Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to homeschool quite a few students. The experience was often difficult; having few resources was common. I learned a lot about what it means to learn at home, and I hope sharing this experience will help anyone else faced with the decision to homeschool or not.
Morocco for quite a while has been my home for a while now. I came to the coastal city of Agadir in 2014 and found a lovely community of people from all over the world. Some were here part-time, others made Agadir their home.
The one missing element is an English focused school. Another issue parents face is the school system here is strict, and if kids don’t get in at the beginning it’s hard to get registered. It left a lot of parents forced to find alternatives.
A few parents were looking for a tutor to help with homeschool. I quickly found that parents were struggling to find a curriculum and system to work with. They were desperate for help.
What I did
I assessed each family and developed a plan with them to keep their kids focused and learning. Studying at home lacks the same structure and expectations of in-school learning. Students can often feel confused about what they should be doing, lose interest, or get frustrated. It’s so important to have a schedule and rules. It gives children – including teenagers – direction and boundaries.
Setting the curriculum wasn’t so hard. By taking examples from their home countries and setting goals for the future, I was able to develop effective learning plans. Each student knew their goals and was involved in the planning process to meet them. This created accountability and encouraged the students to complete assignments on time.
Where I live, certain resources are hard to find, expensive, or just unavailable. This meant getting creative. I try to use as few writing exercises as possible. I think they’re boring and ineffective. Instead, I made use of what was available and tried to relate each lesson to a real-life example.
I would often use art, baking, and nature to teach maths and sciences. I used alternative materials and cut-outs as well as learning apps as much as possible. It’s important for students to have hands-on experiences as much as possible.
Also read: Building a lesson plan from scratch
When materials weren’t available, I would often make use of documentaries or videos to introduce concepts and then engage students in thought questions. I would encourage as much curiosity as possible and use tools like Google to search out answers.
Over the years, I learned how to develop personalized and effective homeschools curriculums. All of my students have since gone to enter the school system at the top of their class in their respective countries. I attribute this success to creativity, patience and resourcefulness.
Now, I use my skills to help others develop effective programs for their kids. Whether it’s for their own homeschooling or starting their own afterschool tutoring program, I am able to work with them to develop amazing programs that get results.
Tips for homeschooling
If you’re struggling to homeschool your child or are starting an after school program, here are a few tips you can use to make it easier.
First, routine is essential. Create a schedule and stick to it, no matter what. It makes things so much easier for students when they know what to expect. Our brain uses rhythm and patterns to predict what to expect. If there is no routine, students will struggle to learn new concepts.
Next, it’s important to use real-world examples. Make lessons relevant and important by using real examples. Ideas can be abstract, make them tangible by relating them to familiar tasks.
Finally, have patience. Students will inevitably have bad days, give them a safe space to make mistakes and struggle. They’ll quickly turn themselves around and catch up on what they missed. Being flexible is one of the greatest parts of homeschooling or afterschool programs. Students learn better when they feel safe and respected.
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