It’s all very well to say schools will not re-open anytime soon after the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown and home schooling is being considered as an alternative. The question is, “Are you ready for the Home Schooling Challenge?” Don’t worry; it’s not as hard as it sounds.
Here is our 7-step guide to home schooling that will lead you to success.
WHY HOME SCHOOL YOUR CHILD?
Even before the coronavirus lockdown situation forced the hand of parents, teachers, and children, were leaning towards home schooling for the future. Some of the most significant drivers of home schooling include –
- Better Choices
- More parental involvement
Check out the results of our poll SHOULD I HOMESCHOOL MY CHILD.
STEP 1 – DO YOUR HOMEWORK
As a would-be home-schooling parent, it is important for you to know the local laws regarding home schooling. You would also be well advised to think about the logistics – the nuts-and-bolts of schooling at home. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself –
- What curriculum will you follow?
- Will you teach yourself or hire a home tutor?
- If you are planning to teach yourself, brush up on the courseware and other aspects of teaching.
- Drawing up definite lesson plans for each session helps as do weekly planners.
- What tools will you need and where can you get them?
If you have more questions, you’ll find the answers here.
STEP 2 – DECIDE UPON A CURRICULUM
Curriculum may not matter in the initial years of schooling – usually up to grade 4. However, a definite curriculum give structure to the learning process and helps with goal setting and assessment.
Besides, think about the time when your child is ready for Secondary School Certification (SSC) and High School Certification (HSC). Which education board will he appear under?
The choice of curriculum would depend upon several factors –
- If your child is already following a particular curriculum you may wish to continue with the same
- If you are starting afresh the choice is yours to make
- Bear in mind the eventual outcome – what you – and more importantly your child – want for your child’s future.
- It is not a good idea to frequently change the curriculum so make your choice wisely
- Are you eventually planning to enroll your child in a regular school – if so it is better to follow the curriculum of that school?
Read more about CURRICULUM CHOICES IN INDIA
STEP 3 – EXPLORE YOUR PEDAGOGY
Pedagogy refers to the method of and approach to teaching. When you are home schooling you have the option to follow a pedagogy that suits your child’s learning style.
You don’t have to – and perhaps shouldn’t – recreate the school at home. Give your child the freedom to learn the way he likes.
Check out our list of SELF LEARNING APPS
STEP 4 – DEFINE YOUR GOALS
While you have the freedom to use different formats for learning, you should not forget that eventually, your child would be going for certification in the future. As of now, the basic SSC and HSC are still all important before moving to graduation and beyond.
Education boards, besides prescribing the courseware, also prescribe learning outcomes for each grade. For instance, NCERT (National Council of Education Research and Training) prescribes the Skills to be Fostered and Attitudes to be Nurtured when prescribing the syllabus for English language.
It is important to read and understand these learning outcomes before diving into your curriculum.
It is also important to think about short and long-term learning goals for your child. For instance, if you are tutoring a 4 year old, you might set a short-term goal of revising the alphabet and two or three letter words while setting a long-term goal of learning to write in running hand. Goal setting gives any task a definite direction and purpose and the performer a focal point.
When setting the goals, also determine the benchmarks that will determine your success.
STEP 5 – GATHER YOUR RESOURCES
Before you begin, make sure that you have all that you need for your home school. Here’s a quick rundown –
- Have you decided who will tutor the child?
- Have you decided upon the curriculum?
- Do you know your child’s learning style?
- Have you set your – and your child’s – goals?
- Do you have all the learning resources you need – such as apps, textbooks, worksheets, guides, stationery, and other learning material?
STEP 6 – GET THE LOGISTICS RIGHT
Home schooling requires considerable preparation. From the most obvious “school space” to investing in a laptop or tablet for your child, you – and your entire family – will have to gear up for home schooling. Some important things to consider are –
- The number of children and their age
- Will they use a shared space or do you need separate cubicles
- What devices – such as desktop, tablet, chalk board and so on – will you need?
- Who will monitor the classes?
- Who will provide “break time support” such as snacks, juice, and a hug?
- It is advisable to have a set timetable for home school so that both tutor and child are prepared
- Establish – and write – the school rule book
STEP 7 – LOOK OUT FOR THESE PITFALLS
While home schooling your child may seem like a good alternative to traditional school, you are likely to encounter some roadblocks. We’ve listed some most important ones to watch out for –
- Isolation – If you are accustomed to your child attending regular school, you will miss the freedom and “me time” it afforded you as well as the daily outing. Your child will also miss his peers and the fun he had in school. To ward of this negativity, you can create some fun activities at home or plan regular outdoor trips after school. Signing up for a support group also helps.
- Buyer’s Remorse – You will have to make some investment in the course material and other tools. Take these decisions wisely and after thoroughly researching your options. New home schooling parents often make the mistake of jumping in and then regretting their decision.
- Freedom – Home schooling inherently affords more freedom than traditional schooling. While this is good, it is easy to be carried away and things can spiral out of control quickly. On the other hand, the freedom gives you an opportunity to redefine learning.
- Too many roles – If you are planning on self-tutoring pause for a moment and think about the multiple roles you would have to play – teacher, parent, friend, and more. Moreover, if you are a work from home mom, your own work will add to the burden.
Reconsidering your self-tutoring decision? Check out Home Tutor Options
When you take the decision to home school, take it one step at a time. Move slowly and remember that you will keep discovering new things, opportunities, and information at every step.
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