Home schooling is a far more effective way of educating children than institutionalised factory style education. Schools, like workplaces, are incredibly inefficient in the amount of learning produced per hours attended. At work we have the water cooler, or office kitchen, where workers congregate to gossip and share information, the actual productivity achieved at work usually happens quite quickly in small but intense bursts. Schools are similar in that large numbers of children and teachers waste inordinate amounts of time during the structured learning periods.
The first secret to achieving successful home schooling is not to model your home education on institutionalised schooling. Don’t think that you have to be schooling your kids six hours a day five days a week, because you will not have that huge amount of ineffective wasted time. Teaching one or two children is totally different to teaching thirty plus kids in a classroom. You will be able to achieve your teaching/learning goals in less than a quarter of the time. The quality of your teacher to student relating will far exceed the traditional paradigm.
Secondly, don’t be afraid of making things fun. Learning new things does not have to be difficult. Again, the old model of teachers in classrooms yelling at misbehaving students does not apply here. Work with your kids to make learning fun, listen to them as much as you instruct them. Find the ways that flow, this will not only improve their learning but also empower your children during the process. If you encounter resistance, talk about it together, work around the problem and discover a solution.
Teach your kids how to learn, give them the tools and the know how to find the information themselves. Education actually means, drawing out from within the necessary knowledge. Education is not about stuffing in endless amounts of information and rules; it involves inspiring children to find things out themselves. You want to foster self-sufficiency and self-motivation within your students.
Balance conceptual learning with experiential learning as much as possible. Creative projects which engage with the world will keep your kids interested and maintain the causal link between schooling and real life. Education in institutions suffer from divorcing reality from conceptual learning and this erects a barrier for some kids, turning them off from learning.
Don’t be afraid of sharing your real life concerns with your children. Be real and tell the truth, your kids will appreciate it. Honesty in all relationships improves their effectiveness and strengthens the bonds between you. If you want your children to be open and honest with you, be likewise with them.
Bring in fresh energy when needed. If you find yourself running out of ideas for schooling projects then invite a friend in to present a class. We all do so many different vocational things and giving your kids an opportunity to hear about what it is like to be a policeperson or nurse or lawyer or gardener can be enlightening.
Lastly, take the time to acknowledge your own brilliance in this educative process. Give praise where praise is due, not only to your kids but also to yourself. Home schooling is a wonderful gift to give your children and one day they will thank you deeply for it.
If you found this informative, you may like to also read the Study Tips For Parents article on the home page provided by Dux College who provide HSC Tutoring in Sydney for many students who have been home schooled.