Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

This is a simple list of Do’s and Don’ts with respect to Home Schooling.  Neither is exhaustive by any means and I hope to add to them as comments and recommendations are submitted. 


Do give them time to play and be themsleves.
Try to give your children space and time to do what they want, not always what we want them to do. They need more of a creative environment rather than benovelent direction. Provide, as much as you can, a creative environment with lots of stuff /apparatus, but don’t be too disappointed if they don’t use any of it. For more on this, see the article “Helping your child find a career” under Home Schooling – Tips

Do let them help around the house.
Even though the young ones might not complete the task the way you would like, let them participate. Let them get a little dirty. There are disposable gloves, dust masks and sun-block. I wish they would have more kid sizes of protective wear, but we can improvise.

Do let your children interupt you from time to time.
Many times you’re doing something from which you do not want to be distracted, then up comes a young one with questions. Stop, take time, can you really not attend to her questions now? Many times it’s simple and easily dealt with, but don’t just give a hurried answer. If you have to, take a note of it and attend to it properly later.


Don’t always tell them no.
It’s easy to say no, but you shouldn’t use it just to save time or get you off the hook.

Don’t always tell them “I don’t know”If you don’t know then tell them so, but do not use it as a cop out. You should try to find out. Better yet, if it is possible let them work with you on ‘finding out’.

Don’t praise your child for every accomplishment.
It’s natural for any parent to praise a child for accomplishments or favourable actions, more of which we would like to see. It seems natural as the flip side to punishment or disapproval for things we would like to discourage. However, one must be very careful of this. This can easily turn your child into a ‘people pleaser’. I am very guilty of this. So much so that my kids now look to me and their mom for praise for almost everything. I have created ‘look at me daddy’ children. When properly examined, one can see that it is largely brought about by our own egos. This is a syndrome of which one has to be conscious and make an effort to stymie — the earlier the better. This point needs much more thorough discussion than the space available in a simple “Don’t” and I promise to write an article on it soon. In the meantime, you can do your own research. However, the material is not plentiful as this goes counter to our modern western culture. A good starting point is Naomi Aldort’s article, “Getting out of the Way” (

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3 Responses to Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

  1. chrysta-lou says:

    you know, you should say “why”.
    I get the rest, but why don’t praise them for everything?


    • chrysta-lou says:


      • admin says:

        I guess the ‘oooohhhhh…’ means you’ve read the article and understood it somewhat. Holt and other real educators also made mention of this concept and it is difficult for many to grasp and even more dificult still to implement. However, if we observe less ‘privelged’ children among us we notice that they have an advantage in certain areas over very ‘parented’ children. The most obvious are skills such as tree climbing and other adventurous activities which children do just for the joy of doing!

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