In our article, How to Write your Home School Vision Statement, we stressed the importance of the Vision Statement as a starting point in any home school journey. The next important step on the journey is to decide how you will go about bringing this vision to reality.
When we talk about the method of curriculum delivery, this means the primary way that you plan to deliver the curriculum to your children. There are three main methods of home school curriculum delivery:
- Parent-Tutor: This is where you as a parent will be the primary academic educator in your children’s lives.
- Private-Tutor: This is where you as a parent will call on the support of private tutors to supplement teaching in areas where you are not strong, or you may ask them to lead curriculum delivery altogether.
- Online School: This is where you follow a structured learning programme from an online home-schooling provider. This provider may or may not provide private tuition.
It is important that you do your investigations and decide as soon as possible which method is best for your family. You can of course change your mind later on, but by spending more time thinking about things up-front, you will be able to move forward with more conviction.
Having the opportunity to engage with their children in this way is often the main reason why home-schooling parents decide to do it.
People sometimes prioritise the school room, the home library or getting the tech right. The first step should of course be constructing your vision statement, after which you should turn your attention to curriculum planning. This will give you a fuller idea of all the areas of learning you need to deliver to your children and allow you to begin thinking about how you will give your children the fullest education possible.
Think about how to expose your child to different ideas and methods from those they experience at home
If you plan on being a Parent-Tutor, you may need to brush up on your skills in some areas. You should also be thinking about how you will establish yourself as both a parent and an educator in your children’s lives. This involves thinking about how your children can be exposed to different ideas, methods and experiences from those of the home. This is integral to developing well-rounded, adaptable and compassionate children, able to recognise the benefits of different styles of teaching. This doesn’t mean that you need to enrol them in a tuition programme, it just means you need to think carefully about how you can facilitate these experiences using your local resources.
Related: Choosing Subjects for Home Schooling
This is a good way to hit two birds with one stone, to expose your children to alternative teaching methodologies and to support your curriculum delivery in areas where you are not strong.
Make sure to put time into investigating different tutors. We advise prioritising choosing a tutor that is willing to go the long-haul and see themselves as an integral educator within your home school. In this regard, try to prioritise career tutors or those working within a recognised teaching methodology that has its own resources just in case your tutor needs to move on. You will then be able to hire a tutor using the same methods and therefore preserve some continuity in teaching for your children.
Choose a private tutor that sees themselves as an integral member of your home school
Also, make sure that you prioritise quality over quantity of tutors and hours taught – one hour a week with an outstanding tutor is worth much more than six with a decent one. Also, be realistic about what you ask the tutor to cover in that hour. As a rough guide, a tutor will need one hour per week per subject area. And that is a full hour, every week, per subject area. Do not think you’ll be getting more value by asking the tutor to divide that hour to cover different topics or asking them to alternate subjects every week. Remember that children need consistency and the time to delve into concepts in enough detail to make the investment worthwhile.
This will provide students with a full-service educational journey. They will have the opportunity to interact with a number of different educators as well as other students, thus coming into contact with different cultures of learning.
The school should provide all curriculum planning and support, allowing you as a parent to focus on providing additional support.
It is important that you look at a school’s teaching culture and make an assessment about whether it is in line with your vision for your child’s education. It is also important to consider the ability of the school to cater to your child’s individual needs. Online schools can be just as impersonal as conventional schools, which is not what most home-schooling parents are looking for. Try to peel back the layers of the marketing to establish whether your child really will be getting the attention that you are looking for.
A useful exercise would be to evaluate the three options by considering the following questions:
Key Questions to Ask When Deciding to Home School
- The nature of your relationship with your children – is teaching your children an important part of being a parent for you?
- Ability to meet your child’s academic needs – which method will best suit your child and your vision for their education?
- What are the costs involved – can you afford to forfeit full-time work, pay a private tutor or enrol in a home school?
While consistency is key, don’t feel that if you choose one method you are stuck with it. You can always change if you realise your choice hasn’t worked out. We would suggest waiting to the start of the new school year to implement any major changes in order to minimise the disruption to your children’s education.
In summary, there are a number of different ways in which your home school can run. Think carefully about your vision and your child’s needs and select a method that most satisfies both.