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2° Seminario nazionale
"L'immagine digitale nella didattica"

Roma, 4 e 5 novembre 1998

A lot of people want to keep their kids at home to teach them because they believe they will get a better education from there. However, homeschooling is complex, and there are many nuances to be aware of. This piece includes key material if you are considering homeschooling.

If you plan to home school your child or children, always remember that books and the chosen curricula are just the basics. The best learning experience within the home is one that incorporates materials and concepts from outside the home and the curriculum. If you cannot find a single curricula that meets your needs, don’t be afraid to use multiple sources.

How well do you understand your child’s learning style? Sometimes it’s easy to forget that all children do not learn the same way. What may have worked for you might not be the finest approach for your home schooled child. Research different learning styles and apply them to the chosen curriculum for the best results.

Give your kids the same responsibilities they would have if they had to get off to school every day. They should have all their chores done by the time school starts, including teeth being brushed, being out of pajamas and dressed and breakfast having been eaten. Don’t forget to get them to clean up their dishes, too!

Create a schedule for when the kids are in class and when they’ll get breaks. They can’t learn all day long! You need to adhere to the schedule as tightly as possible to ingrain the routine into everyone’s lives, even yours. The more you stick to the plan, the better the outcome.

Set aside time for family fun. Sure, you spend all day long together working on school work and keeping the house in order. But, do you ever really have fun together? Set up a day and time to have movie night or even family game night so you can enjoy the time you spend together.

Does a schedule or a routine work best for your family? A schedule is a plan set by time, while a routine is something habitual. Routines are more flexible than what a schedule is. Find what will work best for your family and get started with it as soon as possible.

Have the whole family pitch in with chores, or hire a cleaning service. It is going to be difficult for you to take care of everything on your own. Everyday activities, including cooking, shopping, cleaning, care giving and educating, can quickly start to take their toll. If help is offered, do not be too proud to accept it.

Put together a budget for homeschooling your children. Create a realistic budget for your yearly materials needs and supplement it with inexpensive fun lessons or field trips. Create an account for every student. Be slightly flexible in your budget in case there are unexpected costs.

Friendship is an important part of growing up and should be encouraged. This is especially important to children who are being homeschooled. To help your child develop healthy relationships with others, get them involved in the community. This can be accomplished through volunteering, attending homeschooling cooperatives or even playing sports.

Research the local laws regarding homeschooling. The online website for home schoolers, HSLDA, will provide information about the laws in your area. It’s a good idea to join a local homeschooling association in case you’re questioned by the local school board or Child Protective Services. Even if you have to pay to join, it could be worth it.

There are many homeschooling groups available in many cities and towns across the country. Search online to find the groups in your area. You can then take part in group activities and have other parents to talk with if you have problems. You are sure to quickly develop relationships with these families that you and your children will cherish.

Find a support group or a homeschooling cooperative to help your child succeed. In a homeschool cooperative, one parent who excels in math may offer to teach math, while another parent may offer to teach English. By joining one of these cooperatives, your child will be taught information that you may otherwise not be able to teach him.

Set goals for each of your children. You should have two lists of goals per child; one short-term and one long term. Setting weekly goals will help you stay on target toward reaching your long-term goals. If you have these goals written where your children can see them, they will be able to strive to accomplish what you have planned for them.

When homeschooling, meals should be planned out. Simple things, such as cooking in bulk on the weekends, can help to make meal times during the week easier. This will reduce the stress you feel in your day and allow you to focus on you child rather than dinner plans. Experiment with when and how many meals to prepare and do what will fit into your schedule the best.

Let your friends and family members know that you are homeschooling. Sometimes, well meaning friends might think that you and your child have a lot of free time because you are at home, rather than your child being in a classroom and you being at work. If your friends and family members are constantly interrupting your school day, it can make it difficult to meet your child’s educational needs and goals. By letting them know that you have a specific homeschooling schedule to keep, you can help to avoid this problem.

Don’t be discouraged if the text books and curriculum you chose for your homeschooling program seem less than perfect. With some creativity and ingenuity, you can make even less than ideal materials do the job. Look at this as an opportunity to customize your program to suit the unique needs of you and your child.

After reading this article, homeschooling seems more possible. Take the advice you have learned here and use it to make taking control of your child’s education a little easier. Additionally, you will be happy to know your children have received the best education possible.

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