Seven Tips to Help Parents Educate Kids at Home.
Homeschooling is not for every family. But every parent is a home educator. As a long-time homeschooler, now with a teen, I’ve learned a lot about learning, my child and myself. Here are some tips to help any family teach kids while at home.
- Minimize Memorization: It’s more important to know how to find an answer than to know one. With facts and trivia at our fingertips, kids should learn how to search on the Internet, use an index and pick up a phone and ask.
- Encourage Mistakes: Although I suggest my son always double-check his class work, I still must mark my student’s mistakes. Isn’t that how we learn? Encourage your child to try new things and do his best, not “perfect.”
- Let ’em Talk: An important life skill is the ability to engage people of all ages in conversation. Let your child give the waitress his order, ask the librarian for help, and develop a firm, traditional handshake.
- Help with Homework: Checking homework isn’t enough. Occasionally, sit with your student to watch how he organizes essays, calculates math, or reads literature. Discuss what he’s learning and how he gets his answers.
- Learn Local: Recession aside, visiting local venues gives kids a greater sense of their place in the world. History happens everywhere. Share your childhood favorite or explore somewhere new together.
- Think Long-term: One failed test or bad grade is probably not gonna make or break your child’s academic career. Share your failures. Keep perspective. It’s better to encourage lifelong learning than force a semester’s GPA.
- Watch ’em Play: Not just at organized sporting events, but also when your kid is just hanging out with friends. Does he laugh and smile? Does he appear comfortable in his own skin? You may see yourself in him, but let your child be himself.
S.C. Torrington is a freelance writer.
Published: December 2011