Two of a teacher’s main benefits of a homeschool curriculum are the freedom and flexibility available. However, keeping that curriculum engaging throughout your student’s high school years takes effort, insight, and plenty of trial and error. To help your high school student achieve their full potential, incorporate these seven strategies into your daily routine.
Diversity is the spice of life and it’s one of the keys to an engaging homeschool curriculum. While textbook readings and slideshows are effective, they aren’t the only tools to teaching. Encourage hands-on learning through science experiments, historical reenactments, drawings of biological processes or chemical reactions, and even special research projects. If you know someone who works in a relevant field, invite them to deliver a special lecture. Field trips are also a very effective way to liven up a subject to which your student may otherwise feel averse or indifferent.
Maintain Their Interest
Teaching is a two-way exchange, and especially so for homeschooling. Even the most attentive student will lose engagement after hours of lecturing. Keep them interested by asking questions, giving pop quizzes and timed essays, and assigning them projects to present. Encourage them to ask questions about the material and communicate their opinions. This will keep them engaged, helping them to retain their knowledge and develop a habit vital for their college career.
Create Positive Energy
Engagement goes both ways; an engaged teacher is more likely to have attentive students. Present materials in ways that not only keeps you focused but puts you in your student's shoes. Avoid berating your student for wrong answers or poor test results. Instead, help them create their own unique strategies to better understand the material and provide encouragement throughout the process.
Use Technology the Right Way
Technology can either boost engagement or divert your student's attention. When using software or online resources, make sure they do more than just diversify your homeschool curriculum; these tools should help your student in a way that other teaching methods cannot. For example, virtual tours and online videos can present material from an entirely new perspective.
Keep Pace with Your Student's Ability
A slow-paced curriculum can limit your student's potential and lead to boredom, while too challenging of a curriculum can lead to frustration. The key is to find a pace that challenges your student without overwhelming them. This is one of the areas where online learning shines. Taught by an accredited instructor, these programs adapt to your student's proficiency level and lets them learn at their own pace.
Enroll Your Student in Extracurricular Activities
Sports, music, volunteer work, and other extracurricular activities help develop social skills and provide a refreshing break from academics. Private music instructors, local youth sports leagues, and an array of other options are available. Many public schools also accept homeschool students for various clubs and teams. Consult your local homeschool association for more information and resources.
Ask for Your Student’s Feedback
By the time a student gets to high school, they generally know which teaching style they prefer. Get your student’s feedback; their insight might be the spark you need to design an engaging homeschool curriculum.
Visit Penn Foster for more homeschooling resources and to learn about accredited online high school homeschool programs.
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