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How NOT to Homeschool

Homeschooling is growing quickly according to the National Center for Education Statistics and anecdotal evidence suggests that minority families are leading the charge.

Joyce Burges founder of the National Black Home Educators started homeschooling her son after the public school “kicked” him out. “We had no other option but to home school him,” she attests. “The Guidance counselor told us that our son dropped from a 3.2 to a 2.8 GPA and recommended that we transfer him to a school way across town.”

But Burges and her husband took matters into their own hands and rearranged their lives so that their child would receive a suitable education.

Eventually, she realized that he was particularly gifted on the piano, a talent that may have never been revealed or honed if he would have remained in public school. Now, with a degree in piano composition, he is the music director of a private school and owns a business where he and his staff teach piano to students.

In spite of her success, Burges admits that the homeschooling road can be rocky and it requires complete dedication on the part of parents. Here are her tips on how to make your homeschooling journey successful for you and your kids.

Don’t Homeschool in Pajamas

A parent should set the atmosphere. You are the model of excellence and professionalism for your child. Come to the educational area with your hair combed, dressed and ready for the day.

Don’t take your frustration out on your child

Impatience can be confused with criticism. If you aren’t even-tempered you should reconsider being a home school teacher. Your child will feel your frustration and will not respond positively.

Don’t forget to watch the clock

Parents also don’t realize the amount of time they need to dedicate. The agenda needs to be well thought out. Homeschooling can be likened to a road-trip. You need to consider that there will be monotonous stretches of time going over the same lessons. You can’t be in the fast lane. There is so much to experience and you do not want your children or you to face burnout.

Take heed of your own needs

Finally, many parents don’t set aside enough “me time”  Home schooling requires a huge personal sacrifice. Your personal time will be affected, and it could reduce the time you spend with your spouse. Be sure to talk together about this before you make the decision to home school. You should schedule a date night. Children fair better when they know they are loved and the people who are responsible for them love each other and are healthy and satisfied.

Know your limitations

Recognize the topics and disciplines that you as an adult excel in. I advise parents to choose a curriculum that they themselves can easily teach or curriculum that draws out the creative genius that’s naturally housed in their minds. Tap other parents in your network to teach lessons in areas where you are lacking.

Don’t ignore lessons in life

Teaching from books can be a very powerful learning system, but parents should not limit their lessons to what is inside a book. Do not forget that life itself offers a learning canvas for children which can have a positive outlook on their character.