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Four Tips to Building Your Child’s Confidence

Four Tips to Building Your Child’s Confidence

It all started for me when they were babies – watching them roll over, calming their tantrums and perfecting the sounds and motions that put them to sleep. I got them this far, but teaching them to have confidence in themselves is taking more effort.

My babies have grown and have begun to question themselves and others and their own abilities. It is hard to know how to give them the confidence they need. I won’t be able to stop other kids from making fun of them and I can’t make parents demand their child play with my child. I’ve learned from experience, however, building a confident child takes a vision and a whole lot of confidence in yourself and your own abilities.

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1. Start with a vision

Building self-esteem takes a vision, seeing something nobody else can. I know building confidence takes a mama bear to see them for who they are and who they will become. The problem is we don’t always see it in the moment, we sometimes just hear the sound of our own tantrums after they’ve disappointed us with another potty accident or messy bedroom.

I’m learning even though I know my kids so well – I taught them to walk, I make their meals three times a day, and I get them to school – I can’t always get them to open up, and I won’t always know the best ways to raise them.

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2. Ignore your fears

For starters my first child has been a handful since year one, and I spent my entire summer worried he would be a handful for his kindergarten teacher. What if his dynamic personality took over the entire mood in the class? He tends to do that in our home. Despite my fears, however, my son’s teacher has told me he has done brilliantly in kindergarten. I spent my time seeing the worst instead of the best in him. As a young mom I need to put my own fears down for both of our sakes.

I realize moms can feed their fears or feed their hope. If I really focus, my intuition tells me there are great things to come for my little boy. Because of his passion and mine, I’m sure he will have our rough patches – but with a little hope, and a lot of listening, he will develop a strong sense of self and become something fantastic.

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3. Seek first to understand then be understood

The trick is the more I understand what my boy is feeling and telling me, the more he will listen and believe the things I say to him and about him.

What I learned and what I know I’ve gained under the guidance of my own mother. Growing up she believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in me. She called me beautiful and smart and always mentioned to me when she noticed I did something right or made someone else smile. She always had her eye on who I was and eventually I was able to become who she saw.

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More than being a nurturer, as a mom you’re an example. Kids watch you, and do what you do and not what you say. From the moment they roll over your kids take their lead from you. They learn to follow everything you do. I’m convinced the most important concept to building your child’s self esteem is having a strong self esteem. My mom was fearless, and I learned it from her.

4. Expect their confidence to be challenged

My babies are going to get a few hits to their confidence – sometimes more than others. Even though we know our kids so well and often over estimate them or under estimate them, they are going to take a wrong step from time to time. Have faith your children can make it through crazy hard stuff and they will stand on their own two feet someday and make you proud.

Parenting is no walk in the park, but neither is growing up. Both you and your child have to work hard at becoming who you and they want to be. With a little direction your kids will follow your lead and you’ll both have the confidence you’ve always wanted.

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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