Amber Marchese has long made her children a priority in her life. Now she’s offering advice to other parents who are considering pulling their children from school in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns. Following are some tips from Amber Marchese that can help newbie homeschoolers get off to a good start.
Dispel the Fears
Parents worried about the implications of educating their own children will find that careful research will dispel their fears. There are plenty of resources online that explain how to get started, where to find resources, how to keep records, how to help children socialize, how to make it possible for homeschooled teens to get into college or university, etc.
Know the Laws
New Jersey, Amber Marchese’s home state, has some of the least restrictive homeschooling laws in the nation. All a parent has to do is formally withdraw a child from school (if enrolled), purchase suitable homeschooling materials for their child, and get started. However, other states have more stringent requirements. In some cases, homeschools are regulated like private schools; in other cases, parents must ensure that certain subjects are taught. Many states require parents to have a GED or high school diploma in order to teach their own children.
Choose a Homeschool Method
“Box curriculum” sets are ideal for first-time homeschoolers, as they cover everything a child should learn for his or her grade. They include quizzes, tests, answer keys, and other resources to guarantee a child is getting a good education. These curriculum sets are made by both religious and secular firms, making it easy for homeschool parents to find a company that’s in line with their beliefs.
However, one big downside of using a full curriculum is that parents can’t adapt the education to suit a child’s needs and interests. What’s more, some full curriculum options are quite pricey, putting them out of reach of families with a limited homeschool budget. That’s why many homeschool parents opt for a “mix and match” approach, purchasing books and workbooks from various sources to provide their children with an education in line with his or her learning abilities, talents, and interests.
Amber Marchese, as a Christian mother, naturally prefers a Christian education to a secular one. However, the former RHONJ star does not endorse any one company. There are plenty of great homeschool resources available and it’s up to parents to consider homeschooling styles and options and pick the formula and resources that are the best fit for their family.
Local homeschool groups offer support, advice, and assistance. Some also provide co-ops and extracurricular classes. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, homeschool groups also offered group excursions and outings for homeschool families to get to know each other, and these outings will likely resume once the pandemic passes.
Check out potential homeschool groups carefully before joining. Some are religious while others are secular. Religious groups may have a dress code and other rules in place that parents and children alike will need to follow in order to join in on group activities. Secular groups, on the other hand, may not allow religious parents such as Amber Marchese to offer Christian classes and events on their social media sites.
A big mistake many homeschool parents make is to lock their children into a strict schedule. While it’s important to ensure homeschool children are getting a good education, it’s equally important to ensure that they are given an education that meets their specific needs. Some children finish their workbooks early and may benefit from additional activities; others may need to spend more time on a specific subject to master a particular skill. Family changes such as a move, the birth of a new baby, or job changes may require adaptation. Parents will need to be flexible, learn as they go, and enjoy teaching their children rather than putting a premium on adhering to a particular homeschool schedule or method.
Keep Tabs on Progress
Periodic tests and quizzes help parents keep tabs on a child’s progress. Parents can either use the tests that come with the curriculum set or make their own. These tests, along with attendance records, should be kept for future reference and to provide evidence that a child is getting a good education at home.
Enjoy the Closeness
Homeschooling naturally brings families closer by enabling parents to bond with their children and helping children bond with their siblings. As parents spend time educating their children, they will learn a lot about children’s likes, dislikes, learning styles, dreams, and aspirations. Children will get used to having parents around and will be less likely to push them away as they enter adolescence. Siblings will become close friends as they enjoy engaging in educational activities together.
Amber Marchese, as a versatile mother and businesswoman, has learned a lot about providing children with a top-quality education. Her advice on homeschooling for the first time is sure to be appreciated by parents who are deciding if home learning is the best option for their kids in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdown. Amber Marchese ’s insight into what can be an extremely fulfilling educational option for parents and kids alike isn’t the be-all and end-all; rather, it’s a starting place for parents to get to know what homeschool entails so they can decide if they want to embrace it and if so, get started on the right foot.