Homeschooling Children from nine to twelve years of age and socialization
When homeschooling a child between the ages of nine and twelve, there is a lot of peer pressure. Keep in mind that not all children are under this pressure to be with and like their peers while distancing themselves from their parents. These pre-teens still need a lot of attention, eye contact, positive reinforcement and praise, personal communication and good interaction with their parents. Believe it or not, children this age still enjoy being read to. Continue to have a positive attitude towards learning; focus on making learning interesting and engaging. Make sure you use positive constructive criticism with as little academic pressure as possible. Focus on providing a safe, secure learning environment that promotes love, acceptance and confidence. This will, over time, increase their sense of self-worth and help them understand where their values lie.
In this fragile age of hormones, mixed emotions, changing feelings, group planning is recommended in the curriculum. Preteens prefer learning skills that have a real-life reason or purpose. For example, instead of offering language arts homework, ask your child to write a letter to a manufacturing company regarding a defective household product for you. Not only will this make the child feel important, but the learning task will be a skill much needed in real life. When learning math, use real-life examples with money and budgeting, maybe even balancing a checkbook. Use graphs and charts to set goals with money earned and savings. Reading science from a textbook is one way to learn the subject, but doing experiments or identifying specimens in nature is much more engaging. Daily and weekly chores are necessary to teach responsibility and accountability as an integral part of the family.
Remember to always model what you want to teach. Learn new topics together. Dissect a grasshopper for science, work on the family budget together, etc. Homeschooling allows parents to create a curriculum that benefits their children. Find out where your pre-teen has strengths and weaknesses and plan your curriculum around that.
Home training and socialization:
When parents talk about homeschooling their children, the most common concern is about socialization. Parents worry that their children will not learn how to adapt to social situations. Unless the homeschooling parent decides to completely isolate their children from the outside world, this is impossible. In fact, homeschooled children interact more with people of all ages, not just their own age group. The average homeschooled child attends more educational field trips during the year than the non-homeschooled child. In addition, homeschooled children have more opportunities for after-school activities such as music lessons, sports and hobbies.
Homeschoolers are equally comfortable with younger children, peers, and adults of all ages. Homeschooled children have daily social interactions with family, neighborhood, and community. Because of this, studies show that homeschooled children have higher self-esteem. Children who attend school do not experience real world situations, while homeschoolers are definitely more prepared for the real world.
The type of socialization experienced in schools is often negative. Big school settings hide conformity, teasing, bullying, challenging behavior, popularity contests and competition. No wonder homeschooled kids have higher self-esteem; children at home learn kindness, patience, sharing, respect and understanding. These homeschooled children are not exposed to peer influence, which promotes peer dependence. Peer-dependent children show reduced positive socialization, such as self-esteem, confidence, reverence for their parents, and trust in peers. Although homeschooled children may play with other children in the neighborhood and experience this dependency on peers, strong morals and values are taught at home that override these negative experiences.
Homeschooled children learn to listen to their own instincts and let them guide them in making their own decisions. Conforming to a social peer group that does not value individuality does not foster the independent thinking that is necessary for a successful life.
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