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Homeschooling isn’t a new concept, but it sure has gained momentum over the last few years. But, is it effective? What does the research say?
You might be surprised to learn that while only 7% of American students were homeschooled in 2021 (an increase from 4%), over three quarters (78%!) of these students perform better than their traditionally schooled peers.
The Benefits of Homeschooling Your Preschooler
Homeschooling, to be clear, is a parent-guided teaching environment where children learn inside their own homes. This may not be convenient for all families, but those who have chosen this method have enjoyed major benefits. These include:
1. Homeschooled Students Learn at Their Own Pace
If a child is struggling with a concept, they can take the time to really understand it before moving on. On the other hand, if a child grasps a concept quickly, they can move on without being held back by the rest of the class. This individualized approach to learning ensures that the student has the opportunity to reach their fullest potential at a pace that is best for them, personally.
2. Homeschooling Allows for a More Customized Curriculum
Another advantage of homeschooling is that parents can customize their child’s curriculum and create their own performance markers to suit their individual needs and interests. For example, if your child is passionate about history, you can spend more time on that subject. Or, if your child is struggling with math, you can find and use supplemental materials to help them improve.
You also have the opportunity to include educational materials that might not be available in traditional schools, such as religion, entrepreneurship, and project-based learning.
3. Homeschooling Provides a Safe Learning Environment
When children are homeschooled, they are free from peer pressure, bullies, and other safety concerns that plague traditional schooling. They can learn in a safe, comfortable environment where they are relaxed, feel supported and are respected. This can be especially beneficial for kids who have anxiety or special needs.
4. Homeschooling Teaches Self-Discipline
In a traditional school setting, students are often given assignments and deadlines but not much guidance on how to manage their time. As a result, they may not learn how to budget their time or prioritize tasks effectively.
Homeschooling, on the other hand, requires children to be self-disciplined to get their work done. This is a valuable life skill that will benefit them throughout their entire lives.
5. Homeschooled Students Get More Family Time
Families who homeschool their children have more time for family activities and bonding. This is because, as homeschooled children happily report, home education takes less time than traditional schooling. So, there are no rushed mornings or breakfasts on the road, and (hooray!) they don’t have to worry about homework. Instead, they enjoy slow-paced mornings, wake up at times that suit their personal preferences, eat meals as a family, enjoy read alouds at will and can make choices about topics to study that interest them. Ultimately, homeschooling families do more of the things they enjoy, and they spend that time together.
6. Homeschooling Allows for More Educational Opportunities
Homeschooling families often take advantage of educational opportunities that are not available to traditional school students. For example, they may go on field trips or visit museums more often. They may also have the opportunity to travel and learn about different cultures. Many homeschooled children even run their own businesses and author books at shockingly young ages!
7. Homeschooling Teaches Important Life Skills
In addition to academic skills, homeschooled students also have the opportunity to learn important life skills. For example, they can learn how to cook, budget their time, and manage a household. These are valuable skills that will help them throughout their lives.
8. Homeschooled Students Are More Involved in Their Communities
Homeschooled students often have more opportunities to be involved in their communities. For example, they may volunteer for local organizations, participate in community events or spend more time at church. This helps them develop a sense of civic responsibility and make connections with people of all ages. This also helps them develop social skills outside the context of the same-age environment imposed by traditional schools.
9. Homeschooling Allows for More Flexibility
Homeschooling families often have more flexibility than those who send their children to traditional schools. For example, they can take vacations when it is convenient for them, and they don’t have to worry about making up missed schoolwork. If they get sick, they don’t have to worry about playing academic catch-up. They also have the option of homeschooling part-time if they want their children to experience a traditional school setting for some of their education. This type of hybrid homeschool is becoming more and more popular as well.
10. Homeschooled Students Are More Likely to Be Successful
Studies have shown that homeschooled students are more likely to be successful in life than those who attend traditional schools. For example, they are more likely to achieve higher education success like graduating from college and are less likely to experience problems with drugs or alcohol. They are also more likely to have successful careers.
