When homeschooling a child between the ages of nine and twelve, there is a lot of pressure from peer pressure. Keep in mind that not all children experience this pressure to be with their peers and be like them, while distancing themselves from their parents. These tweens still need a lot of attention, eye contact, positive reinforcement and praise, personal communication, and good interaction with their parents. Believe it or not, kids this age still like to be read to. Keep having positive attitudes towards learning; focus on making learning interesting and engaging. Be sure to use positive constructive criticism with as little academic pressure as possible. Focus on providing a safe and secure learning environment that encourages love, acceptance, and peace of mind. This, over time, will increase their feelings of self-worth and help them understand where their values are.
In this tender age of hormones, conflicting emotions, changing feelings, group planning is suggested in the curriculum. Tweens prefer to learn skills that have a reason or purpose in real life. For example, instead of offering intensive language arts work, ask your child to write a letter to a manufacturing company regarding a faulty household product for you. Not only would this make the child feel important, but the learning task would be a much needed skill in real life. When learning math, use real-life examples with money and budgets, perhaps even balancing a checkbook. Use charts and tables to set goals with earned money and savings. Reading about science from a textbook is one way to learn the subject, but conducting experiments or identifying specimens in the wild is much more attractive. Daily and weekly chores are necessary to learn responsibility and accountability as an integral part of the family.
Always remember to model what you want to teach. Learn new topics together. Dissect a grasshopper for science, work together on the family budget, etc. Homeschooling enables parents to design a curriculum that benefits their children. Find out where your tweens have strengths and weaknesses and plan your curriculum around that.
Homeschooling and socializing:
When parents talk about homeschooling their children, the most common concern is socialization. Parents worry that their children will not learn to adapt to social situations. Unless the homeschooling parent decides to isolate their children completely from the outside world, this is impossible. In fact, homeschooled children have more interaction with people of all ages, not just their age group. The average homeschooled child attends more field trips during the year than the non-homeschooled child. Additionally, homeschooled children have more opportunities for after-school activities, such as music lessons, sports, and hobbies.
Children who are homeschooled are equally comfortable with younger children, peers, and adults of all ages. Homeschooled children have daily social interactions with family, neighborhood, and community. Because of this, studies have shown that children who are homeschooled have higher self-esteem. Children who attend school do not experience real-world situations, while children who educate at home are definitely more prepared for the real world.
The type of socialization that occurs in schools is usually negative. Large school environments host compliance, teasing, bullying, defiant behavior, popularity contests, and competition. It’s no wonder that homeschooled children have higher self-esteem; the children at home are learning kindness, patience, sharing, respect and understanding. These homeschooled children are not exposed to peer influences that promote peer dependency. Peer-dependent children show diminished positive socialization, such as self-esteem, confidence, reverence for their parents, and trust in peers. Although children attending homeschool may play with other children in the neighborhood and experience this dependence on their peers, strong moral values and values are being taught at home that override these negative experiences.
Homeschooled children learn to listen to their own instincts and let that guide them in making their own decisions. Adjusting to a social peer group that does not value individuality does not encourage independent thinking, which is necessary for a successful life.