Homeschooling is not easy but it is rewarding. It is also
true that you will only get back what you put in. Below are some hints that may
Set a steady pace. Do not try and rush
through work to get students up to “standard.” The truth
is that after Primary school most students, regardless of whether they come
from a private or state school, need to start at the same place since they have
gaps in the following areas: fractions, percentages and decimals; grammar;
spelling and the mechanics of writing.
Mark the work and make the students
correct what they have wrong. Marking each time works better than marking once
Spelling words need to be learnt and
therefore each unit is intended to last a week. Spelling helps extend a student’s vocabulary. Just reading books is not enough.
Spelling checks do not solve all problems. My youngest is dyslexic and for
years the word “does” always appeared as “dose.” The spelling checker was no
help with this. Most spelling books have dictation at
the back of the book for those who would like it.
Presentation: some children write neater
than others but all children, apart from those with severe learning problems,
should be asked to present neat, legible work. Like a lot of other lessons
learnt when small, this prepares children for later
life. In many situations in life you get only one chance to present yourself.
Some academics believe handwriting will not be necessary in the future, but
some things will always need to be written by hand, e.g., your signature. These are probably the same academics who
said years ago that printed books would no longer be used. E-readers would be
used instead. They were wrong. More books are being sold now than ever.
Complete English, maths and spelling
each day. Do not do them in a block of one or two
days each. Learning needs to be measured and regular. You can juggle slightly
with other subjects. Complete these three subjects in the morning when the
student is fresh. There is plenty of time in the afternoon for less academic subjects. I found it easier to have only one
activity in the afternoon, e.g., cooking, craft or library etc.