In many homeschools, parents decide upon a curriculum of study and then assign work to their students. In these homes, parents take on the role of Teacher, Principal, Curriculum Designer or some combination of the three.
In other homes, however, the students choose what to learn and do. What, then, is the parent’s role when guiding self-directed learners?
The answer is — facilitate.
In homes where parents are partners in learning, I call these parents Facilitators. In homeschools where students take the lead, parents as Facilitators have a different job than that of instructing students and dictating projects.
Facilitators of learning may —
- Connect students to resources — by listening to students, performing research, and then by introducing products, web sites, people and places that could be useful to a child’s studies
- Introduce ideas, reframe concepts — that result in adding a different perspective or another dimension to the learning
- Encourage and support — by listening, acting as sounding board or brainstorming; by providing transportation, procuring materials, participating in discussions, guiding instruction, or any other way that might be needed
- Help to track learning — alone or in partnership with students, to document experiences and monitor that learning has taken place
Do not be concerned if your role as homeschooling parent differs from the role of other parents you meet. Individual differences and state laws, combined with the educational model you have adopted in your home will dictate your duties and responsibilities. There are many hybrids and variations of homeschooling. What matters most is that your student receives what he or she needs to be successful, whatever that may be.
[Image: Free Digital]