One of the major concerns in homeschooling is maintaining the discipline of the child in studying even if his classes are held probably just a few feet away from the remote control or the video game console. It’s easy for a child to misinterpret homeschooling as a very long vacation especially if Mom or Dad has not explained to him properly what homeschooling is.
Indeed, homeschooling gives you and your child flexibility, not just on how to conduct your classes but also on how you can arrange your schedule. All these decisions has to be made in the beginning so you can explain to your child even during the earlier stages what all these ‘new activities’ are all about. If your child is too young to participate in the decision-making, try to prepare a certain schedule you can both follow and stick to it until the child adapts to at as a natural part of his regular activities. Once he’s old enough to make decisions, you can start asking him what he wants to learn and when he wants to learn.
Just like in normal schools, homeschoolers have to have homework, too. It will teach him to be responsible even after classes are over. After each lesson, some part of the course must be done by the child alone to somehow test how much he’s learned.
You will need to make sure that your child does his homework not because he feels he’s required to. He has to have a fair level of interest in completing his assignments.
Lasting values of a child are mostly developed at home. Molding the child’s character-teaching him about respect, punctuality, manners and other aspects of good character- shouldn’t be a far-fetched goal in homeschooling. The child should be taught to behave properly not just with family members but with other people, as well. His attention has to be called if his deeds are unsatisfactory.
It is advisable to allot a special room at home for homeschooling classes. The child should be expected to be at his desk on time, in proper attire and with all the requirements for class. It is easy for a child to forget that he’s still, after all, a student if these simple details are neglected. As a teacher, principal, supervisor, janitor and guidance councilor all rolled into one, you should have the fair balance of professionalism and compassion as a parent.
Without patience and genuine interest to make it work, homeschooling will fail. Due to the environment and set-up, it’s very easy for a child to be too familiar and too comfortable. During those times, he may lose focus and not be able to listen attentively. When such situation happens, try talking about another topic or starting on a different activity. If all else fails, take a break. You may both need to.
Homeschooling is not as easy as most people may think. It’s never easy. The fact of homeschooling being an alternative form of education is confusing enough for most people. The key is to establish rules and relationships at the earlier stages and not when it’s already too late for you and your child to adjust.