Lisa Collum is an author, educator, and mother of four on a mission to empower parents to give their children the education they deserve. We recently sat down with her to answer some pressing homeschooling questions we had.
SFBAM: What are the major factors parents should consider when choosing homeschooling?
LISA: When parents are thinking about homeschooling, there are a few things to think about. First, they should consider their schedule and flexibility. Homeschooling a child takes time each day and requires a minimum of 2-3 hours to dedicate to teaching the child(ren). It is important for parents to consider their work schedule and availability to dedicate that time throughout the day. Another important factor to think about is the remaining hours of the day. Most students who homeschool can complete their work in a short amount of time each day. It is important to make sure the child is not just sitting around watching TV the rest of the day. If a student does schoolwork from 8am-12pm, think about what they will do from 12pm-5pm. It is important the kids have extracurricular activities and things to do. The last major factor is to think about what is best for the family and the child. Parents should make sure it is possible to keep the commitment to teaching their child every single day and make sure this is something that benefits the child. Every child learns differently. Some students like working individually, while others thrive working in small groups.
SFBAM: Are those factors the same or different during the pandemic?
LISA: All of these factors are the same during the pandemic, but it is important for parents not to rush to make decisions because of the pandemic. Think through each of the factors and make sure homeschooling is the right decision for your family.
SFBAM: How can parents balance working at home and homeschooling? Which is very different from balancing working from home and distance learning.
LISA: It is important for parents to ensure they have a dedicated time frame each day to commit to homeschooling their child. Make sure that time each day is completely blocked out for teaching the child. Unlike virtual learning, parents are the main teachers when homeschooling. Work hours should be set before or after school hours. With older kids, parents can assign more independent activities and self-checklists that students can use to make sure they are completing all of their assignments each day. However, younger students will need their homeschool parent for most of their school time to assist them and teach them.
SFBAM: What does successful homeschooling look like? What will set you and your child up for success?
LISA: Successful homeschooling is when your child is learning each day and enjoying it. It is not all about work and grades. Learning can take place in many different ways. Homeschooling should include all subject areas and adapt teaching styles to the way your child learns best. Success always comes from routines and a schedule. It is important to make sure your child has both of these each day to stay on track. Knowing what to expect each day will set children up for success when homeschooling.
SFBAM: What else would you like parents to consider when thinking about homeschooling?
LISA: Homeschooling can be a wonderful learning experience for kids. Make sure you have planned accordingly and are ready to begin, especially for kids that are leaving a school to homeschool. They are used to the structure of each day of school. Parents should be sure to have dedicated school hours each day, a dedicated area for schoolwork, supplies, curriculum, and games and activities to make learning fun!
Lisa Collum is is the owner and operator of Coastal Middle and High School and the creator of Top Score Writing, Inc.–the ONE and ONLY writing curriculum for grades 2-12 specifically designed to prepare students for the state writing assessment. She has been featured in MSN, HuffPost, Daily Mail, Parents Magazine, The List and local news stations across the country.