What will your homeschool look like? Do you have to buy desks? Or set up learning stations? Or maybe you can just read books with your child! Today’s guest on Home School Heartbeat joins host Mike Smith with some tips for determining how formal to make your homeschool.
Vicki Bentley, HSLDA’s Toddlers to Tweens consultant, is with us again today with tips for parents beginning to homeschool midyear. Vicki, how important is it to have a really formal school program if you start homeschooling in the middle of the school year?
Well, some children coming out of a conventional school, midyear or not, may feel more secure in the familiar, structured class setting—especially at first—so you can do the desk thing, or you can relax a bit and sit at the kitchen table. But if by formal, you mean having an outlined plan, many moms feel more comfortable having some specific goals, and we all feel more secure with a routine of sorts.
Now, does that vary depending upon the age of the student, Vicki?
Well, regardless of your kids’ ages or your homeschooling style, it’s important to have a plan—set some goals, and then select materials or activities to help meet those goals. We want to have age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate expectations. With primary students, our main goals are to give them lots of physical and creative play, experiences, discovery learning—think of it as “hooks” on which to hang their future learning. Remember, what looks like play to us is work to them! As they get older, our expectations are going to increase with their maturity. We want to continue to nurture academic excellence (along with faith and character, of course) to encourage self-motivated learners!
Well, thanks again, Vicki! This is really helpful for our listeners who may be considering homeschooling. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.