Schools Shut? Now Might Be a Good Time to Consider Home-Schooling | Part 126 Mar 2020
The journey of home-schooling is one filled with its own unique ups and downs, adventures and struggles. I am a mother of two beautiful blessings from the Almighty, a 5 and a half year old girl and a 2 and a half year old boy, who has chosen to embark on this journey. My decision to home-school my children came long before their arrival. I truly believe that the safest environment for a child to start learning is in the comfort of their own home, and I wanted to ensure my home would be a space that is both child-friendly, and the ultimate effective learning environment for my children. This is how the journey has unfolded for me.
Before I had my own children, I was a dedicated teacher/educator. I experienced working with different types of children with varying levels of ability. Having worked exclusively with special needs children, I learnt skills that I felt could be carried into home-schooling, such as the need to be creative and come up with innovative teaching methods. After having my own bundles of joy, it was the perfect chance for me to put my teaching skills to good use. Juggling motherhood with continuing to teach my students has also helped me to keep my teaching skills fresh, and apply them in my own home-schooling plan.
I must admit, I assumed that home-schooling would be pretty straightforward compared to teaching children with special needs. At the time, I thought nothing could possibly be harder and more challenging than that. Given how much patience and endurance it takes to teach special needs children – if I managed that, surely home-schooling would be a walk in the park, no?
To my surprise, home-schooling has proved to be rather challenging and not as simple as I had initially thought. It has come with many struggles and has often surpassed the highest levels of patience I could imagine. To put it simply, it’s a beautiful experience that requires a whole new level of perseverance, whilst not forgetting the joy and laughter that it brings with it.
But the journey is also immensely rewarding, motivating and most of all, a huge learning curve for myself. Every day, it allows me to learn a new skill, be it in teaching, nurturing or simply in being a mother. Being their educator and their mother at the same time is no easy task as it means I am required to simultaneously wear different hats – but this hurdle can definitely be managed.
Now the main question arises, how do I do it?
Every home-schooling parent out there has their own specific methods and tricks up their sleeves, many of whom I have been inspired by myself. Nothing is more reassuring than knowing that you are not alone in this venture.
So what is my method? How do I plan the lessons? How do I ensure outcomes are achieved? All these questions are important for any home-schooling parent and it is absolutely vital to be crystal clear of these answers in order to achieve your desired results.
My teaching methods include both hands-on learning, as well as table work. I am a big believer in the benefits of hands-on learning, so I dedicate a lot of time to preparing these kinds of activities. I use any resources that are available to me, from simple household items to specific educational workbooks.
I go out of my way to ensure that even a 5 minute period of learning counts in a practical way, even if it takes me half an hour or more to prepare. I also like to alternate between traditional table-work, and activities that require movement and are less rigid. This makes lessons exciting and keeps the children’s motivation high, but also incorporates discipline and instils in them a serious attitude to learning.
How do I prepare my lessons? I will go into further detail about what I do to prepare each lesson in the next part of this article series, so stay tuned!