Homeschooling has many benefits for both children and parents. The biggest of which is the opportunity to tailor-make an education specific to your child’s individual needs and interests, as well as your family’s beliefs and values. But how can you pull all of that together to create an effective homeschooling plan for your child?
Planning Makes (Almost) Perfect!
The first thing you need to do is to come up with a clear plan and set of goals for your homeschool year. It is here that one of the greatest aspects of homeschooling, flexibility, becomes one of the most difficult. Without a clear plan, you run the risk of creating a scattershot education that puts your child out of place with his or her peers. But with so much choice of styles, curriculum, and subject matter, where do you start?
Set Clear Goals
First of all, come up with a clear set of general goals. Think about why you wanted to homeschool your children in the first place, and what you want them to get out of the experience. What, generally, do you want your child’s education to encompass?
Once you have answered these general questions for yourself, begin to split your child’s education into various subject areas. For each subject area, you want to come up with a timeline and set of goals. You should also take into account your child’s interests and what they want to learn this year.
Homeschooling allows you and your child to learn together, creating not only a valuable learning experience but strengthening family bonds. Taking the time to include your child’s interests in your planning means you will have a happy engaged learning as the homeschool year goes on.
When planning a timeline, a standard public school curriculum for your child’s grade is a good place to start. While it is almost certainly true that one of the reasons you’ve selected to homeschool your child is to go beyond and outside this standard curriculum, you also want to make sure that your child does not fall behind his or her peers in a given subject area.
A standard curriculum also gives you an idea of what standard your child might be expected to meet at that age in school.
Look at the standard expectations for a given subject level and then work backwards: how do you want to achieve that level of knowledge by the end of the year? What are the targets for each week? By setting these targets you can establish a timeline and curriculum that allows for effective homeschooling.
You can then plan a scheme of work that leads you to these points or buy a pre-packaged curriculum that will meet your goals.
Find the joy
Of course, you should not overlook the joy of flexibility in homeschooling so you do not need to stick to a plan rigidly, but it is useful to have an outline or series of goal posts for the year.
Instead you can make a clear educational plan that allows for flexibility. Plan what your child is going to learn, but leave the “how they will learn it” some breathing room: as you begin the process of homeschooling you’ll learn how your child learns best, and can begin to incorporate this into the lessons. A clear educational plan is one of the most essential tools to effective homeschooling and will lead you comfortably through the school year and ensure your child’s learning is effective and meets the required levels.