Home-schooling your children is challenging and rewarding. Regardless of whether you are just starting out or have been home-schooling for many years, it is always a tremendous adventure. A combination of creativity, resourcefulness and knowledge of new technology is needed to successfully home school your children in a way that will keep them engaged and learning and prepare them for life as productive citizens. From the abacus to Smartboards, a wide variety of teaching tools and concepts can be used. In this article, we will share a wealth of information to help you design and implement just the right program for your child or children.
Creating Your Curriculum
Be flexible with curriculum. Allow plenty of space for your children to explore the topics that fascinate them the most. Remember that you are under no obligation to follow a course that isn’t working. You are free to adjust and tweak your plans as you need to in order to have the best level of success.
Remember that each of your children is an individual, and you may need to create entirely different curriculum for each one. As time passes, you will become better and better at determining what needs to be covered and how. You will also learn how to adapt lessons previously used for one child so that they are suitable and specific to another child.
Using an interactive whiteboard (IWB) can really help you create just the right curriculum for your children. Whiteboard manufacturers often create ready-made lesson plans that you can use as is or adapt to suit your needs. You can also save information and lessons that you have created from one year to the next and tweak them easily to suit your current needs and conditions.
Motivate Your Children to Enjoy Learning
While it’s a good idea to get your children used to the concept of a grading system, be sure that their motivations are intrinsic. They should be learning for the love and excitement of learning and not to earn a good grade. Good grades are a side effect of good learning. Combining traditional tools, such as books, arts and crafts materials and so on with modern technological developments can produce an intriguing and unique learning environment.
A love of books is always a good thing to instill in your children, and book fairs and trips to the library definitely make home-schooling even more enjoyable. Your children can get much more value from book learning when you pair it with lessons using an IWB. You can create multimedia lessons that support the arts, the classics, science, earth studies, math and really any subject under the sun. You can also save money on book purchases by using free e-books and online materials to create your lessons.
What About Character Development In Home-Schooling?
One of the nicest things about home-schooling is that you can adjust your curriculum as you need to in order to give behavior work and socializing top priority when needed. You can also include lessons about your faith and your religion without fear of conflicting with others.
Because you are free to explore and focus on character building and social awareness as needed, you will want to avoid creating a curriculum that is set in stone. Leave yourself some leeway to pursue your child’s questions and concerns about life, spirituality, society and the world around us. Use your interactive white board to draw on a wealth of virtual and real-world resources to compare and contrast various world cultures and beliefs and create interesting, enriching and engaging world studies lessons.
Flexible Home-Schooling Gives You The Whole Year To Learn Together!
Another excellent thing about home-schooling is that you and your children do not have to follow the school year schedule. You can simply adjust your lessons to suit the seasons with more outdoor lessons in the warmer months and quiet indoor activities and lessons in the winter. You can also have more interesting and varied days throughout the year because you can create a schedule that includes arts and crafts, reading together, independent lessons, chores, games, field trips and more. Having this open time without scheduling constraints allows you to make the most of every teaching opportunity.
If you have many children, remember to give the older ones the opportunity to help the younger ones. While you certainly don’t want to make this a burden for your older children, giving them the chance to share their knowledge skills and abilities with their younger siblings can be a point of pride and accomplishment for them.
Your older children may enjoy creating interactive whiteboard lessons for the younger ones. Toddlers can also enjoy taking part in Smartboard lessons with older children and exploring specially designed lessons for preschoolers. Art, matching and game activities are perfect for these casual, enjoyable lessons.
Fun Ideas For Preschoolers
Remember that children need time to be children. With toddlers, you shouldn’t stress academic achievement at all. Babies are still learning about the simple things of the world, and supplying them with plenty of soft books and safe toys and enjoyable interaction creates a solid base for later academic learning.
Enrich your baby’s learning experience with supervised tactile toys and activities. Water play, exploring a bin of rice with kitchen spoons and cups, playing with soft blocks and so on help your baby develop, learn and grow.
