Home schooling affords lots of
flexibility. It’s such a relief not to be
tied to a tight timeline. But com-promising
this flexibility too much
can result in an unmotivated child
Establishing a healthy routine
that leaves room for compromise,
while also communicating to the
child what to expect daily is vital.
This becomes increasingly true as
children get older.
Children do well when they know what to expect. It may be
tempting to break the routine when your child is struggling in any
core subject (reading, writing or arithmetic), but consistent discipline
in this area is all the more important if you want to see progress.
EMBRACE SOME INDEPENDENT WORK.
One-on-one instruction with your child is a priceless opportunity.
This is especially true if you have previously experienced your child
being “lost in the shuffle” of a large classroom. But home-school
parents need not overlook the important skill of fostering students
who can work independently during their instruction time.
It’s expected in public school, and it shouldn’t be completely
disregarded at home. Set your child up for success by beginning
with a subject strength. Then, build their independence in other
GET SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR CURRICULUM.
The growing popularity of home schooling over the past few
decades has created a wealth of materials. Invest some time in
researching options. Choosing a curric-ulum
that aligns with your values and
your child’s learning style is not only
possible but is vital to a long-term plan
THE FOUR-DAY SCHOOL
For disciplined parents and stu-dents
who commit to their les-sons,
a four-day schedule is 100
percent attainable. Whether
you long for consistent three-day
weekends or a mid-week
break, the standard way
of doing things simply need not apply as long as you meet the
required number of school days.
In more ways than one, your school is not going to look like the
public-school schedule. Quantity is not quality. Rest easy in your
ability to create the lifestyle that works for your family — so long as
everyone does their part and progress is being made.
A CULTURE OF SERVICE.
Having a servant’s heart is a learned behavior. Public education
requires service hours in high school, but not before. Why should
fostering an attitude of service only be
reserved for older students? Consider
building in regular service opportunities
as a family and give your child volunteer-ing
choices they can really get excited
about this year.
HOMEWORK IN HOME SCHOOL?
In short, yes. Don’t be afraid to assign a small amount that occurs
outside of your typical school hours. Your school days are likely not
nearly as long as average public-school days. With that in mind,
there is plenty of time for your child to enjoy the added leisure of
childhood and still complete a moderate amount of homework.
BEGIN YOUR OWN HOME
This was a brave, new endeavor
that I embraced last year and I’m glad
I did. Teaching history, science, music
or art can be so much fun in the com-pany
of other like-minded families.
If you are ready to add this to your rou-tine,
begin with one or two other families.
Staying small the first year is important. Find a day
you can all commit to each week. We also found that it helped to
rotate homes and share teaching responsibilities. Commitment to
your new co-op is also more easily achieved when you have a pre-planned
weekly agenda and
schedule that you follow.
For those who would rather
find an existing co-op, local
organizations like the OCEAN
Homeschool Center and
Christian Home Educators of
Wilmington may be helpful.
KEEP CALM AND
HOME SCHOOL ON.