How To Homeschool Effectively: 5 Simple Tips
Are you thinking about how to homeschool your kids effectively?
When this year started, my eldest daughter had just started at a Montessori school.
I was thrilled.
Montessori education has always captured my heart for the natural-focused, open-spaced environment it creates.
Then the lockdowns came and suddenly I was a homeschool mama.
The question was: how do I homeschool effectively?
Can you relate?
I had to think on my feet and adjust to being in charge on my daughter’s education while juggling everything else as well as her two younger brothers.
I had to figure out how to homeschool her effectively.
And you know what?
It wasn’t so hard!
In this post, I’m going to share with you 5 simple ways to show you how to homeschool your kids effectively and feel good about it.
Let’s dive in.
1. Get organized
Whether you have 1 child or 7 getting organized it step number 1. It’s vital to your success. Especially if you have multiple kids of different ages working at different levels.
How do you keep track of everyone’s work?
Here’s what to do:
Step 1: get storage boxes with lids for each child. Then all of that child’s materials go into that box. You could add a homeschool shedule to the lid and organize which subjects your child will do on which day or let him/her decide.
Step 2: Now that you have your boxes ready to go, create a space for your learning time. This could be in your dining room or in another room. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Anywhere where you can have storage for your school materials and space to learn will do.
Having a designated space will keep everything and everyone organized. That way everyone will know what to expect. This is essential if you want to know how to homeschool effectively.
Step 3: Next you want to create a homeschool schedule and routine. Map out a general idea of what time you’ll start each day, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. This is critical because kids (and adults) thrive on routine. It helps build a sense of expectancy and creates order to the day.
2. Consider using a curriculum
Let’s face it, designing your own curriculum or trying to work out what each child should be learning is no easy task! Why not try approved and endorsed curriculums that schools use.
This could be government-approved national curriculums of different countries like Australia, America or the UK. Or even something privately taught like the Montessori Method or Reggio Emilia.
Talk to people in your community who homeschool and find out what they are using.
Consider supplementing your curriculum with part of another one like faith-based curriculums.
Finding the right curriculum for your family will save you a lot of time and headache.
With a curriculum in place, this frees you up to add your own lessons or be creative with how you structure the days. It also means you get to choose what your children learn and can tailor the best curriculum to your family’s needs and beliefs.
3. Consider Homeschool Support
This could be an online school that offers textbooks, exams, virtual lessons, and all-in-one support like this one for the UK curriculum.
Alternatively, you could use a Facebook group or other social media platform that people use to connect.
If you live in an area where other families hoemschool, see if they have a homeschool group you can join for support and interaction.
Isolation is one of the pitfalls many homeschoolers face so finding ways to socialize with others can make or break the experience. Personally, I like the idea of supplementing hoemschooling with extra curricular activities in the community where my kids can interact with other kids while learning a new skill (like sports or music).
4. Alternate learning spaces
Learning doesn’t have to be with pencil in hand seated at a desk. It can get pretty boring quickly, especially for younger kids.
Try floor work and rug work. If you have multiple kids let them work together. Have days where they get to choose a different place to work such as outside, if possible.
Prepare an activity to do with everyone to stimulate the mind and get them moving. Use some hands-on learning activities to supplement the curriculum they are working on.
Younger kids do well with the world around them fitted to their size. Try to have smaller tables and chairs for the little ones. I’ve found that working in an open space in ample natural light is the best environment for inducing the spark kids to get when they are keen to learn.
5. Keep it simple
It can be tempting to splurge on expensive curriculums, homeschool materials and support methods but at the beginning it’s probably not worth all of the expense.
Start simple with basic needs and build up from there.
Homeschooling is no simple task. Many parents overwhelm themselves between trying to decide on what they will teach and how they will teach it. Start by building a simple framework that you can work with.
Next try it out and test it. Over time you will find out things that work versus things that don’t and you’ll be able to grow and improve your homeschool environment and routine.
Wrapping it up
Homeschooling doesn’t have to be a chore. It can provide a wonderful framework for teaching children the beauty of lifelong learning. When children associate school work with a physical place like then that’s the only place where they will learn. But what happens when they come home? The learning mode is switched off.
Teaching children that learning is a part of their upbringing within the home is a tool to their future success. As Maria Montessori found in all those hours she sat and observed how children learn, learning is a natural and individual process. All humans have an innate desire to learn and to learn from others.
In the words of Greek Philosopher Plutarch (ca. 45-120CE):
The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
Whether you’re thinking about homeschooling or have become a homeschooler due to the coronavirus situation, know that learning to how to homeschool effectively doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it might just be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever had.
How about you? Do you homeschool? Have any thoughts? Share with me below!