The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact on education. Many schools have closed down and turned to online learning to curb the spread of coronavirus. However, attending school via Zoom can take a toll on students. This has driven several parents to try out homeschooling.
As a parent, choosing to homeschool comes with a host of tasks and responsibilities. Not only do you become both an administrator and a teacher, but you will also have to plan lessons, organize field trips, and ensure you are compliant with your area’s homeschool requirements. Plus, you still have your regular parenting duties to carry out.
Benefits of Homeschooling
Choosing homeschool means that your children learn, develop skills, and mature in a way that is in line with your values and goals. Having a more active role in your child’s learning helps you build a stronger relationship.
Learning from home eliminates a lot of the stress that can come with being in a regular classroom. There is less social pressure and ridicule that can impact a child’s self-esteem.
Flexibility is another perk of homeschooling. As a parent, you get to choose which curriculum works best for your child, and you get to choose a routine that works for the family. Without the distraction of other students, your child is free to move through the learning material at their preferred pace.
Challenges of Homeschooling
Understandably, there can be some anxiety that comes with the decision to homeschool your children. Your child’s education is practically in your hands, and that realization can be overwhelming.
Additionally, transitioning from a traditional school system to a homeschool can be difficult for your child, especially if they’ve been going to school for some time. It requires shifting from the rules that defined in-person learning in a classroom to the freedom that comes with creating a customized studying environment.
There is also a financial aspect that needs to be considered when choosing to homeschool. There may be a loss of income as the parent who becomes the homeschool teacher has to either work from home or quit their job entirely to focus on teaching the children.
8 Essential Homeschool Supplies For Parents And Kids
Organization is the name of the game when it comes to homeschooling. Bringing order to the tasks that need to be done throughout the day and creating a flexible schedule goes a long way in ensuring the success of your homeschool program.
Using a workbox system is an efficient way of arranging your child’s schoolwork for the entire day. Workboxes help kids learn how to work independently and at their own pace, with the bonus of picking up where they left off after a break or interruption.
For the parent, using workboxes helps you to plan out the school day in advance and makes it easier to handle the learning schedules for different students.
The beauty of having a homeschool is that learning is not restricted to the space dedicated to school. Using a lap desk is an efficient way to make studying portable. You can take them on field trips, car trips, and all around the house.
However, it can be quite frustrating to keep loose papers in place when using a lap desk. That’s why a better option may be a sketch box that comes with a clipboard, like this one. It’s sturdy, big enough to fit sheets of A4 paper comfortably, and it comes with a slide-out drawer that is great for storing pencils and pens.
A printer is arguably the workhorse of a homeschooling parent. Think of all the free printables that come in handy during lessons. Plus all the print material needed for your child’s digital curriculum (worksheets, organizational sheets, assignment sheets, and all other kinds of sheets).
When picking the best printer for your homeschool, go for one that has been made to handle lots of printing. While a laserjet printer costs more in terms of machine and cartridges, it may end up saving you money in the long run because it holds up longer than its inkjet counterpart. Plus, the cartridges also last much longer.
A student planner is a great tool to help homeschoolers stay organized throughout the school year. It allows the teacher to articulate what is expected of the student clearly and helps the learner know what they’re supposed to be doing at any given time. Plus it teaches a student about self-discipline and responsibility by letting them manage their own tasks and time.
Let your child personalize their planner with stickers, sparkly gel pens, or whatever else they fancy. Encourage them to refer to the planner daily to get into the habit of using it regularly.
Schedules, flash cards, checklists, charts… there’s so much that needs laminating when you’re a homeschooling parent. Lamination makes things last longer. Whether it’s labels, tags, or assignment worksheets, you can reuse them over and over until you’re ready to be done with them.
Having a laminating machine helps things stay clean, and they are easy to wipe down after use or in case of dirt or spills. There are no crumpled edges or bent corners with laminated papers. Everything stays nice and flat. If you laminate charts or posters, you can use a removable adhesive strip and easily hang them up on a wall without fear of destroying the poster or the paint job.
An assignment binder is a “go-to place” where a homeschooling student finds everything they need to complete their daily assignments.
This is how it works: the homeschool teacher plans out a week’s worth of assignments — subject by subject — and organizes them in a binder. This helps to promote independence and self-discipline as the student knows at a glance what they need to complete at the end of each day without too much input from the teacher.
Math manipulatives are objects that a learner can use to help them understand different concepts in math. This tactile approach to learning allows students to make sense of math problems. Having an assortment of math manipulatives on hand can be of great help when teaching different kinds of math concepts.
Colorful foam dice are a great idea, as well as attribute blocks and Link ‘N’ Learn Links. However, if you’re feeling creative, you can create your own math manipulatives at home using everyday items.
As little homeschoolers advance in age, their reading speed grows with them. This also means that their books get bigger. While there’s a certain joy that comes with holding a brand new book, an e-reader eventually becomes a necessity for a homeschooler because of price, storage, and portability.
Having an e-reader means homeschoolers can take their books on the go without losing them. Several public libraries have a digital book collection where you can check out many titles for a specified period. Once they’re due, they just disappear from your e-reader (goodbye, late fees!).
The seriousness of the global COVID-19 pandemic has increased the popularity of homeschooling. Like any learning system, there are pros and cons to homeschooling, and, truthfully speaking, it may not be for everyone. But suppose you feel that this is the right choice for you and your family. In that case, there are plenty of resources to help you get started, including the list of essential homeschool supplies that I’ve shared.