Maintaining Discipline in Homeschooling
When the child stays at home all day, and “Mommy” is the teacher, there are certain issues of discipline at stake. It is easy for he child to misconstrue the freedom he has at home and feel that homeschooling is just a long summer holiday. This is a potential land mine and children need to be disciplined right at the start.
Homeschooling gives you and your child a truly immense amount of flexibility. You and your child decide where to learn, how much to learn and when to learn. But,these should be decisions made at the beginning stages. If your child is too little to take an active part in the decision, chart out a few hours of the day for the various activities, and stick to it. When there is no outside agency to supervise and no exams to answer, it is easy to get sidetracked. If your child is old enough, consult him and find out when he wants to learn. Apply your parental discretion and come up with a timetable.
Homework is also a part of homeschooling. What this means is that once lessons have been taught, the child should be asked to do some part of the course work by himself without your guidance. You will need to make sure that your child sits willingly and finishes his work.
Courtesy, manners and punctuality are some of the various facets of discipline that a child has to imbibe in the early years of his life. The school where he interacts with his peers, his seniors and juniors and his teachers mold these values quite automatically.
It is advisable to keep aside a particular room or a part of the room for your home school. The child should be expected to reach his desk at the appointed time, in proper attire with all the necessary material. It is easy to allow the school to become an extension of play if these ground rules are not laid out and followed. As the teacher, supervisor, principal and janitor rolled into one, you should also approach the study area with a cool professionalism.
Homeschooling is doomed to fail without patience. In spite of all the precautions and steps one takes, it is easy for a child to get familiar at homeschool. At such times, it may be difficult to discipline the child and get him to listen to you attentively. When this happens, switch to something new. Allow the child to take a breather and enjoy a break yourself.
Homeschooling is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work and patience. The very informality of the whole procedure sometimes works against it by making it too easy. If you take steps to establish rules at the very beginning and adhere to these rules, your home schooling experience will be a huge success.
If you are interested in reading more on this topic, please read: Homeschool Burnout.