More and more couples are choosing to travel together. Choosing the travel nursing life can seem limiting for raising a family, but it actually provides options for parents. Some travelers worry about school for their children. It’s understandable; if you’re always bouncing around from city to city, how can you expect your kids to get a proper education? Where will you enroll them? Will you extend your travel assignment? Will you take a permanent placement altogether? There are a lot of questions to be answered. One of those answers can be homeschooling.
So, what are the homeschooling basics?
It’s exactly what it sounds like: school at home. But there are many ways you can do this—books, computers, the internet… all of these can play a role in educating your child at home. First and foremost, you’ll need to figure out your child’s learning preference. How do they retain information? Are they visual learners? Do they take good verbal direction? Do they struggle with computers, or find it more interesting? Do they prefer standard pen-and-paper testing?
Who’s gonna do it?
That’s entirely up to you! If you are able, find a group of kids who are in the same learning stage as yours. Joining up with them could be a good option. Plus, it allows your kids to make some friends while you’re in your new city. Or you and your partner could take on the task yourselves and do some one-on-one homeschooling. You’ll have to decide who is taking on the teacher role. Or you could kick that option up a notch and create your own small group of homeschooling kiddos—you can take turns teaching with other children’s parents!
What are some things to think about?
Give your kids some structure. Just because they’re at home doesn’t mean there isn’t a classroom. Set up an area of your home and make it your go-to learning center. Establishing a routine and sticking to it can help your child get that instilled structure that they may be missing from a public educational program.
Take advantage of the freedom. Homeschooling means you get to go on field trips when you want. Give your child the opportunity for some hands-on learning with frequent trips that tie into the curriculum they’re learning. Visit museums, historical sites, science centers, and zoos.
Get their opinion. Are there specific things about your homeschooling curriculum that your kids enjoy? Things they're bored with? Take your child’s input to heart. After all, this is all for them, so you want to provide the best, most rewarding experience possible.
What are some things to avoid?
Over scheduling. Burnout. These can set you and your child back when considering homeschooling. Chances are, you want your kids to be involved in ALL OF THE THINGS. And that’s totally great! You’re giving your child several options and chances to get involved and learn about what they’re into. However, if you’re balancing homeschooling with other activities, maybe try out one or two activities until you get your homeschooling schedule down to a science.
Higher expectations than usual. If you’re going into homeschooling with the mentality that your kid will turn into an overnight Dr. Doogie Howser, it’s time to slow your roll. Remember the great thing about homeschooling is that your child can learn at their own pace. Maybe that means faster than a public education curriculum. Maybe it means slower. Maybe their learning pace is right on par with most other children their age. In any case, it’s worth remembering that a great learning experience means making it your own, which is the best thing about homeschooling.
At the end of the day, homeschooling can be a great experience for both you and your kids. Like all things in life, there are ups and downs, and positives and negatives, but finding the option that works for you and your family’s lifestyle is the most important thing to consider.
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