Seek feedback from other homeschooling parents/communities. There are countless ways to teach, and sharing tips and experiences is an excellent way to broaden your repertoire. Homeschooling organizations and online forums can be valuable resources, especially if you're new to the craft.
Have confidence in your teaching methods. All teachers make mistakes, but doubting yourself is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a homeschool teacher. Your student looks up to you as a role model, so it's crucial that you display confidence and motivation as an example.
Make learning a fun and hands-on experience. Having options is one of the key benefits of homeschooling. Have your students explore the topics first-hand, whether it's building clay models of cellular structures for a science class or visiting a historical landmark for history. Ask your students for feedback and ideas for future hands-on activities.
Encourage your children to succeed. Difficulties and challenges are vital to learning. If your students struggle with a particular topic, be patient and encourage them to approach it from a different angle. Present different examples, analogies, and drawings to help them understand.
Take breaks. Marathon classes will wear out both you and your students. Keep each class focused and take breaks between subjects. Participate in games or other fun activities with your students to refresh their focus.
Be afraid to ask for help. If you have a question about homeschooling, don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help! You’ll find plenty of homeschooling resources and support communities online, and there’s a great chance that your question has already been answered and posted online to help other homeschooling parents like yourself.
Copy the curriculum or environment of a public or private school. While a traditional curriculum can serve as a starting point, don't let it be your prison. Use homeschooling as an opportunity to introduce your students to different learning techniques to help broaden their perspective on themselves and the world around them. Just keep in mind your state's homeschooling laws so you make sure to cover the required topics.
Be afraid to try new strategies as you go. If one approach doesn't work, it doesn't mean that you're a poor teacher or that your child isn’t capable of learning the material. Every student has a unique learning style, and it's up to you to tailor your instruction to match those styles.
Overwhelm your children and yourself. It's good to challenge your students, but piling on too many subjects at once or delving into advanced material prematurely can leave everyone exhausted and frustrated. Balance, focus, and pacing are crucial.
Force your children to join too many activities. Homeschool teachers often feel pressured to enroll their students in every extracurricular activity under the sun. Don't be one of them. Instead, find out which activities your students are genuinely interested in, and foster those ambitions.
If you’re ready to explore homeschooling, there are plenty of resources available to help you prepare your students for a lifetime of success. Contact Penn Foster High School today to learn how you can get started.