begin homeschooling your kid, lets have a look at what all we need to know and do beforehand. Most examples here would be pertaining to India, as that’s the country currently I am in.
1) Knowlede of the laws pertaining to Homeschooling – It is really important to know the local laws pertaining to homeschooling in your state as well as country. In India for example, Homeschooling has not been given a legal recognition equivalent to regular schools under the RTE (Right To Education) Act. Although the homeschooled kids can sit for NIOS (Ntional Institute of Open Schooling) or IGCSE (International General Certificate of Seondary Education) exams, which are equivalent to board exams. But if after a particular period, parents or the child decides to take admission in a regular school, there is no provision according to law for that, although some schools do allow placing homeschooled kids in age appropriate classroom after a detailed test of their skills and knowledge.
2) A list of schools that give admissions to Homeschooled kids – Schools in India require a Transfer Certificate and Report Card from previous school for giving admission,both of which are not available for any Homeschooled kid. Thus getting admissions in a regular school can be a tad bit difficult. But as I already mentioned, there are few schools that make an exception. Before taking the decision on homeschooling, it is essential to know of such schools in your locality as a contingency plan.
3) Knowing your child’s learning style – Every kid has their own way of learning. Some kids learn faster with the help of Music, some with Art, some by listening while some by doing. In a classroom full of students it is difficult, rather sometimes impossible to teach same leaning objective in a way that it appeals and makes understand each and every student. That’s the advantage of Home schooling that you can prepare a curriculum and daily plans according to learning style of your child, whether he / she is a Visual learner, Auditory learner, a Kinesthetic learner or a combination one.
4) Curriculum – Well, curriculum is the most important in any kind of learning setup. Decide beforehand what curriculum you want to follow – State Board, Central Board or International Board. Most learning in Homeschooling is experiencial, but following a curriculum is important for a logical progression as well as spiraling of all learning objectives. Also, following an already available curriculum simply saves lot of time. But a lot of parents also get into designing their own need based curriculum.
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5) A Planner – Planning for Homeschooling is as important as planning for any other thing. As they say, If you devote 80% of your efforts in planning and mobilizing resources, execution will take only 20% of your time and effort. WIth a big goal or vision in mind, breaking it down into monthly, weekly and daily objectives will give more clarity as to how to progress and would also help us to assess and know if we are moving in right direction or does any interm alterations in plan are required.
6) A Setup – A simple formal setup that is away from distractions is ideal for any learning environment. Also a print rich surrounding in the theme of what’s the learning objective makes it interesting for kids to learn and remember.
7) Some Gadgets and electronic items – Gadgets are not a necessity. Some parents like to keep their kids up to certain age away from any gadgets, but according to the learning style of the kid if some basic audio visual gadgets are introduced,it might actually enhance learning. Some investments like a home printer, a projector, speakers are actually a great idea for saving lot of recurring cost on printing and educational movie trips etc.
It’s not easy!!! But well, nothing is!! All it calls for is dedication,commitment and above all GRIT. A parent does a lot for best interest of their child. Give up old habits, take up a lot many new ones. Making sure that our kids receive the best possible education, whether at a school, at home or combined is up to us. So let’s do it our way!!!
Happy Teaching!!! Happy Learning and…… Happy Reading!!!
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P.S. – Next week I would skip writing about Homeschooling and would write about some of my favorite books for children. So, Next week’s topic – Here’s why I love Dr. Seuss books!!