I look at efficiency from two perspectives: that of my child and that of me as the parent. I begin with looking at how much time each of us has in order to prioritize where we invest our energy and resources.
For parents who have limited time, I encourage teacher-directed courses, because they provide maximum resources and support, which parents who have limited time often need. Other options for maximizing parent efficiency are courses taught:
- on DVD, or
- interactively on the computer.
One danger with resources that do most of the teaching without my input or supervision is that I am not always involved enough in observing how things are going for my child. This can leave my child feeling that I don’t care, which can result in them not investing much effort either.
For a student, often the best instruction is given by the parent right there in front of them. When I work one-on-one with my child, I quickly realize what is and what is not working and make adaptations accordingly. A parent-efficient resource such as a pre-recorded DVD course is not as flexible or responsive to my child and this results in my child experiencing lower levels of efficiency. Therefore I find it valuable to balance my efficiency with my child’s efficiency.
I have found that often, resources developed for classroom use are not as efficient as those developed specifically for use in the home. Classrooms have other factors to consider, such as trying to manage many ability levels and interests in the same course. A classroom teacher is not able to only focus on one child when making decisions and so classroom resources are designed to help teachers manage a greater diversity. Teachers also have no option to shorten the day and therefore need to keep their children busy for set periods of time. This usually is not the case in a homeschool environment.
I like to get the biggest bang for my buck and have found resources developed for homeschooling, especially those with a lot of positive reviews from parents with similar goals to mine, to be the most effective. For this reason, I encourage families to take up to a week of full-time research to find products and methods they feel will be the most efficient and effective for them. Including children in this process, to whatever degree they are able depending on age and interest, can also increase their investment in homeschooling success.
ADLC now has complete end-to-end solutions for homeschooling families, whether you are looking for teacher-directed or parent-directed, a blend of these two, or even a blend with local schools teaching some of the subjects. We also have custom solutions for families with unique needs or situations.
We develop quality curriculum-based resources for use in homeschool situations. This gives parents an advantage, knowing their children are learning the same content that students in traditional schools are learning. These resources also include teacher support, which provides external feedback for families.
Our Homeschool Supports allow families to choose alternative resources which may be more suitable for their situation. ADLC also has a Personalized Learning Program, designed for students who don’t fit well into ADLC courses, such as those who require accommodations or have unique learning styles.
The Personalized Learning Program is teacher-directed but begins with a lengthy discussion between the ADLC teacher and the family. At the end of these discussions, the teacher presents resource options to parents in keeping with their goals and needs. Families send in work for marking and this provides constant external feedback on how the child is progressing.
One of the things I find enjoyable at ADLC is providing advice to families. I certainly have a lot to learn but do enjoy helping where I can. ADLC is not a homeschool board and as such requires families to register with another school prior to registering with ADLC. Therefore, we partner with many schools across the province and I feel this helps us provide a broader perspective on options for parents. So if you are considering homeschooling or would like to make changes in the way you homeschool, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.