We had the opportunity this month to formally become a part of International British Academy’s homeschooling parents and kids thanks to a lengthy and well-prepared orientation by Homeschool coordinator, Ms. Emile Lastrilla.

Thank you, Ms. Emile!

I learned a lot that helped us prepare for our homeschooling journey which started this first week of August (same as IBA’s regular school year).


For those who are also interested in homeschooling, you will love these learning points and homeschool essentials from International British Academy’s Homeschool Coordinator, Ms. Emile Lastrilla which are useful when preparing yourself and your kids for homeschooling.

I was very nervous about starting our homeschooling journey but going on the orientation gave me the right mindset and determination that we will complete the school year with flying colors.


1. Create an Effective Physical Environment.

Make sure your child has a desk or work area where she can concentrate on school work when needed. Let your child decorate the space with the name of your home school and pretend play that it is an actual school that you both participate in. Have him/her name your homeschool and make a poster on the wall with it.

Like a regular school, let you child have an area for her books, pin up their most recent artwork or put up posters of the topics you will be touching on for the trimester.

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Improvements are in the works but having a dedicated space helps them concentrate.

2. Create Self Directed Learners.

Instilling in your child good study habits is one of the effective ways to succeed in homeschooling. One way to get a good head start is to get them to LOVE READING. To motivate your kids to love reading, read them a book everyday. Have some downtime from gadgets (yes, including you, mom and dad) and pick up a book to read with your child.

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3. Proper Organization and Time Management is key.

Each trimester is has defined topics listed for the week for each of the subjects. Should be easy, right?

Organizing the topics further into a time schedule can help to ensure that your child will not be left behind by her homeschooling schedule. Set a specific time of the day for “school” or study so that your child will know that it is time for studying. For us, definitely it is in the morning before I go to work and then also in the evening their dad reads to them or do quizzes with them.

Additionally, organize your study area and make sure your child has everything needed for the homeschool day – for any artwork, activities, or experiments.

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Simple tastes exercise

4. Take notice of your child’s learning style.

I never put much thought into this before but now that it was brought up, I noticed my daughter learns better through images and spatial understanding. I remember this one time she said,

Does God live above the clouds?

I just said, “yes he does that’s why we can’t see him

Then she asked me, “which part is space and which part is heaven,” (where her grandmother is) and pointed to the skies.

I said, “let’s look for the information in your books so we know, ok?

She reads alone mostly and is able to study by herself sometimes, with the nanny cam in front of her and she just tells me through the camera if she has questions.

My son on the other hand, is very physical and learns better when using objects when counting. He sings to nursery rhymes and Hi-5 songs while playing or scribbling. But…mostly he just wants to play…ALL the time. I always end up letting him enjoy his time with his matchbox cars.

Different learning styles from time4learning.com are listed below. The article says that there can be a combination of sorts, read on to check which ones suit your child best.

There are currently seven “Learning Styles“:

  • Visual (spatial): Your child prefers using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  • Aural (auditory-musical): Your child prefers using sound and music.
  • Verbal (linguistic): Your child prefers using words, both in speech and writing.
  • Physical (kinesthetic): Your child prefers using your body, hands and sense of touch.
  • Logical (mathematical): Your child prefers using logic, reasoning and systems.
  • Social (interpersonal): Your child prefers to learn in groups or with other people.
  • Solitary (intrapersonal): Your child prefers to work alone and use self-study. [1]

5. Benefits of keeping a Portfolio and What should be in it

A portfolio is a compilation of your child’s accomplishments in the past school year. Just listening about what it is, I really thought it would be so much hard work. I doubted if my daughter and I could do it. So far we have bought 1 clear folder for each of her subjects and from there, we will choose which ones will go on her portfolio.

The Who Am I front page was something she greatly enjoyed making.

6. Blooms Taxonomy as a tool for Homeschooling Parents

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Blooms Taxonomy is a tool that has been around for teachers since 1956. It describes the levels of expertise in learning and exists as a check and balance for us homeschoolers to know if our child needs to learn more about the topic.

This is something that is also similarly taught in our corporate trainer’s bootcamp, a course which I helped develop, but summarized into – Remember, Understand, Act, Share.

Here are definitions correlated to each level:

  • Remembering: Retrieving, recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from long-term memory.
  • Understanding: Constructing meaning from oral, written, and graphic messages through interpreting, exemplifying, classifying, summarizing, inferring, comparing, and explaining.
  • Applying: Carrying out or using a procedure through executing, or implementing.
  • Analyzing: Breaking material into constituent parts, determining how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose through differentiating, organizing, and attributing.
  • Evaluating: Making judgments based on criteria and standards through checking and critiquing.
  • Creating: Putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning, or producing.

(Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001, pp. 67-68)

This can be further explained in terms of a Goldilocks story which could be something you would discuss with a 4 or 6 year old:

Remember: Describe where Goldilocks lived.

Understand: Summarize what the Goldilocks story was about.

Apply: Construct a theory as to why Goldilocks went into the house.

Analyze: Differentiate between how Goldilocks reacted and how you would react in each story event.

Evaluate: Assess whether or not you think this really happened to Goldilocks.

Create: Compose a song, skit, poem, or rap to convey the Goldilocks story in a new form.

 

7. Get support

There are a multitude of online homeschoolers and facebook groups you can join to get the support you need. I browse most of them for articles on homeschooling and something there are parents who crowdsource on opinions and strategies on homeschooling. Sometimes some even giveaway robotics kits but I didn’t receive mine yet, still waiting on that.

Here are some options which I also joined:

 

8. You know what’s best for your child.

There will be people who will say that homeschooling hinders a child’s social skills and does not prepare him / her for the human interactions she will face when she is older. On the contrary, I think it opens up her mind to a LOT of opportunities and allows her to think out of the box since she is not limited to the classroom experience.

Homeschooling is illegal in Sweden,hence, homeschooling is something that I feel lucky to be able to do in my home country. This family sadly needed to go on the run because the government would take their child due to their homeschooling status.  I wish homeschool would be permitted in all countries where parents are willing to teach their own children.

It is HARD work and I salute those who have been doing it for years.

 


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References:

  1. https://www.time4learning.com/learning-styles.shtml
  2. https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/
  3. http://epltt.coe.uga.edu/index.php?title=Bloom%27s_Taxonomy
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