Monday, August 2, 2010

Six Qualities That Help You to Be a Successful Homeschooler

photo by laffy4k

Here are just a few of the qualities that I have discovered this past year, which I feel are probably necessary for most homeschooling families to be successful. Feel free to add to this list!


Creating learning opportunities and keeping track of lessons - not to mention all of the books, manipulatives, art and school supplies – does require some semblance of organization on your part. Fortunately, there are many homeschoolers in the blogosphere that are willing to help you out by sharing some of their best organization secrets!


Although your job is to guide and manage your child’s education, ultimately, your child will dictate the direction that your schooling will go. Learning styles, mood, sickness, interest level and much more will often throw a monkey wrench into your best laid plans, as will outside influences such as other family members, neighbors, friends, and business. In other words, LIFE. Your best bet is to roll with the punches and take advantage of unexpected opportunities to help your child learn some incredible life lessons along the way.


There is almost always more than one way to accomplish (or learn!) something. And when you hit a stumbling block, sometimes you have to let your imagination come to the rescue! Maybe your daughter is having trouble learning how to tell time. Maybe she is bored by the material. So you decide to have her make her own clock and you come up with a game to help her learn. Or maybe your son is having trouble with his sight words. So you create a board game to make learning them more fun. Or you start an incredible art project, only to discover you are missing one of the materials needed to finish it. No worries, a substitution will do! Bilingual homeschoolers will probably have to rely a great deal on their ability to translate so that they may tailor lessons in the majority language. Your creativity and ingenuity will be challenged frequently along the way. Homeschooling is a great way to develop these skills!


It’s not easy to maintain your patience when you have an idea in you head of all the things you’d like to accomplish on any given day and your child simply can’t – or won’t - cooperate. Or when your child is having a really hard time understanding a concept that seems so incredibly easy to you. But having patience will take you a LONG way towards not only helping your child learn, but also towards building your child’s confidence in himself.


If I am bored with what I am teaching, chances are my child will pick up on it and she will be bored, too. Try to keep in mind that the goal is not how much you teach your child, but rather to nurture their own curiosity and develop their love of learning. The best way to do this is to model these attributes yourself. Try to look at the world through your child’s eyes and find the mystery and beauty in everything around you. Homeschooling also provides us with a second chance to learn the things we missed (or dismissed) when we were younger. Yay!


Homeschooling requires a firm commitment on our part as teachers. We must agree to learn about our children so that we understand the best way to teach them. We have to find the subjects/lessons/activities/projects that will capture our child’s attention and provide them with a firm foundation for success later in life. We must be willing and able to implement some sort of learning routine in their lives. For those of you who are bilingual homeschooling, this means dedicating the time to find lessons in your language of choice. In short, we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to our children’s education, which is something we should all do regardless of whether or not we are homeschooling.

Con mucho cariño…

Did you enjoy this article? Are you thinking about homeschooling your child? Let me help! My book - The Latino Family's Guide to Homeschooling - covers everything you see here and more. 


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