April showers bring May flowers. But for most home educators, it’s also the time of year to prepare for our Spring home school review. You’re probably sorting through piles of paper and organizing examples of your child(ren)’s classwork, projects and travels. So while you have it all spread out anyway, why not do some home school Spring cleaning? Here are some tips that work for me.
This column comes with a caveat. Before you take action to start a home school support group, please take some time to consider your family’s lifestyle, your kids’ needs and your own strengths, motivations and limitations. You and I both know starting a home school support group isn’t the hard part. It’s the commitment to sustain that group as a positive and fun environment for all its members that can become a formidable undertaking. Don’t expect a rose-colored DIY tutorial. This advice-laden reality check is designed to help you keep from piling too much more onto your already full plate. And it comes from an experienced home educator who has recently traded down to a smaller one.
Don’t think that just because you aren’t artistic, you can’t teach your children about art. That’s like saying you can’t teach your kids to eat - all you really need to do is supply the food (and maybe a fork or spoon) and they’ll do the rest. With art history, theory and technique, the recipe is to present your home schoolers with a mix of information, examples and tools to explore and to express themselves. Let ’em get their synthetic bristle brushes wet at home.
When considering home schooling a child who has reached school-age or when the decision is made for children to leave a school they attended last year, parents who are home schooling their children for the first time have a lot of questions, worries and fears. These concerns are very common and as a home educator for the past 17 years, I would like to address them.
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