The end of the calendar year marks the middle of a school year and for many this is a time to explore school options. Many parents are making decisions for after the holiday break or even for the next academic year. Today, we are exploring the homeschooling option and you may be surprised to find that it might be the right fit for you and your family.
Today’s guest is Mel Nichols, an educator who is passionate about one-on-one instruction and has chosen the homeschool option for her own child. In the conversation today, Mel breaks down what homeschooling actually is and why there are so many misconceptions about it. She also lists some of the many advantages it has to offer with the main ones being flexibility and time.
Don’t let the word homeschool scare you. Mel shares the resources available that support families and how this non-traditional option might be exactly what your child needs.
[2:20] – The end of December means that some parents are taking a look at their child’s progress and making decisions for the rest of the year or for next school year.
[3:57] – Homeschooling can take many different forms and works differently for every family.
[5:35] – There are many advantages to homeschooling, but it isn’t the right fit for everyone.
[7:08] – Mel says that the main advantage is time.
[8:42] – Homeschooled students do not have to adhere to a school calendar.
[10:37] – Social emotional skill development is a concern some families have when making the decision to homeschool.
[12:01] – Every state has a homeschool association and some cities have homeschool groups. If there isn’t one, you can create one.
[13:37] – When a child is at home, parents can build a sense of what they need.
[15:09] – Some families also choose to travel as part of their curriculum, but you can also explore the community around you.
[16:26] – There are many opportunities that you can choose for your child to do.
[17:56] – We need to rethink and redefine what homeschooling actually is.
[19:37] – As you homeschool, you can adapt and make changes to each day.
[20:54] – Homeschooling also allows students to make their own choices and learn what works for themselves.
[22:17] – Mel describes the things that Pacific Preparatory offers to homeschool families.
[24:28] – Homeschool could be the answer to a child’s struggle in school. Mel has some tips on taking a moment before structuring your homeschool routine.
[25:53] – Talk to other homeschool families and find people for support.
[27:01] – You can reach out to Pacific Preparatory and Tutor Corps to ask questions and gain some guidance on making the decision to homeschool.
About Our Guest:
Mel Nichols has worked in the 1:1 education space through Pacific Preparatory and Tutor Corps since 2015, overseeing the work of the leadership team and managing the organization as Chief Operating Officer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education from Western Michigan University, a Single Subject Teaching Credential in English Language Arts, and a minor in political science. Prior to joining the Tutor Corps & Pacific Prep team, Mel taught middle school in Sacramento through the Teach For America program and with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) in San Francisco. She has also served as an Instructional Coach through Breakthrough Collaborative’s summer programming at San Francisco University High School where she supported aspiring teachers. As an absolute 1:1 education enthusiast, Mel is currently beginning a journey into home education with her oldest daughter, who is five-years-old. Outside of her professional work, Mel enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and dabbling in real estate investing.
Connect with Mel:
Links and Related Resources:
- Episode 85: How a Personalized, Differentiated Curriculum Helps Students with Erika Sneath
- Episode 17: How Micro Schools Use an Innovative and Personalized Approach to Help Students Thrive with Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy
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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.