How to Get Started with Homeschooling Your Preschooler
If you’re interested in homeschooling your preschooler, there are a few things you need to do to get started. First, you need to research the homeschooling laws in your state. You also need to find a curriculum that meets your child’s needs and your family’s goals. Finally, you need to create a schedule and routine that will work for your family.
You can choose from traditional curriculums, online courses, or even create your own curriculum. The important thing is to find a curriculum that meets your child’s needs and your family’s goals. While there are certainly many routes you could take when exploring homeschool curriculums, Montessori is one we’d recommend above all else when it comes to homeschooling your preschooler.
Other homeschooling methods like school-at-home, virtual school, and the classical style may be easier and quicker to implement, but they require significantly more from you and your preschooler in terms of time spent on instruction and paperwork. Not to mention they disallow one of the best benefits of homeschooling: scheduling flexibility.
Why Choose Montessori Homeschooling?
Montessori homeschooling is an incredible choice to make when looking at what homeschool curriculum to choose for your preschooler. That said, it does require conscious efforts in terms of parenting that you may not be used to.
Montessori homeschooling in particular focuses on the whole child, preparing them beyond simply academic prowess and setting them up lifelong success as an adult. Montessori homeschooling prepares a child emotionally, cognitively, physically and socially, and instills in them a sense of responsibility, gratitude, politeness, and self-reliance.
Starting a Montessori Homeschooling Curriculum
If Montessori education is the best form of preschool education, how can you implement this method into homeschooling? Here are a few ways.
Choose a Curriculum That Aligns with the Montessori Scope and Sequence
It’s no secret that homeschooling a preschooler can overwhelm parents. If you’re just starting, you may feel like you’re drowning in standards and topics!
You need a learning program that meets or exceeds standards. The Montessori scope and sequence does that beautifully. Look for a simplified, authentic Montessori scope and sequence to help you determine the order and depth of material to teach. The goal of Montessori learning is to follow your child, but a simplified scope and sequence can help you maintain a sense of structure.
A quality curriculum will include an easy-to-use scope and sequence that lays everything out for you. This will make it easier for you to guide your child toward learning opportunities.
Prepare Your Environment
Curate a prepared learning environment; create a space in your home where there are different activities for the child to choose from based on what they may be interested in.
This space should be well organized, as a simple, clutter-free space allows a child to better process their thoughts and choices.
Emphasize Practical Life Skills
When it comes to Montessori homeschooling your preschooler, practice life skills should be your first focus. It’s essential for a child to learn to pick up after themselves, caring for themselves and their environment. Not only that, an authentic Montessori approach will allow you to teach these skills in a way that helps your child develop focus and concentration.
Look for a Montessori homeschool curriculum that emphasizes the early and ongoing importance of these practical life skills.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with various homeschool routines. But once you find that works, stick with it until you sense the need for change. Kids do great with visual or auditory cues, so use a whiteboard or soft chime to indicate transition times.
Choosing Homeschooling for Your Preschooler
You want the best for your child, and their education is one of the most important part of their lives. Your child deserves a well-rounded education that sets them up for a lifetime of success.
The benefits of a Montessori education outweigh other homeschooling methods and has proved to be an effective way to teach children at home.
Knowing what to look for in a Montessori curriculum means setting yourself up with a homeschool routine that will help your child’s emotional, social, and intellectual development.
Your child deserves the best education, especially in the most critical years of their life.
Author Bio: Mandi Zielinski is a homeschooling mom, an entrepreneur and the Founder of Multisori and the M3 curriculum. M3 Curriculum – a truly unique curriculum in its approach to Montessori homeschooling. It is Montessori aligned with a child-centered approach to learning, designed for homeschooling parents who choose to teach their child(ren) from home or in a pod, and offers ongoing support from parents around the world. So, help is always just a click away. Visit Multisori via this link and get a 10% discount!