Over my years of homeschooling, I often meet moms who see homeschooling as this overwhelming venture that is only for “special” parents or ex-teachers.
Believe me, it’s not.
I believe that the major reason many think home educating is this impossible task is because of their own experiences of school. Many believe home educating is simply the “classroom”, moved into our homes. Seriously, not many of us would want to move “school” into our homes. Home educating isn’t nor should it be public school at home.
I believe that if more parents knew how simple and fun it can be to educate their children from home, more would try it. Yes, you can complicate it. Yes, you can make it stressful. Yes, you can suck all of the joy from learning.
It doesn’t have to be that way. It can be inspiring. Simple. And enjoyable.
And you can start today.
Here are a few simple things that you can do today to start educating your children. Start today, even if your children are in school. The most impactful learning happens outside of a classroom anyway!
Read! Read! Read!
The doors of the world are opened to people who can read. Ben Carson
Read great stories to your children.
Make it a habit to read real books to your children. Not textbooks. Boring! My favorite part of homeschooling has always been the time we’ve spent reading together. I can not tell you the things we’ve learned and discussed along the way. They learn vocabulary. They learn about life. They learn about history, geography, science…. and so much more. (And you’ll learn alot along the way too!) Even if your children can’t read, you can read to them.
Keep reading to them, even when they are great readers. Reading together provides so many teachable moments. And it can inspire your child to study a topic more in depth, and to become an avid reader themselves. Personally, I became an avid reader because my teacher read “Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing” by Judy Blume, to our class in second grade. It made a tremendous impact on my life and it sparked a lifetime of reading for me.
Ideas of what to read: Classic children’s literature, the Bible, Biographies, Autobiographies, Adventure Stories, Poems, short stories, personal development books… anything that interests your family. Use your judgement, as a parent as to what you want to expose your children to. Every family’s values and tolerance for certain issues are different.
I believe you will begin to cherish the time you spend together reading these books. Reading together encourages a lifetime of learning.
Make sure you surround your children with lots of books.
Go to the library often. Listen to your children’s interests, and provide books for them to read based on their interests. Provide interesting material for them to read. Fun books. Biographies. And great stories that have stood the test of time. A great place to start is with books that have won Newberry Awards. Very few of these stories have disappointed us. Have them listen to books and stories on CD. A free resource for listening to books is: www.librivox.org/
Have your child read aloud to you.
When your child reads to you, it’s a great confidence builder. It also helps you to assess their reading difficulties. When children read, they tend to skip over or mispronounce words that they don’t understand. When they read aloud, you can help them sound out words and help them to slow down to really understand the passage that they are reading. It also forces a child to slow down to enunciate words. Again, this read aloud time can become a great opportunity for discussion with your child as well.
None of these things are hard, nor do they require any specialized training to do. Just pick up a great book today and get started!
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what books you are your children have enjoyed reading.