Thursday, September 18, 2008

First Guest Blogger Post

Back to School - Homeschool, That Is

by Vicki Arnold

The back to school season can be hectic for any student, whether homeschooled or traditionally schooled. Here are some tips to smooth the transition in your homeschool.

1. Look back and make notes on what worked. Most homeschool parents take some reflection time at the end of the school year, now is the time to pull out those notes and give your mind a refresher on the things you saw. The benefit of looking at this as the school year begins is that you will be able to immediately take action on your observations.

If this is your first year of homeschooling, take a look at how your child plays. Especially in the early years, your child learns through play. By noting his or her favorite games, you can gain insight into the way your child processes information.

If this is your first year of homeschooling after traditional schooling, talk to your child. Ask them what they liked best about school. One of the perks of homeschooling is the ability to build on these strengths.

2. Acknowledge what didn't work. As important as working with techniques and books that grow your child is stopping things that aren't working. Forcing you and your child to work through a workbook simply because you paid for it and don't want to waste it, will get you nowhere. Sometimes the approach is wrong for one child, but right for another and sometimes the timing is simply wrong.

It is especially important to look at what is working for your child, not what you feel most comfortable teaching. The goal of homeschooling is your child's success in his or her educational journey, not you.

3. Try something new for the new year. If your child participates in a library program, take your school work with you on those days. Or take your reading and writing to a quiet park. Sometimes a simple change in scenery is all you need to fuel the learning.

4. Find a year-long or semester-long project, something you can incorporate across the subject lines. Take advantage of that summer vacation you are planning and study about the local area, find things to do and interesting history facts. Or have your child journal weekly or daily about the things they are learning about.

Back to school doesn't have to be stressful. Take all that energy and infuse your school year with it. Study something your child finds fascinating, find a way to work it into all subjects for a period of time. And above all, relax. You will find your routine.

I hope you enjoyed our guest blogger for today. You can find Vicki on her link listed above.


Vicki Arnold said...

Thank you for the chance to blog with you!

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