PORTLAND, Maine — While homeschooling isn't the right choice for everyone, more and more parents during this time of pandemic say it's the best choice for their family right now.
That said, the prospect of homeschooling for the first time may be daunting.
NEWS CENTER Maine spoke with Founder and CEO of homeschoolexpert.com Anne Crossman about key things first time homeschooling parents should know.
Crossman is a product of homeschooling and attended both Stanford and Duke Universities. She's taught in traditional public schools, on military bases, and homeschools her own children.
Here are her tips:
Step 1: Evaluate your child's needs.
Crossman says there is no "one size fits all" model for learning and that you can really customize and tailor lessons for your child's specific needs.
"I think one of the beauties of homeschooling is that you can individualize it to your student and by doing so it takes far less time."
"One thing parents don't yet know is they assume they have to school their kids from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but for elementary school students it really just two to four hours for a day of work, if that, because when you're working one on one you get through the material so much faster."
Step 2: Build a routine that is adaptable, dependable, and forgiving.
She says, particularly as you ease into the homeschooling process, take it slow and set reasonable 'day to day' goals.
"Make it so that when life comes at you side-ways, you can still recover and get finished what needs to be done."
Step 3: Find a 'homeschooling support system.'
Right now, we're talking about online groups, Facebook groups, anywhere you can get feedback, advice, and foster a sense of community.
"Our children, for example, this year were able to connect in meaningful ways with their friends through their homeschool community. My elementary school girls were able to play charades over Facetime with friends, or Pictionary. My son was invited to escape rooms that were developed specifically for kids that were free and fun. So while it's not quite the same as getting to run around outside and play tag, it definitely gave them a chance to see their friends."
There are some online homeschooling groups that are specifically for Maine parents. Click on the following for links: Homeschooling in ME, Maine Homeschoolers, and Unschoolers, Homeschoolers Of Maine.
To learn more about Anne Crossman's homeschool company, click here.
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