Navigating homeschooling(Part 1): Sibling motivation

Many people may never have considered homeschooling in their life time but as the saying goes, when life throws you lemons make lemonades.

With the internet and information at our finger tips we really don’t have to shudder at the thought of working around things we have no clue about, the real issue is finding information that’s suitable.

Kudos to the families that have adopted homeschooling as a method for educating their children!

Homeschooling has its peculiarities and making that decision out of choice is absolute bravery. It is easy to dismiss the thought that homeschooling can be tough if you have never ventured; the same way it is easy to assume that teaching is easy or that teachers have the easiest job in the world after all they don’t get as paid as much compared to many other professions story for another day!

Ignorance is bliss and it has taken the global pandemic for human beings to realise and appreciate the importance and effort of certain professions.

I am an advocate of family engagement in education because the reward and impact on your child’s education is tremendous. As a matter of fact, the National center for family and community connections with schools says that “families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life″. If you are reading this and homeschooling your child and you cannot bring your self to see the aspects of homeschooling that are rewarding, I completely understand your concerns. There is quite a lot to be done for families to start embracing their role as the primary institution of learning for a child’s development.

This is not to say that other institutions do not have their place the school for example definitely plays a vital role; the social interaction that goes on among classmates can help nudge a child in the right direction.

Consider the scenario below:

Child A: I am drawing a red fast car (proceeds to draw a car and colour it red)

Child B: I am drawing a red fast car, my car is so fast and I am adding lines to the side to show turbo speed, my car also has… (proceeds to draw a red car with more detail)

Child A: (pauses after listening to child B and begins to add more detail to the initial drawing idea)

Parents often wonder where some of the ideas their children come up with originate from, the benefit of interaction with other children is tremendous and homeschooling does not have to put a stop to such interactions.

Sibling motivation can provide the needed nudge children need (if your child does not have any siblings, or there is a huge gap between your children or whatever the case may be, I encourage you to be creative). This post is to help you understand that healthy interactions are beneficial.

A good tip is to have the children do similar activities at the same time: if you can choose what activities are done in the day, it is helpful to make siblings do same or similar educational activity at the same time. For example Literacy, science, art etc of each sibling taking place at the same time and if possible within the same space.

Look out for my next post- Navigating homeschooling part 2 where I will be sharing more details of how siblings can help each other and make your life as a parent that has suddenly had to embark on homeschooling more enjoyable!

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