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Homeschool Fact:
An estimated 2,340,000 K-12 children were home educated in the U.S. during 2009-2010.

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Switching Roles from Parent to Teacher

I want to homeschool but Iâ??m not sure my children will do what I say. How do I get them to listen to me as the teacher?

When you begin to homeschool, you do not abandon your role and relationship with your children as mother, you are now the homeschooling team captain. Homeschooling actually is a way to strengthen and reinforce your relationships with you children. Most of the active homeschooling is done by mom, so mom must make sure her children understand what a good homeschooling day looks like. It is better to start with a few specifics that you can supervise, than to start with an elaborate schedule that you cannot keep track of. Several things done well to start are better than an entire day's plans not followed through on. Start simple - reading and math, and add to that.

Each child can be asked to assist with some chores and expected to answer questions respectfully. Compliance with these requirements should be appreciated. In school, appreciation is shown with stickers and points. At home, more natural rewards can be used, such as extra free time or a special time with mom. Failure to comply should not be overlooked. Make sure your children understand what you want them to change. School routines should be practiced so that they can become a matter of course, rather than a debate. Some people feel more routines are needed than others, so find out what your comfort level in this area is. Start with these basics and add as you see success. A day spent on improving attitude and compliance to requests is a good day of homeschooling. Many educational goals are not obtained because of character issues, so don't think that these are secondary to academics.

Dad most often is not the one to work with the children on a daily basis, but his oversight and support makes a huge impact on the way the children respond to mom. Dad's interest in what has been done on a daily basis (not quizzing or grilling the children but listening to them share or asking questions or looking at work) lets the children know that dad is aware of how things go during the homeschooling day. Let the children know as well that dad's ideas are important to you and that as a team you will try to see that they are implemented.

If you are having adjustment issues with your children, such as lack of compliance, seek out the advice of other homeschoolers. Try to find a family that looks happy and similar to yours in beliefs and talk to that mom. If you ask for advice from a mother in a totally different type of family than yours, you may find yourself with unattainable goals and ultimately being discouraged.

Remember that homeschoolers are a team. The sooner you can get that idea across to your children, the better for everyone. Just like in a company, when the business runs well and there are profits, everyone benefits with raises and vacations. Find goals that the family can work towards for rewards and emphasize that everyone's efforts make a difference - either to help or to hinder. Tackle any attitudinal problems by understanding that the children will take their cue from you - give them a path to follow that will lead them to success!

Homeschool girl reading