Getting Started as a Home School Teacher

Getting started as a home school teacher can feel intimidating; parents often feel particularly apprehensive about teaching subjects that they themselves struggled with at school, often including maths or science. Once you have researched the advantages and disadvantages of home schooling, and looked at how to do so (the practical part, like deregistering a child from a school, is described elsewhere on this site), the next step is to research and study how you want to home school your child – it’s best to do this before he or she has left school, if that is possible. This article looks at how best to prepare to teach your child at home.

Finding Support Groups

This is a good first step, since support groups and other local home schooling parents will be able to advise you on how to do all the other steps towards home schooling a child, and may also be able to provide you with textbooks or resources that their child has grown out of, if that is something you are looking to incorporate into your child’s schooling.

Home schooling groups will be able to provide you with the best information on home schooling in your local area, and have information about likely help or monitoring that will be offered or carried about by your Local Education Authority. It’s also a good idea to go online and to libraries and book shops to find out as much as you can about home schooling and discuss the options in forums – even if you do not like the methods you read about, the more you read and discover, the more you will discover what exactly you want your own home schooling curriculum and structure to look like – or whether you want to avoid this kind of organised learning all together.

Identifying your Ideal Home Schooling Method

There are many different ways to begin home schooling. Some parents like to follow a structured timetable, especially at the start if children are adapting from the planned days and terms of a school timetable. In this case, parents would teach, or children would independently learn, about, say, literature at one time in the day and science at another. At the beginning of the day, both home school teacher and learner would know what to expect for the coming hours.An alternative learning and teaching method is ‘interest-initiated’ home schooling, which focuses the learning topics on relevant events and circumstances that are happening at the particular time. So instead of having a timetable written in advance, a day’s learning might revolve around a local exhibition’s focus- a visit followed by a day talking, researching and writing about its findings – or freak weather – a hot sunny day in January might initiate discussion of global weather patterns. Some parents integrate interest-initiated learning around a timetable, just being flexible with their timetable to make room for interesting events and occurrences.

Other parents have more detailed educational philosophies (see the page on this website about these for more details) and their method of home schooling will be closely related to that philosophy. Many parents mix and match these methods, but it is a good idea to know about the possibilities before begin home schooling, so you can decide what might work best for your child and then adapt as necessary.