Revealing the decision to home-school will most certainly invite curiosity amongst friends, family, and even strangers. As if making the decision was not a harsh battle in itself, loved ones will require conversation and explanations of the socially misunderstood conquest that the new teacher was obliged to announce. For new and seasoned home-school teachers, it is inevitable that quality descriptions of home-schooling is a key area of responsibility in this field of work; eventually it will become a mastered skill.
Knowing that conversations or debates are inevitable, follow these steps as a support system to better explain homeschooling to the curious seekers. Like a lighthouse guiding a ship safely to shore, so will these six steps of instruction. Use this advice as it pertains to circumstance, and consult with other home-school teachers.
1.) Understand the personal decision to home-school; deliver this message wisely. Many people will ask why you decided to home-school. Be observational and empathetic when explaining the decision. For example: If a friend is a parent with a child in the public school system, be cautious in any prejudices that you hold against public schools. It would not be wise to tell your friend that the school system is horrible and you don’t trust them to teach your child properly. This type of response could lead your friend to a defensive state due to feeling judge to be an inadequate parent. The best approach is to be slightly elusive, such as: “I couldn’t find a job in my field, so I decided to become a teacher”, “We travel often and I feel like my child is missing too much school”, or “My child was having trouble at school”. Home-school teachers need a strong and reliable support system. Don’t burn bridges by insulting the opposite decision.
2.) Become an expert in your state’s home-schooling laws and regulations. People are often curious as to how transcripts work, if you have to report anything to the state, and if your child is required to do state testing. Present your explanation confidently. This type of presentation may direct your friends and family to a realization that home-schooling is a real and serious job. If your assumed support system views home-schooling as respectable, they’ll become a reliable source of counsel and encouragement.
3.) Choose your curriculum and fully comprehend all aspects of it. Read online reviews and familiarize yourself with educational learning theories. You’ll be asked by strangers and loved ones about the material you are teaching your child. Understand all home-school approaches. Is your chosen curriculum classical, unit base, eclectic; does it use mastery learning technique, spiraling learning technique, or is it hands on? Most of the people asking will only desire a brief description. Other home-school teachers and licensed teachers may be more interested in further details.
4.) Know all about your school. As a teacher in your private home, you are running a school. Give your school a name and share it with your loved ones. Have one place in the home where most learning takes place and name it “the class room”. Hang up a sign made by you or your child with your school’s name on it; if you’re really creative, choose a mascot too! Choose a teacher name to go by when class is in session. Some people will be curious as to how you and your child distinguish “home” from “school”, and “parent” from “teacher”. You will be able to show off your classroom, even if it’s only set up during class time. Explain the layout and structure of your self run school with excitement and a sense of achievement.
5.) Stay organized ,keep records, and have a schedule. Those who are very close to your child will want to know how he or she is graded, how attendance is recorded, and be involved with reading their papers and seeing their art. For well done jobs, hang your child’s work on the fridge. Create certificates for outstanding milestones that your child reaches. Search online for lesson planning examples and plan a week of learning at least one week in advance. Some will want to see or know about a typical week of homeschooling. For example: “We start at 9 am and finish by 1 pm. Snacks are at 10am and lunch is at 12 pm. Every morning we say the pledge of allegiance. Mondays and Wednesdays we practice Math and Reading, Tuesdays and Thursdays we work on Science and Writing, and Fridays are testing/quizzing days, followed by a field trip.” Explaining these details are usually intriguing and has a validating impact on your role as a teacher.
6.) As a home-school teacher, the infamous topic of socialization will certainly arise. Most non home-schooling parents reject the idea of homeschooling because they fear their child will lack imperative stages of development that coincide with peer socialization. In order to explain, or even defend, home-schooling, study American Psychological Association (APA) approved journals on stages of development and educational development. Arm yourself with knowledge of age appropriate milestones through credentialed professionals’ published and approved material. There are many ways to socialize children outside of the school system. Autonomy, an important developmental milestone, can be obtained by enrolling your child in peer group activities such as: sports, church, summer camps, mission trips, social media networking, and age appropriate independent leisure activity. Present this information to answer seekers but don’t be dismayed by prejudices. If your message is presented in a knowledgeable manner, most will be impressed. Do not feel obligated to defend yourself, just state that your child is integrated in age and time appropriate peer activities.
Practice home-schooling descriptions at home. You can practice with a trusted friend or even rehearse to the wall! Write down answers to avoid becoming flustered. Be creative! Make a colorful flyer for the fridge, friends, and family. Create a public home-schooling blog and address these issues within it. Describing home-schooling may be and uncomfortable obligation at first. As goals are reached, routines set, and learning is evident, these conversations will shift from anxiety producing to a galvanizing, mastered task.