Even if you're perfectly fine with your kids' schools, it still pays to do your research on homeschooling, especially in the event of a short- or long-term disaster where you will have to lend a hand when it comes to their education. (h/t to TheOrganicPrepper.com)
5 Tips for parents interested in homeschooling
Every parent homeschools at some point in their lives.
A parent who's expressed concern for the education of their children will often homeschool them, even if they're not aware of it. Showing your support for your kids' hobbies and interests and allowing the whole family to take part in various homesteading tasks is also part of "life schooling." When you prep, you have the chance to integrate everyone's skills to personalize a learning experience that can benefit the group.
Pay attention to each child's interests so you can determine a teaching method that will suit their learning style. This will also empower your child since they can contribute to the family's preparedness efforts as they learn. (Related: Seven undeniable reasons to homeschool your children.)
There’s no "right" way to homeschool.
Since every child is unique, you will find that there isn't a single method that works for all students. Here are some homeschooling methods to consider:
Classical/Trivium method – This method focuses on the great books of Western civilization. Children taught using the classical method learn logic and critical thinking skills along with classical languages like Latin.
Delight-directed learning/unschooling – This method is suitable for homesteaders because it can let children pursue individual interests while maintaining the routines of daily life.
The eclectic method – This lets parents decide between a variety of educational trips and resources so each subject can be taught based on a child's preferred learning style.
The Principle Approach – This is suited for preppers interested in a Biblically-based method that "focuses on the divine hand of God in American history."
Traditional textbook method – This involves a pre-packaged curriculum for every child.
Unit studies – This method allows the whole family to study all subjects by focusing on a certain "topic, theme, or book/series." Unit studies can last for only several weeks or an entire school year.
Waldorf (or Waldorf-inspired) programs – This method is inspired by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, who proposed that Steiner schools balance artistic, practical and intellectual teaching. Steiner also emphasized the shaping of children's social skills and spiritual values. Prepper families who aren't keen on giving formal lessons at a young age and those who forego modern devices should take a look at Waldorf resources.
You can check the local library for more information about educational methods specific to homeschooling and even those used in all types of schools. You can also join lectures and visit booths at a local homeschooling convention to learn about the methods listed here.
Review local laws.
Double-check the laws in your area. While homeschooling is legal in both the U.S. and Canada, if you live outside of North America homeschooling may not be legal in your country.
Prepper parents can still use homeschooling methods after a long-term disaster.
Even if you prefer a classroom-based learning for your child, you might need to continue their education yourself if SHTF. Here are some tips to get you started:
Electronic devices are useful, but physical books don't require batteries. Don't forget to get print copies of various reference books and classic literature for the whole family.
When stocking emergency supplies, include dictionaries (for grade schoolers up to collegiate learners), a non-electronic math program, and a lot of paper and pencils.
Consult with your kids' teachers to get updates on their education. If SHTF, you'll know where to pick up.
Homeschooling can help supplement classroom-based education.
Here are some tips for prepper parents who want to use homeschooling as supplementation for conventional education:
Community events, day camps, and museum outreach programs can benefit homeschooled children. These events can help your children learn more about their own interests.
Entertainment can be educational. Watch interesting documentaries together during family movie night. You can also gather everyone to watch a fictional show then talk about the right or wrong things the characters did during survival scenarios. "Edutainment," or educational entertainment, can also benefit homeschooled children.
Homeschool lessons don't take the same amount of time as classroom lessons do. School teachers have other tasks, while you can focus on each child at home.
Homeschooling doesn't have to be done for eight hours daily. You can personalize each "class" at home. Think of how their chores on your homestead can be considered as part of their subjects, like animal care for occupational education and counting/gathering eggs or produce and using them in recipes for math.
Kids can learn various skills from folk school classes, historical reenactments, and wilderness camps. Preparedness fairs and homesteading festivals have different classes, lectures, and even vendors who can talk to your children about their expertise. Whole families can also attend to discover different learning opportunities.
Remember, you don’t have to homeschool full time to enrich your children's education. Take advantage of various resources to find fun learning opportunities for the whole family.