Written By:Shannon McIntyre at Focus Online LLC
“A Creative Homeschool Environment”

For many parents, homeschooling is an easy and inexpensive solution to stressful school situations. Parents choose to homeschool for many reasons, and can face difficulties as the family transitions. Often, parents quickly learn how difficult creating an efficient homeschool environment can be. Below are areas where three homeschool parents improved their program, and how they did it:

1. Curriculum Selection:

“When I started this process, I listed my child’s interests, what my budget was, and my child’s educational goals. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t be sure I was preparing my son for middle school, or even to return to mainstream schooling later.”

Educators deliver information using research-based methods, and can easily include different factors.

Specifically, educators link skills, content, and student interest throughout a week, month, and year. They know how to spiral content in a variety of ways!   Spiraling linked-learning is a proven way to help students learn organically. Educators use this method to reach children more effectively and holistically.  By not leaning too heavily on one aspect of a curriculum, a child can become a well-rounded student. An educator can guide you to do this on your own!  

2. State Paperwork and Regulations:

“I was really unclear on what my state required for homeschool paperwork. I had decided I did not want to formally assess my child at the end of the year, and that decision was easy. My sticking point popped up when I admitted I wasn’t sure what the alternative should look like.  Facebook groups and other homeschool moms helped a lot. However, I have three children and almost no spare time! I needed more support and a little extra guidance.”

Educators know how to make paperwork easy, and can help you create acceptable alternative assessments!  

Some states are easy to please.  Unfortunately, in New York State, if a parent chooses not to use a state-accepted standardized test at the end of the year, a NYS certified teacher must write an alternative assessment. (Section H2iii and 100.10(2)(3))  New York added this plot-twist because educators receive normalized training. They learn how to assess students in systematic ways regardless of the grade level or situation. An educator can create alternative assessments and pass that understanding onto you for the future!

3. Individualization:

“Part of what drew me to homeschooling was the idea of ‘individualized learning’.  In reality, I didn’t understand what that meant! Unfortunately, I found myself using a lot of workbooks, even though I wanted homeschooling to be more than that! It was frustrating.”

Educators are trained to see individualization as the multi-layer linchpin to learning.  

Research states students learn best when their beliefs are supported and challenged in a variety of ways. Similarly, educators and parents can recognize this trend inside, as well as outside of school. Educators are specifically trained to use “individualization” as an umbrella. To clarify, educators believe individualization includes: challenging strengths, supporting weaknesses, exploiting interests, challenging judgments (including topics a child is disinterested in), creating logical goals, differentiating instruction, facilitating inquiry, and more!  Seems overwhelming to do all of this in a single day without using workbooks, right?  It isn’t to an educator! Educators receive training on new planning techniques.

Conclusion

Most educators attend a four-year colleges or universities, and many have earned Master’s Degrees. Almost all educators receive regular reviews and consistent training, as well. As a result, qualified educators can help save you time and energy. With their expertise, qualified educators can guide you to meet state requirements more efficiently, as well as create a more well-rounded program. Consider including an educator in your homeschool program!

Please direct questions and comments to [email protected]