A lot of parents begin homeschooling their children in elementary school. While this may seem like an easy thing to do, there are some things that must be taken into consideration for elementary homeschool education.
The Foundation Of A Homeschool Education
Reading, writing, spelling, and grammar are the four most important building blocks of a homeschool elementary-age education. While math, science, and history are also important, experts believe that they are not as important as building a solid foundation. Before a parent starts to teach any of these things to their child, they must understand how their child’s young mind functions.
Only then will their child be able to grasp and make sense of what they are learning. For instance, whenever you are teaching your 5 to 7-year-old child simple math, you will need to use concrete things (i.e. toothpicks, beans, pennies) for them to move around. This is because a child’s mind cannot truly create mental images until they are between 8 and 10-years-old.
Teaching Spelling For Homeschooling
It is important for your child to get a solid grasp of spelling as it is the foundation for so many other things. For instance, you will not be able to write if you cannot spell. The best way for a child to learn how to spell is by writing out his words.
Here is where phonics comes into play. Whenever your child can learn how to sound out a word, they will have learned a skill that they can use throughout their lifetime whenever more difficult words come along. You will find some great workbooks available for you to purchase. Some of them are even written as a series that gets progressively more difficult. Spending 10 to 15 minutes per day working through them will be enough for your elementary school student.
Teaching Writing For Homeschooled Students
Early writing should mainly involve copy work, dictation or retelling of a story that was just read to them. These children are too young to also try to think of something to write about. Keep in mind that this is mainly a time for your child to practice their penmanship. This is why experts recommend that children copy passages from famous authors.
These passages should be something that your child is able to understand. This will allow your child to learn spelling, punctuation, basic grammar and vocabulary all at the same time. Eventually, your child will want to create their own story to write down. This will be a good change of pace but nothing will replace the copy work.
It is also important to teach reading. In the beginning, children will need to be read to for about 20 to 30 minutes per day. As your child grows older (around fourth grade) children should be reading for about an hour a day by themselves. There are some great workbooks available to help your child learn to read.
This is something that you will need to work on every day. By the time your child is able to read on their own, you should allow them to choose what they want to read and then be given time to read it. Herein you will be able to instill a love of reading in your child.
During the early elementary school years, grammar is basically about learning the various parts of speech and the rules that go along with them. This will start with oral lessons then progress on to more writing. Narration is a great tool to use early on. Herein a child is asked to repeat a story that he has just been told. This will allow him to show you just how much of what they are being taught is being retained and understood.
Homeschooling elementary school can be challenging for both students and their parents. However, if you are properly prepared and armed with the right teaching tools, it can also be quite delightful for everyone involved.