There’s a fast-rising community of homeschooling families in the country and one word I heard someone use for homeschoolers is “Education Entrepreneurs” and I absolutely love the ring of that. Families decide to homeschool their children for different reasons and while your reason may not really matter, what is important is your resolution and consistency to stay true to the journey.
In this article and the coming ones, I would be talking about the basics of homeschooling, and we would basically have homeschooling conversations.
So, you want to homeschool? right? What do you need to know?
I’m glad you asked.
What You Need To Know About Home Schooling
The first thing to pay attention to is your “why”
Yes, I know I said it’s not important earlier and it isn’t -in the grand scheme of things- but it is an important part of the process of making the decision and sticking with it. So, ask yourself a couple of questions
- Why do I want to homeschool?
- Will I still homeschool if money wasn’t a problem?
- Will I homeschool if the educational system in our country is of global standards?
Get your spouse on board
Another crucial step is ensuring that you get the key stakeholders in your life on board. Homeschooling is a long journey and it takes its toll on whoever is primarily involved. Anything that can bring stress or reversal of what you are trying to do, take care of it (either by elimination or compromise). Key stakeholders can also mean grandparents, aunties, and uncles because you also don’t want the closest people to you always asking when your child is going to school. Most importantly, you and your spouse have to align with philosophies and agree on what route you are going to take with your child(ren)
Determine your philosophy:
There are various philosophies of education out there and I think one of the most important things to do is determine what your philosophy is. There are 3 main types of educational philosophies: teacher-centered, child-centered and socially-centered. These can be further categorized under
Teacher-Centered: Essentialism, Perennialism
Child-Centered: Romanticism, Progressivism
Socially-centered: Reconstructionism and Behaviorism
Understand the different methods:
There are various methods to homeschool out there and you can do your research and choose what best suits your family and child(ren). Examples of homeschooling methods;
- Charlotte Mason
- Unit Studies
Observe your child & choose a path:
This is another critical step is to observe child, what observing your child will help you do is to tailor the path that will be best for your child(ren), what is the method of observing your child?
Purpose of Observation
• Improve child’s behavior: You want to keep track of your child’s behavior and what preempts it, what was done to mitigate it, did the child react? You will find that you can start making more informed decisions with regard to your child.
• Document milestones and learning process: Developmental milestones are very important to note, you can know what is expected, when, and when to raise an alarm if you haven’t seen what to expect. Your observations can help you know your child’s learning process as you keep getting to know them.
• See new skills: You can easily know when something is new or when something is different. If you’ve not been paying attention you can’t know.
Language Development Methods
- Anecdotal: written in past tense what, when and where – factual accounts, verbal cues, body language, facial expressions. Child’s reaction and behavior during events.
- Learning Stories: Telling a story about the child of what happened through the day (like a diary)
- Time samples: Record a child’s behavior and what the child is doing during specific times.
- Work samples – Photographs
How to observe your child effectively:
- Pay close attention (When they are quietly playing with a toy or material- see what is fascinating, when they are eating, running, jumping, etc.)
- Ask yourself questions (Why? What? How? E.g Why did he throw a tantrum? What is making her fascinated about cars? How does she fall asleep? Etc.)
- Don’t assume; We assume a lot with kids. Before you label the child a certain thing (Naughty, book lover, Disney princess) because they are still evolving, be willing to follow their interests as they evolve
- Document; Something you can write down somewhere, go back to and read
Make a schedule & Start
It is very important to make a schedule because children thrive when they have a routine and you’d deal with less behavioral issues (I have tested this).
I hope you find this helpful.
About the Author
Tomilola is a stay at home mum who spends most of her day time caring for her son and most of her night time in front of a laptop blogging.
She runs a mum blog the cuddle blog where she shares her experiences as a mum, the struggles of being a stay at home mum and in recent times her journey homeschooling. She hopes to connect with other mothers and build a thriving community of stay at home mums in Nigeria.
Feel free to reach out to her via Instagram (@thecuddleblog) or follow her blog here