The internet is changing the way we learn. The classroom used to be the centre of your child’s education. Today, digital access has opened up limitless home learning opportunities. Whether you want your kids to be completely home schooled or just want to supplement the education they receive at school, you’re more empowered than ever to do so.
But it’s not always easy to know where to start. In fact, there are SO many options that choosing the right ones for you might seem like an intimidating prospect. That’s why we’ve dedicated this article to help you get started with home learning.
1. Understand the law
Are you hoping to complement your child’s existing learning routine or offer a complete home-learning programme? If it’s the latter, you’ll need to be aware of the law regarding home education. Take a look at the Department for Education’s website on home Education. The Elective Home Education guide can offer you a lot of useful information, especially with regards to your legal and financial obligations for homeschooling. Remember, if your child is still attending school full-time, you don’t have any legal obligations. It’s all supplementary learning.
2. Assess your child’s needs
Everyone has different learning needs. Your child might take to some subjects easily and find others more challenging. That’s completely normal. Speak to them and try to understand how they feel about topics like reading, writing and numbers. You can also apply various tests to find out the best place to start their learning journey. If they’re still attending school, ask their teachers what their next steps should be.
3. Understand the school curriculum
Home learning can be liberating. However, it’s easy to get lost, too. At least initially, it’s useful to have a framework to work towards. The Key Stage framework in the UK is fantastic for making sure your child is on track. Get to grips with the curriculum for each Key Stage with some textbooks that cover each school year of your child’s development. Once you understand their developmental goals, you can tailor your own curriculum to ensure your child remains on track.
4. Invest in an online learning tutor
Planning your child’s learning in the long-term is only half the battle. You’ll also need to make sure their day-to-day studies are effective and engaging. That means finding great educational activities to do together. Online learning tutors are perfectly suited to this task and come complete with hundreds of effective activities and games. Whizz Education’s Maths Tutor provides you with a developmentally appropriate maths curriculum at every stage of their learning journey.
5. Plan by the task, not by the hour
One of the biggest benefits to home education is that your child can learn at their own pace. There’s a good chance this pace will be faster than the average school curriculum, too. This affords you a great deal of flexibility in terms of how long you spend studying. Set daily learning goals and stop your study time when they’re met. That way, your child will quickly discover that the better they study, the more time they will have for play. This habit will continue on well into adulthood as your child becomes better and better at independent study.
6. Think outside the classroom
Learning doesn’t just happen in books or online. It’s all around. Home education is the perfect excuse to bring your child out into the world for experiential learning. The natural world, museums and galleries, even places of work are all great opportunities for your child to discover. Think creatively about where you could take them next.
7. Research different models
As you become more familiar with home learning, you might want to explore other learning models. Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Unschooling and Unit Studies are three homeschooling models that you will want to explore. Take some time to research them and think about what resonates best with you and your family.
8. Talk to your child
Homeschooling puts the power of education back in the hands of your child. As they grow and gain independence, they will want to take more and more control over their educational outcomes. That’s why open and frequent communication is key – the direction of learning will become an ongoing negotiation that will enrich both of your experiences.
For more information about Maths education, especially if your child is learning at home, get in touch with us here at Whizz Education. We’d be very happy to offer support on the best products and approaches.