When you decide to dive into Christian homeschooling, you will inevitably hear people naysaying and offering stories about unsuccessful attempts. The whole endeavor can seem a bit scary because so much of the responsibility falls on you. Empowering your kids to have a successful year is important from the start, but how can you ensure that your homeschool is a success from fall to summer?
We want to encourage you. Before we dive into some statistics about homeschooling success, let’s explore a few essential components for a flourishing homeschool.
Abeka, one of the most widely used homeschool curriculums and a great source for homeschooling resources, offers 11 tips for a successful homeschool. Here are a few of them, with some added advice from us.
Start with Prayer
Beginning with prayer starts the day out on the right foot and provides you with the opportunity to come together as a unit to set the day’s focus. Encourage every student in your homeschool to take their turn to pray. This will help incorporate and center everyone.
Prioritize Learning Styles
Everyone learns differently, and even though the curriculum might incorporate various learning styles, it’s up to you to execute them. This is also a great opportunity to teach your kids the importance of understanding how different people learn. Recognizing the differences in others will help every student mature.
Find Mentors and Groups
Wise people seek out other wise people to gain wisdom! Choose to thrive by asking someone to be your mentor. Their wisdom will benefit you and your kids for years to come.
Additionally, since homeschooling families often feel alone, it’s important to remember that there are countless others who are trekking the homeschool path. Make an effort to connect. Do it for the resources, but also do it for social purposes! Everyone’s experience will be enriched by working with others.
Start with Hard Subjects
We’ve all been in that afternoon class where we could barely keep our eyes open. This is inevitable, so remember to schedule classes that involve movement in the afternoon and teach the more difficult classes in the morning when minds are fresh and rested.
Be Flexible With Curriculum
Remember that the curriculum is there to serve you. The best teachers use their curriculum as a guide. They are not bound by the textbook. Think about incorporating visits to the library, documentaries, or online encyclopedias to enhance your curriculum. In every endeavor, teach your kids how important it is to soak up the knowledge that surrounds them.
Homeschool Wins and Challenges
These tips aren’t golden eggs to guarantee your success, but prioritizing the abilities and needs of your kids is a huge advantage that you won’t find in a public school setting with 30+ kids in the classroom. Interestingly, the Waterford.org states, “Across fifty different studies on parental engagement, educational researchers found a connection between family involvement and academic achievement.”
The NHERI (National Home Education Research Institute) provides recently revalidated statistics on homeschooling and its wins. Consider the following:
- “The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is the 50th percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.) A 2015 study found Black homeschool students to be scoring 23 to 42 percentile points above Black public school students (Ray, 2015).
- Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
- Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.”
The general challenges attributed to homeschooling and Christian families are things like lack of peer interaction, sports, arts, etc. These all can be overcome through collaboration with other homeschoolers, as well as supplementing the curriculum.
Is Joining a Homeschool Co-Op the Right Move?
Another solution for enhancing child development on multiple levels is to integrate a co-op into your homeschool. A co-op group is simply an outgrowth of an already existing homeschool support group. This allows opportunity for others to help teach your kids in fields they may be well-versed in and provide more variety for everyone. While there are no real statistics to state just how many co-ops are available to you, you’ll probably find good results by typing “homeschool co-op” into your search engine of choice. Before committing, simply call a selection of groups and schedule a meeting with them. See how everyone meshes together. The goal is to provide an enhanced learning opportunity for your kids, so choose one that will improve your curriculum and activities.
The best thing about homeschooling in tandem with Christian parenting is that you can ensure an environment that lifts up and encourages your goal of teaching kids faith and trust in Jesus, while also providing a great education. We hope these tips and statistics help you on your journey.
If you’re on the hunt for homeschooling resources, be sure to check out a variety of other postings about these topics on our blog. And if you’re looking for kids Bible stories or other inspiring ideas for family devotionals, our catalogue is always a great place to start!