In the first few years of homeschooling, it’s often the parents who do the majority of the learning. The first few questions that pop up are – how are the kids going to learn, what they should learn and focus on, what curriculum should they follow? After all, taking the responsibility of educating your child, developing an environment conducive to a good learning and upbringing of your child and at the same time steering through the educational requirements for the region that you’re in are daunting tasks, especially for someone just starting out. This is where the model of assisted alternative schooling helps to fill up the gaps.
If you’re just starting out, here are some points you can consider:
Understanding the legal requirements
Much like the curriculum, rules and legalities to educate children vary from state to state and country to country. Parents should know what their legal obligations are, when beginning to homeschool their children. Organizations such as the Home Schooling Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in the US, for instance, offer information and services in legal matters revolving around non traditional schooling. Since homeschooling has gathered support worldwide, there may be information regarding a region of interest out there on the internet. But often times, such information is difficult to sift through.
In the United States, particularly, states like California require parents to register as private schools. In some other states, standardized tests for certain grades are required by law. “Educational neglect” may even be punishable.
An assisted schooling model offers the benefits of studying at home while being enrolled in a proper curriculum at an institution, mostly online. Online Alternative Schools may also offer the benefits of having peer groups from the student’s neighborhood that offer some of the social aspects that homeschools lack.
Alternative schools offer similar benefits to homeschooling, in that they give the parents and the kids, the freedom to gauge the amount and style of education that is most suited to their learning process. What works best is a structured curriculum approach that serves as an intellectual challenge for the child that comes without the stress of homeworks and assignments of a traditional schooling system. What’s most important is to have a process to determine what you’re most comfortable with and what fits the educational needs of your child. The added advantage with the alternative schools being the presence of a structured curriculum that is compliant with the local laws.
As more and more people are willing to try the alternative approach to schooling, recreational institutions like zoos and museums have started to host events that are specifically designed for such students. This completes the social circle of the students and contributes towards their all round development. Since students from such institutions are not bound to be physically present in the “school”, they can spend their time doing such organized activities that give the students real life experiences.
Assisted Alternative Schooling
Assisted Alternative schooling can take the benefits of to another level. Children are exposed to live or recorded content from subject matter experts. Access to recorded content means that the child may choose to repeat a concept as many times as required to get a better grasp. Assisted Alternative Schooling may help in reassuring a parent that the child is learning at a level which is at the very least, comparable to his/her peers at traditional schools.
In the end, being involved in your child’s schooling is a challenging, yet rewarding task and does pay off in the long run with a better relationship between parent and child and well grounded education that fits the child best.