NINETEEN THINGS THAT WILL CHALLENGE WHEN YOU HOME SCHOOL
1. You will ask yourself, “Are my children progressing as fast as they should?”
Providing your children are working consistently at their own level and to the best of their ability, then they are progressing as fast as they should. They are no longer competing with other individuals in a classroom setting or being forced to progress at a rate faster or slower than they are capable.
2. Questions such as "how will I cope with Algebra, or Physics?"
Because the curriculum resources are mostly self-instructional, parents do not need a degree to supervise the high school subjects.
Most children are able to cope very well with subjects like Algebra and Physics. They will start these subjects when they are ready and will be taught in sequential steps. Self-Instructional curriculum allows for each new concept being introduced and practised, at the student’s learning level, until fully understood and mastered. Take this opportunity, as parents, to learn with your child. Advanced members have access to experienced Maths and Science specialists on staff to assist you when your child is ready for these subjects.
3. You are accepting responsibility for your children’s education
All parents have this responsibility. However, when you have your children with you, every moment of every day, the realisation that you are their supervisor, chief encourager, main role model, their hero and the one responsible for discipline, can be daunting at times. Thanks be to God, that He gives you resources to help. He provides His Word, the Bible, His Spirit, who dwells in each believer and His people who will support and pray for you. We believe ACHS and staff are also provided to assist you in this holy calling to: “Train up a child in the way he should go.”
Initially, you will experience tiredness as you change routines to fit in with educating your children at home. Your children will be in your care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you may get tired at times. It will take time for new daily routines to become established and for your children to take on extra responsibilities around the home. Hopefully, you will find that you have more time to enjoy your family at home and go on outings together without the rush and travel involved in getting children to and from a school.
5. A possible reduction in adult interaction
This, of course, depends on your lifestyle before home schooling. You have made a decision based on what is best for your children and your family relationships.
A flexible routine allows for you and your children to meet up with other families for excursions and outings where both children and adults can interact. Your normal social and church routines on weeknights and weekends will remain the same.
6. A sense of inadequacy
God is your ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). There are many positives to home schooling, which far outweigh any feelings of inadequacy. Your children should grow in confidence and enjoy their learning, being at ease in their own home environment with you as their supervisor. Our curriculum is prescribed at a level of learning set at your child’s ability. All new concepts are carefully explained with plenty of opportunity to practise new skills. Your role, as supervisor, is to ensure each day is well structured and to guide your children through the learning program set out for them.
7. It is a juggle to get schooling, domestic and other tasks done
As home routines are established and children adopt more responsibility for household chores so that all are able to start the school day on time, the days will begin to run smoothly. Most families are able to complete the formal academic work in four hours, which still leaves a good part of the day for creative tasks that may require less supervision from you. You will learn to multitask as your children do their music practice and drawing in the afternoon. The family may shop together, tend to the gardens or share household cleaning tasks as a team. Work on a different priority for each day.
8. Difficulties with having a few children at different ages on the program at the same time
As children become familiar with our program, they will become more independent in their learning. Older children will be able to assist younger children at times when you are busy with another child. Young children involved in the Kindergarten or ABCs program may be able to learn in a different area in the home, away from older students, whilst they listen to letter stories and songs. There are many educational learning activities that can be given to fill times when other children need close supervision. Construction toys are just one example.
9. Lack of motivation in children
You can motivate your children through your own excitement about their learning and through simply being involved. Offer encouragement and rewards for good efforts. Rewards may include family time together playing games or going on an outing.
10. Criticism by community, families
You have made the choice based on what you know is best for your children. Trust in God’s direction for your family and plan to be committed to our learning program. You and your children will enjoy the success and God will bless you as you study His Word through the lessons. Suggest they give the program some time and see if they still think the same way in one year’s time. Remember, your critics will often become your greatest supporters as they observe the benefits in your children.
11. Rebellious and questioning teenagers/children
Children may well be rebellious and questioning in whichever situation they are placed. At home you will have an opportunity to build better relationships with your children. When your children are taken away from the traditional school environment where their peers are critical of adults in general and especially of their own parents, they may learn that you are not their enemy but their protector and guide. They will regard you as their authority figure rather than some other adult or peer whose values don’t match with your family. You have opportunities to build positive, loving relationships with your children as they grow. This is God’s plan for you as parents.
12. Personality clash
Again, a personality clash may be evident in any family situation. This may well be one of the greatest challenges of the journey. Through prayer, communication and understanding, these issues can be dealt with. It is important that you spend quality time with your children after the day’s schoolwork has been done. Take this time to build relationships in a positive, enjoyable way. In extreme cases, the child who is unable to build a relationship with the supervising parent may have to be enrolled at a school, even if only for a short term, but only after a fair time trial has been undertaken. It may take 12 months to heal a relationship. Please ring the office for advice if you feel this is an issue for your family.
13. School work vs. TV, Electronic Games time
Family values and boundaries need to be established firmly. School work is a priority along with family teamwork to help with household chores. Television should be a low priority with restricted viewing such as for whole family viewing times, educational programs or the occasional approved program. Electronic games can be used as reward time when all school work and chores have been completed.
14. Children who struggle to learn
We use an individualised program where each child learns at their own level and progresses at their own rate of learning, resulting in a steady growth of confidence and independence. Some children may need closer supervision and be given more assistance when difficulties arise. Supporting staff members at ACHS are always available to help with ideas and strategies. For advanced members children with learning disabilities may obtain an Individual Education Plan, put together by the parent supervisor and the learning support teacher, which addresses the specific needs of the child and allows for modifications to the learning program.
15. Children who struggle to get into the new routine (amount of work to read)
Allow a good six months for children to adapt to the new routines. Ensure that they take their time to read information carefully and to resist the temptation to race ahead. Reduce the numbers of pages to be completed in each subject area until routines are established, particularly in the PACEs that have more reading content.
16. Children may miss social interaction when they first come out of school
Children of both sexes and all ages have differing social needs. Some will feel relief from not being subject to peer pressure. Those who miss their school friends still may be able to join social, sporting or church groups where they can meet up with their friends. A good education is the priority. True friendship will survive both distance and having less time together.
17. Having children at home all the time
Children will become more relaxed in their home environment and will be easier to manage, provided their days are well structured. Many children come home from a day at school with many pent up emotions, erupting as they walk in the door. Family time at home will become a time of enjoying one another’s company and building strong relationships as you work and take time out together.
18. A possible reduction in income when one parent chooses to give up work outside the home.
This may be an issue to be faced by some families. Often, one parent is working simply to be able to afford the costs of educating the children at school, with the added costs of uniforms, travel and extra-curricular activities. Home Education is cost effective and the values of family bonding around the Word of God cannot be measured against monetary value. So whilst doing home education has its costs; if done well, it also pays by delivering wonderful benefits to your children, yourself and to your family.
19. Making modifications to your home in order to set up a learning environment
Your home is where your family lives; it is not a showcase for others. Study areas can be set up in a kitchen or in a common living area. A marking station can be set up at a place convenient for the supervising parent. Computer usage needs to be supervised in an open area. Many families set up workstations around the kitchen table, or in a living room. Your family will soon adapt to the modifications made to the home.