By: Krystle Crossman
Just as children have different learning styles, parents of home-school children have different teaching styles as well. Once you can find out what you teaching style is you can get a better handle on teaching your child at home to make sure that they are going to get the most out of their day. Parents often try one way of teaching at the beginning of their home-school adventure but then find down the road that it is not effective and so they will find a different style. The key is to keep trying to find the style that is best suited for you and also suited for your child’s learning style.
All great ideas have come from trial and error so it may take a little experimenting to get things just right. Two of the most basic home-school styles are “unschooling’ and “school-at-home”. Each of these styles has different characteristics and there are different pros and cons to each.
School-at-home is when the parent adapts public school-learning in the home. They go by a strict curriculum, textbooks, and tests, just like in a public school system. The good things about this teaching style are that it is structured, scheduled, and very organized. If your child is one that likes sticking to a certain schedule it is a great style as they will be able to keep track of what is coming next and will be able to help plan everything out. The problem with this method is that it is time-consuming. Papers need to be graded, tests need to be thought up, textbooks must be followed. There are also a lot of materials that are required for this teaching style.
Unschooling is when the parent breaks away from the traditional schools schedules and does their own thing. It is a more creative and flexible way for the parent to teach and for the child to learn. It opens up opportunities for the parent to come up with fun learning activities and measure their child’s progress differently as opposed to using a grading system. This is the best style for children to get hands-on and also for them to learn important life skills such as economical home skills, balancing checkbooks, and learning how to problem solve. The disadvantages to this teaching style are that there are no clear guidelines set out and it can become a little jumbled at times.
If you can find a balance between the two styles and find that it works for you that is even better. You can have the best of both a structured and unstructured learning environment for your child and they may be better off for it. Find the right balance for your family and your child’s learning potential will increase significantly.