Imagine that you’re a parent who lives in, say, Indiana, and rather than enrolling your young child in a regular school, you’re thinking of homeschooling your child because you’ve read a number of books about it, spoken to a few parents whose children have benefited from it, and have become quite enthused by the whole concept.
How do you go about it, assuming you have the time, interest, and passion for staying on top of academia?
The first thing you should do is enroll in a virtual education website for homeschooling in Indiana, which will be an online public charter that is open to all students who are enrolled in sixth to twelfth grades. The second thing you need to do is to research some of the big challenges of homeschooling that you might face. And the third and final thing you need to do is to get the ball rolling and overcome any of the challenges you’ve been able to identify based on your research.
Challenges of Homeschooling
Your challenges won’t arise from the curriculum, lesson plans, or even your ability to get up to speed on Algebra or remembering how to balance a chemical equation. Instead, your primary challenges will be the types of challenges a project manager might face like scheduling and technology.
Challenge #1: Creating Realistic Schedules
It’s one thing to set up a schedule; it’s another to get everyone in the family to go along with it. Your child may not be in the mood to do what’s on the schedule or your spouse may have family plans that will throw the schedule off course.
Here are some possible solutions:
- Learn the mechanics of scheduling.
- · You will need to create realistic schedules on what can be achieved in a given time
- · You will need to allot enough time for core subjects, rather than allow your child to spend most of their time on favorite subjects.
- · You will need to allow contingency time for interruptions to the day.
- · You will need to avoid making the schedule too tight, which will make it difficult to sustain in the long run.
- · You will need to create a pace that will help your child complete their curriculum in a timely way.
- · You will need to give your child enough time for hobbies, play, or sports, as well as for spending quality time with family and friends.
- · You will need to give yourself enough of a work-life balance so that you don’t burn out.
- Get everyone on board.
A democratic-type family meeting will help minimize family members disrupting the schedule.
- Tweak as necessary.
While a schedule may look good in theory, for one reason or another, it may not be realistic. Instead of getting frustrated, tweak the schedule as necessary until it works for everyone and under most circumstances.
Challenge #2: Troubleshooting Technology Issues.
If you aren’t good with computers, smartphones, and tablets, you might find homeschooling challenging. For instance, if you don’t know how to install software or do some basic troubleshooting, you will quickly get frustrated when programs don’t work the way they should or your computer is slow or you accidentally download malware.
As part of homeschooling, you will frequently need to install apps or use online research tools that will help your children to learn and it’s necessary to be comfortable with using technology and know where to get help if you’re having big technical problems.
Here are some possible solutions:
- Identify what parts of technology you find difficult, and then find ways to learn how to close the skill gaps.
- Get coaching from someone who is good with technology, or, in the worst case scenario, take classes that will help you get the basics down.
- What if you’re good with setting up and troubleshooting hardware issues, but don’t have much experience with using certain types of software? For instance, your child may want to use Evernote, Asana, or Microsoft OneNote for organizing all their notes. You will probably be able to find YouTube tutorials on how to use popular software that isn’t always intuitive.
Personal Management and Home Schooling
The most difficult aspects of homeschooling probably aren’t what most people think. They aren’t related to getting on track with the syllabus, finding accredited courses, or sourcing educational materials. Instead, they are related to issues like organization, discipline, and time-management.