Deciding to homeschool your child can be a difficult decision to make. Wondering how you’ll adjust, how well you’ll be able to teach, and if your child is adapting to this change from traditional schooling to a homeschooling style. You may have concerns about your child being able to socialize with other kids. Here are 5 Tips for Families who Homeschool.
Get connected – As homeschooling your student becomes more mainstream, there are more opportunities for socialization and connections for your student and for you. This is a critical component to keep in mind. Utilizing the Parks and Recreation programs, local libraries, and sites such as 4Kids.com that have a wealth of information for you and your student is a great place to start. Other community programs meet regularly, and you can find them online.
Folsom Cordova Community Charter school’s homeschool program offers engaging and enrichment workshops twice a week, campus events, and field trips once a month – all at no cost to our students. Next year, they will have parent workshops that will give up-to-date information for post-secondary options and create a space for parents to connect and share best practices and instructional strategies.
Students know that math is always on Wednesdays between 10 am and 11 am or that English and Social Science are on one day and math and Science are on opposite days. Families have found success with an agenda or a list of what to accomplish daily or weekly. This is a more fluid way to tackle assignments and lessons and can carry over to the next day. Both serve as a way to mentally orient the student and the parent for what is to come. Bonus tips for families: The feeling of joy when you can check things off!
If possible, have a designated place in your home for “school” – Along with the mental orientation of Tip #2, an environmental orientation can also help. Whether it is the kitchen table, a spare room, or a desk set up in an area of your home, a physical space where school takes place offers the student a reminder that they are in the “school zone.”
Unlike traditional schooling, when it’s break time, lunchtime, or after school hours, the rest of the living space is the place to be. At Folsom Cordova Community Charter School, their long-time homeschool parents say that keeping educational materials, curriculum, supplies, etc. Being neat and organized is easier to do when there is a designated space for learning.
Creativity is key – Part of the beauty of homeschooling your child rather than traditional schooling is that you do not have to follow the structures of a regular school setting. You can determine what time to start and end, when you take to lunch, and you have the flexibility to work learning into your life, whatever else is happening. For example, you can walk the family dog to incorporate physical education into your day or take a nature walk to identify characteristics of the seasons while learning Science.
At Folsom Cordova Community Charter School, they offer workshops twice a week at their beautiful campus, including a Life Lab in their garden, Critical Reading and Public Speaking, and Art and Science. They also offer monthly field trips to Art and Science museums, farms, and nature centers. Their students have the ability to apply knowledge in ways that traditional schools simply do not have the time or resources to implement.
Give yourself and your student grace – If you are transitioning from a traditional to homeschooling your child, you and your student will need some time and grace to make the mental and environmental shift necessary for success.
Even if you are a long-standing homeschool family, each child is different, and what works for one student may not work for another. Sometimes you may doubt your decision or feel like you could be doing more. Rest assured that every good teacher feels that way from time to time. As time goes by, you and your student will find your groove!
Folsom Cordova Community Charter School partners with veteran home school families and new families to offer a lifeline of sorts. Their new families have a way to get advice, meet up for socialization opportunities, and build bonds with other families, which affords them a wide network of support. They feel strongly that their program offers the maximum opportunity for student success by partnering with our high-quality teaching staff, our vast curriculum library, and multiple socialization options for their families.
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