Principal or Teacher in Homeschooling?
I know that many homeschoolers say that one parent is the primary teacher and one is the principal in their homeschool. That’s what we did too, but how does that play out besides in word only? I found it to be very helpful to think this through and come up with an action plan.
During the summer, our “teaching staff” decided on daily “school hours” for the academic year. Typically this was 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. for us. Basically these were the hours that the teacher was available to …well, to teach and supervise learning. (Side note: Our students could start their schoolwork earlier if they wanted to.) Most the time the assignments could easily be accomplished in fewer hours, but distractions, laziness, complaining, etc., might drag out the school day. Unless there was a specific academic reason, such as a field trip, or a prolonged science experiment, the teacher was “off the clock” at 3:00 pm.
Now, before you think this is harsh, here’s what happened. As the children grew older, this helped them understand that their schoolwork was their responsibility, not mine. Obviously I had a huge role, but part of my role was to help them learn self-discipline. And, if they could not ordinarily achieve that by 3:00 pm, then the principal was called.
It did not necessarily mean punishment, of course, but it did often mean re-assessment. The “principal” could help determine if too much work was being assigned, if the student truly was being lazy, if the student needed to release some pent-up energy, or if he simply didn’t understand the assignment. In any case, he worked with the student and helped with “homework.” Please hear me…the teacher did not help with homework unless the principal was out of town.
Can I insert some smiley faces here? 🙂 🙂 🙂 This was almost life-changing for me as a homeschooling teacher, once we put this into play. I’d love to hear your ideas too!