True home schooling does not entail recreating public education at home. One of the most appealing aspects of schooling at home for both parents and children is that you can be creative and try alternative approaches to education. Here are three methods that are just as effective, and in some cases even more so, than traditional methods of schooling.
Approach #1 - Unit Studies
Public schools sometimes include unit studies in the curriculum, but the studies are confined to the teacher and the subject. When you're home schooling, you can incorporate all of your subjects into unit studies. For example, if you want to teach a unit study on money, you can incorporate all subjects, including science. The length of the unit studies is up to you, but shorter ones, such as four to five week studies often keep your children engaged in the subject matter. You can also use unit studies to teach multiple children of different ages at once. If you have the time and inclination, you can write your own studies. There are also commercial unit studies available for purchase from curriculum retailers.
Approach #2 - Self Taught Approach
A self taught approach is different from self directed learning. Some parents allow the children to learn whatever interests them, and that method of home schooling is called self directed learning. The self taught approach is different. You as the parent decide what subjects to cover and when, but you train your child to teach himself. For example, you can provide a textbook, DVD and other resources to your child to learn Algebra I. Your role is to assign problems, and to help your child figure out how to figure out how to solve problems. This approach works best for older children who have a foundation in place already and are able to work on logical and critical thinking skills. It's an invaluable skill for your child to learn, and you'll be happy you did as your child desires to learn subjects that are beyond your ability to teach.
Approach #3 - Online Learning and Research
The Internet has made home schooling doable and affordable for many parents. Use of the Internet can also be a creative approach in itself. For example, you might decide that you want your child to improve his writing skills. You can find free or low cost resources for your child to improve writing skills using the Internet. There are online classes, free writing exercises and games, writing forums and other online activities that can help your child. You have to make Internet safety a priority, which means examining the online resources ahead of time before showing them to your child, using filters and monitoring your child when he is using the Internet.
There is still room for traditional materials, such as textbooks, when using creative approaches to home schooling children. What you want to avoid is recreating a six to eight hour public school day at home.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.