Encourage your toddler to listen to audio books with the older children and to participate when you and the older children are creating audio books and audiovisual learning materials. This type of participation without pressure will help your child absorb a tremendous vocabulary and a great deal of knowledge and information to move smoothly into academia when the time comes.
Take Advantage of the Lessons Inherent in Activities of Daily Living
Running a household isn’t easy even when your kids are away at school all day. When they are home with you all day it can be very difficult unless you learn to prioritize. Use your IWB to create schedules of chores for every member of your family.
Take advantage of tasks such as sorting laundry by color or type to give your children something meaningful and useful to do to help you out. This can be a once a week chore for one or more of your children, or you can label your laundry baskets for specific types of laundry (e.g. towels, dark, light, etc.) and be sure that your children toss the right items into the right baskets on a regular and ongoing basis.
Be sure to also have kids help fold their own laundry and put it away. This gives them experience in sorting and organizing, and it is also a good way of developing fine motor skills.
Classic chores such as helping with yard work, vacuuming, cooking and baking, setting the table, clearing the table, washing and putting away dishes and so on are also excellent lessons in teamwork and getting along in society. Children who are encouraged to help with these types of chores early on are far more likely to grow up to be responsible, capable and independent adults.
Be sure to set a good example for your child in terms of being a good neighbor and taking care of your own responsibilities. Set your own schedule for taking care of household chores and be sure to keep a neighborly eye out for ways that you and your children can help those around you.
Use Your Smart-Board To Create A Workable Schedule
Another great thing about home-schooling is that you don’t have to adhere to a schedule of five or six hour-long classes punctuated by the ringing of a bell. Nonetheless, you do want to follow a reasonable and workable schedule that helps you and your child get all your tasks done with ease and leaves plenty of room for play, exploration, spirituality and good citizenship.
Your IWB can be a powerful tool in helping you create and follow a schedule that takes into account your curriculum, your goals and your objectives. With tools in place for creating graphs, charts, calendars and schedules you will have everything you need at your fingertips to keep yourself and your children comfortably on track.
Your interactive smart-board can also save you lots of time because it’s easy to teach your children as a group even if they are of varying ages and abilities. Younger children can participate meaningfully by using a fingertip as a writing or drawing tool. Older children can pull in facts, illustrations, quotes and more from online sources to enrich more sophisticated lessons.
Be sure to also plan quiet time into every day when your children can nap or be involved in their own individual pursuits and you can take a little rest. You can create quiet time lessons by downloading audio books or reading books aloud and creating audio books together that your children can enjoy later on. They can listen and create simultaneously and share their work to be turned into actual physical books if they wish.
Be Sure To Stop & Smell The Roses
Parenting, household management and teaching are all overwhelming activities. Always keep in mind that you are making your own schedule and that you can call on help when you need to. Hiring a nanny or household helper to come in one or two days a week and help you out can be an excellent investment.
Be sure to take plenty of time to have lessons outdoors and simply enjoy family activities such as cycling, walking and playing games in the park. Get your kids involved in activities at your local community center or YMCA, and be sure to give them the opportunity to participate in groups such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts and to attend youth activities at your place of worship.
Home-schooling can be frustrating and challenging, so keeping a positive attitude can sometimes be difficult. Remember to always use kind speech and positive words when interacting with your children. Don’t compare your child or his or her accomplishments with those of other children. One of the best things about home-schooling is that it gives your child the space to learn to be an individual. It’s important to support and celebrate that!
By maintaining a workable schedule, creating a comfortable curriculum, incorporating activities of daily living into your home-schooling adventure and making smart use of modern, multimedia technology such as Smartboards you will find it much easier to get everything done in a stress-free manner. Home-schooling gives you a golden opportunity to spend quality time with your children each and every day and help them grow up to be admirable, responsible and well-educated adults. Refer to the tips here as you move forward home-schooling your children.