These days, more and more parents are considering homeschooling their children due to the pandemic. However, homeschooling has been around for many years. There seem to be divided opinions on whether it’s a good idea. Some parents love the idea of being able to spend all day with their children, while others think that they would never be able to cope. Keep in mind that homeschooling isn’t always as simple or easy as it sounds, and there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. It is certainly not a decision that should be made lightly, as this will likely affect your entire family.
You’ll need a teaching environment
It’s important for there to be a separation between school and normal life so that your child knows when it’s time to focus, and when they can relax. Of course, this is easy to do when your child is going to an actual school, but it’s much harder to do that when school and home are at the same place. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a dedicated teaching environment. If possible, try to make this feel as much like a classroom as you possibly can. Decorate the walls with educational posters and invest in items like small dry erase boards.
Talk to your child
If you’re not sure about what the right decision is, why not have a conversation with your child? Explain to them what the situation is, as well as your reasons for considering home-schooling. Even if your child is young, they will likely be able to tell you how they feel about the possibility. Remember that this affects them as much as it affects you, and the last thing you want to do is make this decision without your child’s knowledge, especially if it turns out that they are unhappy with the outcome.
Consider the emotional impact
First of all, homeschooling your child will have a severe emotional impact on you. If your child is struggling with a particular subject, you may blame yourself. It’s a lot of pressure to take on. Not to mention the fact that you’ll likely never be able to take time for yourself. Even when your active teaching hours have passed, you’ll still need to do things like lesson planning or marking. However, it will also affect your child’s emotions. Not only will they need to see you as their parent, but also their teacher. This can be very confusing for children, especially if they are used to a mainstream school. It’s important that you understand it may take everyone a while to adjust, and that you remain supportive of your child or children.
Your child needs to be social
No matter how close your children may be to you or each other, they must have their own friends. Every child needs a social life, and this can be hard to do if you’re homeschooling them. In a mainstream school, children are often forced to socialize with each other due to being in close proximity all the time. This helps develop their social skills and helps them make friends. However, if your child is being homeschooled, they do not have the opportunity to meet as many children their own age, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that they get the chance to make and maintain friendships.
Having a routine is important
Both you and your child need to have a routine in place during school days. This means no sleeping in too late, but it also means not teaching after school hours. It can be helpful to set up a timetable for your child’s subjects. You need to try and maintain as much structure as possible, since teaching your child from home is already much more flexible than sending them to a normal school. You also need to be strict – yes, they are your child and you love them, but that doesn’t mean they can get away with inappropriate behavior.
It’s your choice
In the end, no matter what anyone says, it is your choice whether or not you want to homeschool your child. It’s always a possibility that you may upset some people with your decision, but you likely know your child better than anyone else, so your opinion (and theirs, of course) matters most. You also know your reasons for wanting to homeschool your child – maybe you’re worried about their safety, or maybe they’re struggling in school – so you’ll know what the right decision is either way.