Unleashing the Power of Homeschooling
by Harriet Isecke
Homeschooling your children can be a rewarding endeavor. You get to bond with your children, and shape their growth. We also know that it can be quite the challenge! As a mom, grandmother, and former teacher, I know that sometimes, it can be difficult to keep kids motivated to learn, and to train them to become independent, self-starting learners. However, in my years of experience, I’ve picked up a few themes that are key to helping children grow into successful, educated adults.
1) Encourage your kids to read often. Honestly, at a young age, what they’re reading is largely irrelevant. Do they want to read about fairies and dragons? Perfect. Do they like stories about kids just like them? Supply them. Are they interested in reading about space, about poisonous frogs, about Ancient Egyptian mythology? Awesome. Comics? No problem! Creating a love of reading early on is essential in order to keep children always thirsting for knowledge.
2) Diversify their reading. Once they come to accept that reading can be fun, gently suggest other texts they may enjoy. Encourage explorations in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism; you can find kid-friendly examples of all of them. Encourage them to read about people, places, cultures and practices they’re not used to. Diversity is important.
3) Read with them. Immerse yourself in the stuff they’re reading, be it magnetism or magicians. Talk to them about the material they’re consuming. Ask them about their opinions. Discuss new vocabulary (and occasionally use elevated language when talking with them). Engaging in your child’s education is as simple as taking an interest in what they’re currently passionate about.
4) Teach them using the world around them. Knowledge doesn’t spontaneously arise on flattened wood pulp. Creators of knowledge observe the world around them, and then record their observations. Go on field trips and nature hikes to learn about science. Visit historical sites and talk about history and the social sciences. Eat foods from different cultures while learning languages. Remind them that the world is a fascinating place!
5) Invest in good tools. You are awesome. You are taking on a huge responsibility in educating your child. But you don’t have to work alone. Invest in high-quality tools for your kids, especially when it comes to the sciences. Games and edtech software can be very helpful. But make sure they’re the right tools, and the programs you purchase adjust to your kids’ needs.
Use these guidelines to teach your kids that independent learning is possible and fun, and instill confidence in themselves! If you’d like to check out some free resources to help you, you might be interested in Readorium’s blog, which includes both materials for parents, as well as science-themed articles for kids to read.
If you’d like to go deep into the sciences, try a free demo of our award-winning software, meant to empower children to read nonfiction and learn science on their own!
Most important of all…have a great time learning with your child!