Practical Home Schooling
For the purpose of this discussion, practical home schooling can be defined as
foundational and realistic ways to deal with day to day issues regarding home schooling. We will look at some of
the more basic of these practical issues that are often not addressed when looking at the bigger homeschooling
Some of these practical elements are: Relating and Giving Encouragement, Parent/Peer Cautions,
Knowledge Overload, and Out-of-the-box Thinking.
Relating And Giving Encouragement
In relating with your child in the home school setting, it is important to treat them with respect,
asking their thoughts and opinions often and genuinely listen to them. You can gain incredibly effective tools for
teaching in this way.
Though a child should be taught to respect their parents authority, parents can easily get caught
up in the guidance mode and miss the fresh, unique and often very helpful thoughts and feelings of their child.
Treating your child as a vital part of all that is done, will also cause them to feel valuable, as well as create a
desire in them to please you during class time. It also fosters a closeness between you and your children that will
benefit the entire family for a lifetime.
Parents who are attentive to this element of their home schooling will be continually be surprised
by the originality, helpfulness and even wisdom of their children. A good habit to build to ensure this will become
part of your life, is to set a specific time in each home school day to ask your child for their input, feelings,
Helping your child know they are important will also cause their confidence and self-worth to grow
by leaps and bounds.
Parent/peer cautions are the second practical home schooling consideration. One major area some
parents have to watch out for is allowing other people's thoughts or preferences to create pressure on them. There
will always be those who believe that you should be following their ideas rather than your own. And an open mind is
always good. To consider the value that may be found in others thoughts is wise. But it should be remembered that
you know your child best and what may work for another persons child, could be the least effective with your child.
Your child's welfare will depend on your receiving good ideas and resisting the pressure of those ideas that you
don't see as right for your family.
A second caution is in the area of academic progress. It can be so easy to allow yourself to feel
guilty or discouraged because of other parents glowing reports of their child's progress if you feel your child is
not matching theirs. No two children are exactly alike and they even have different learning styles. It is an
important part of their growth to be allowed some freedom to be themselves. What really matters is 'IF' they are
making consistent progress, not necessarily how fast.
Re-examining your academic strategy regularly can be good, but again with the awareness that
progress will vary widely from child to child. Each child is unique and while one may fall behind the others, it
does not mean he/she is not learning as they should. Later they may excel and go beyond others as they find their
niche. If fears regarding your child's academic progress threaten you at any time, you can stop this direction of
thought, by remembering that many great and accomplished men and women did not do well at sit down academics. Be
diligent and you will find the method that engages your child's interest; which is the key to learning.
Knowledge overload is the 3rd practical home schooling consideration. When you consider that there
is almost no end to the knowledge available in this electronic age in which we live, it is easy to see where a
parent or a child could take in more than they could digest, only to become frustrated.
Since our home schooling efforts are for the purpose of teaching our children various kinds of
knowledge, it is understandable that information overload could easily occur. Our desire for our child to know all
they will need, can so easily lead us to pursue and even try to schedule in, too much or too wide a variety of
input before the last info. has been learned at a level that will stick with the child.
One effective way to avoid this pitfall could be to take specific time before each new school year
to thoughtfully chart out a realistic list of the kinds and amounts of subject you think your child should learn in
the course of the year. Take advantage of studies done (can be found online) which show age appropriate ability and
comprehension levels. Make sure your lesson plans will fit into the time allotted for school without causing either
you or the child to feel tense or overloaded. Then do not allow yourself to add anything to that schedule without
first removing something else in order to maintain balance.
It is good to keep in mind that available knowledge will be an ever-present part of life,
continuing through your child's life even after their school years. Therefore the issue of greatest importance is
to instill an attitude of desiring to learn in your child. If you accomplish this, he or she will not need to cram
it all into their childhood, but will continue to learn and grow intellectually and emotionally as the opportunity
Out Of The Box Thinking
Thinking outside the box is the last of the practical objectives for this article, and worthy of
some effort on your part for the sake of your child.
The ability to think and reason beyond the obvious is a trait that will be valuable in all areas of
life. Original thinking can enable the formation of diamonds from coal for those who pursue it.
One of the primary ways this kind of thinking can be developed is to encourage and give opportunity
for your child to be as actively involved in the home schooling process as possible. Let them know you are aware
that they may come up with fresh ideas as well as you.
Because a child has not yet been fully programmed in the typical adult boxed way of thinking, they
can surprise and shock you with new and unusual ideas from time to time. Give them as much room for this sort of
growth as possible. Consider all their ideas fully as it is easy to over look a pearl in the sand pile.
On this page we have taken a look at a few of the ideas that aim at practical homeschooling and
some of the less obvious issues home schooling families might want to consider. These thoughts are worth
consideration as they can have extreme effects on what you wish to accomplish in your home school.