Basic Tips on How to Home School Your Kids

It is estimated that around 1 million students are homeschooled in the United States every year. Homeschooling is an excellent way to stay close to your children; give them the proper care they need while helping them become well-rounded adults. Homeschooling allows you individualize; to find education that is best suited for your children.

Reasons for Homeschooling

Find out whether you share the following thoughts about why homeschooling is required: (i) Parents have religious belief that they can provide better education at home; (ii) Parents thinking that the environment at school will not be congenial for their children; (iii) Homeschooling will help develop character and morality of a child; (iv) There are subjects taught at schools that are not in accordance with the faith, thinking of the parents; (v) The child has special needs or disabilities.

Now, the question arises whether or not homeschooling has any adverse affects on a child’s education; maybe not. Homeschooled children have above average test results on the ACT and SAT college entrance exams. Also, homeschooled kids are sometimes better at social adjustment than kids who go to school. The way the homeschooled children make up for not attending a regular school is by participating in homeschool support groups, scouting, church and recreational activities, and other associations.

Getting Started with Homeschooling

One way of knowing more about homeschooling is by joining local support groups. Such groups can be found by word of mouth or through public or private schools, religious groups, or state or national associations. Each state has at least one homeschooling association. These groups offer necessary advice and information and hold conferences at which families who school at home discuss legal, philosophical, and teaching issues. Some school districts allow homeschoolers to attend public school part-time.

Following are different homeschool methods: (i) Diane Lockman’s authentic classical trivium (The Classical Scholar) unit studies, (ii) Charlotte Mason’s methodology, (iii) Montessori or Waldorf methods, and (iv) eclectic blends of different styles.

Is Homeschooling for Everyone?

No. Homeschooling is hard work. It can also be expensive, as you have to pay for educational materials and extracurricular activities. You may also be faced with a loss of income if one parent has to quit a job to homeschool. References: The Responsibilities of Homeschooling Homeschooling means being able to devote yourself to your children all day through. You, as a parent will fully responsible for the direction, depth, and breadth of your child’s education for the rest of its life. This is a very big responsibility and should not be taken lightly.

Ask yourself these questions to see whether you are ready. Why do you think you want to homeschool? What is it that your child will be able to achieve by being homeschooled that he or she will not receive in a regular school? What do you consider a “good” education? These questions can help you make the decision, and help you create the right environment that will be best your children.

Tips for Parents & Teachers: How to Criticize Kids Constructively

Criticism is one word that raises your eyebrows and sulks you down. Arguably, it has no positive connotation for most of us. So, it is never received in a healthy way either. So the matter of concern is, when we as adults can’t handle criticism, what about the kids, who are subject to severe and regular criticism. Everybody who is somebody in their life, comments and takes the liberty to pass judgement on their each and every act, unfortunately most of which is in critical form.

So how to safeguard them or how to prepare them so that this unwarranted criticism does more good than harm to them.

Criticism, or if they can be called Feedback, are both constructive and destructive. Receiving feedback is a skill, and like most skills, it requires practice, and a willingness to change and improve. Most children get plenty of practice. Ironically, adults need to help them make that practice count – by giving them feedback on how they handle criticism.

Feedback – both positive and negative – is challenging because it hits us in the vulnerable soft spot between our desire to grow and our deep need to be accepted and respected. The key to take a feedback in a positive manner, is to adopt a “growth mindset.” People with a growth mindset believe that effort and challenge make us better, stronger and smarter, while those with a “fixed mindset” believe that our inherent assets are static no matter what we do.

But, not all of the criticism kids face is constructive. Some of it is born out of ulterior motives or dark intentions, but the good news is that a growth mindset can protect kids from this sort of feedback as well.

A growth mindset is the best gift we can give our children. Thus armed, they can be brave in the face of constructive criticism, believing it can make them better, stronger and smarter. They won’t need us to safeguard their interest because, given a growth mindset, kids can handle the truth all by themselves.

So, what to do?

Don’t hesitate to criticize:

Many kids have trouble hearing feedback because they don’t experience it often enough. While it’s natural to want to protect children from pain, when we protect our kids from criticism or focus excessively on praise, we push them toward a fixed mindset.

Stop constant praise:

An effusive praise may encourage a fixed mindset and consequently discourage children from taking on new challenges. Worse, it can deflate, rather than shore up, self-esteem in some kids. Children need to get used to hearing constructive feedback, and it’s our job to teach them how.

Mind your body language:

Non-verbal communication is part of delivering feedback, and can help kids hear it more effectively. Uncross your arms, get down on kids’ level, smile and keep your face relaxed. If you are tense when you hand out criticism, they will be tense when they receive it.

Switch up your pronouns:

Instead of framing feedback in terms of “I’m so proud of you”, turn the statement and anchor feedback in the pronoun “you,” as in, “You should be proud of yourself,” or “What did you feel best about?” or “What one thing would you like to change?”

Empower for change:

Lessen your control and hand power over to the children and help them adjust their efforts to use feedback effectively. Ask, “Is that how you’d hoped this would turn out?” or “What would you do differently the next time?” Help them see the way forward with comments like, “How do you think you could take this project from good to awesome?”

Set new goals after a big failure. Once they have picked themselves up, help them pick some new goals based on what they have learned from the situation at hand. Their goals should be their own, devised by them, based on their experience.

Criticism comes to everyone, eventually. It’s inescapable, and more relevantly, it’s a necessary part of growing up. As we can’t protect children from it, the best we can do is ensure that they are equipped with the emotional fortitude and strength of character they will need to forge ahead, stronger, smarter and braver for the experience.