As home educators, we have the freedom and flexibility to customize our homeschools to our students’ individual needs. This is probably the biggest perk of homeschooling. Just think about this for a moment–we GET to CUSTOMIZE our homeschools to our student’s INDIVIDUAL NEEDS! What a privilege!
Nobody else dictates a certain curriculum we must use, or a certain course of study we must follow, or even what hours and days of the week learning is to occur.
As long as we follow the guidelines for accountability in our states, we have the ability to mold our programs as we see fit and bless our kids with the freedom to learn.
Our primary goal as our children’s teachers should be to nurture their joy of learning and help them grow into avid learners. How we achieve that goal can take many forms.
The Freedom to Learn
Finding your child’s passions and customizing their curriculum to meet those passions is a great way to start. Also, finding creative ways to teach different subjects is going to keep kids engaged and enthusiastic about learning.
If your child is a hands-on learner, incorporate projects. If he or she would rather read quietly, there is nothing wrong with a good stack of books!
Having the freedom to learn means ‘schooling’ can take place almost anywhere and in almost any form! Step outside that curriculum box and explore all the ways learning can be cultivated.
5 Ideas for making the most of homeschooling freedom to learn:
1. Interest-based learning
Find out what you child has a passion for, like filmmaking, cooking, writing, music, art, etc. Homeschooling gives your child the freedom and time to spend with his or her interests. This is one of the best ways to ensure that their enthusiasm for learning is nurtured!
With the flexibility of a homeschool schedule, your students can learn from classes offered at museums, in co-op settings, at state parks, though art or music studios, in colleges through dual enrollment, and through online programs, to name a few. These opportunities to explore subjects off the beaten path can provide inspiration to students to pursue their passions.
3. Hands-on learning
When you have young students, hands-on learning experiences can make up a large part of your school time. From STEM projects to cooking, young students benefit from exploring things first hand. But, even high schoolers enjoy things like electronics projects, science experiments, and some of the same hands-on activities that younger kids enjoy.
4. Unit studies
Going all in with a time period, geographical location, event, or other topic is the ultimate way to use your freedom to learn in unique ways. Plus, unit studies can incorporate all subjects and multiple age groups, so the whole family can dive in together.
5. Field trips
Going out into the world is the best way to experience things you are learning about in every subject. There are innumerable places you can visit, and these real-life adventures provide priceless insight into history, culture, science, literature, art, and almost anything else you could name. What better way to learn about a war than from the oral history of a veteran? Seeing artwork in person leaves a bigger impression than a photograph in a book ever could. Visiting a zoo and observing animals up close teaches many lessons that a science book cannot convey. This printable Field Trip Planner will help you turn these experiences into ‘school credit’!
Anne Campbell, a former classroom teacher with a BA in English, is a writer, editor, and homeschool consultant. Homeschooling for 16 years, she recently graduated her first son, who learned at home from K5 to college. Anne enjoys customizing learning experiences to meet the needs of her 3 boys as they embrace the lightbulb moments of discovery every day. Visit Anne’s blog, Learning Table, for help navigating everything homeschool, from early learning to college admission. Join Learning Table’s eclectic learning adventures on Instagram and Facebook.
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