Homeschooling has many benefits for a child’s education. One of the most obvious is that it allows you, the parent, to tailor a specific education geared towards your child’s particular needs. It also allows you to teach in a style that suits your child — as we all know, different people learn better in different ways. When you decide to homeschool it is important to remember that as well as being a parent, you are now taking on the role of a teacher. This is, of course, not a responsibility to be taken lightly, and you have to make every effort to be the best teacher you can be.
Everyone has had the experience of having both a good and bad teacher. If you stop and think about it, I’ll think you’ll notice some things that your good teacher’s had in common. The most important is that they were genuinely interested in their subject areas. Nothing makes a teacher better then enthusiasm for a subject. I think you’ll also notice that most of the bad teachers you had didn’t seem particularly interested in the subject they were teaching. It is for this reason that it is crucial that you create a homeschooling experience that interests both you and your child.
While your child’s education should come first and foremost when creating a homeschooling curriculum, you shouldn’t be shy to think of your own education as well. When looking at things to study in particular subject areas, think about things that interested you in those areas that you didn’t get to explore as much as you liked to when you were in school.
It cannot be understated how valuable an experience it is to learn with your child. You will be strengthening a family bond, and your shared interest and excitement in a topic will ensure that your child retains the information. A way to do this is to understand the balance between rigidness and flexibility in a homeschooling curriculum.
A certain amount of formalness is required in a general curriculum: you have to have set goals and timelines in which certain things must be learned. But within those timelines, you have a lot of flexibility, and you should use it to your advantage. When studying literature, for example, understand that the goal is to read and learn about good literature, not necessarily to read a particular book. So instead of studying a “standard” novel that you’ve already read, consider a book that is new to you as well. With both you and your child interested in the book, the experience of reading it together will be enjoyable for both of you, as you will both be excited about the outcome.
This concept needn’t be applied only to literature, think of things in science or music, for example, that you’ve always wanted to learn about. If you make sure that you are interested in the subjects as well, your child will sense your enthusiasm and become more drawn into the subject, ensuring a much more valuable educational experience.