As a firm believer in the benefits of homeschooling, I’ve been teaching my kids from home for many years.
Most parents, however, rely on the public school system, or at least they did until recently. While homeschooling has been on the rise for a few years, it was forced upon many recently with the advance of COVID-19, which has led to most schools around the world have been forced to close.
From one parent to another, here are my top tips for homeschooling kids of all ages and abilities.
Talk To Education Providers
Even experienced homeschool parents need support from education providers, test setters and others. Reach out to the schools your children attend, their teachers and even any exam boards they may be sitting tests with, to find out what your kids need to know. They may also have resources that you can use, which will save you time creating your own.
Deal With Behavioural Issues Effectively
In these uncertain times, and with everyone cooped up at home, there are more chances of behavioural problems and temper tantrums right now, which can hamper your chances of teaching effectively. From helping you to deal with petty squabbles to handling rebellious teenagers, there are plenty of resources and groups online to help you out. These can teach you how to restore calm and create a supportive, productive homeschooling environment for your child.
Create A Structure
Routine is comforting, and it’s also important if you want your kids to study hard and absorb information. Make it clear that your children aren’t off school; they’re in school at home. Set out a dedicated study space for them and put together a timetable with lessons and break times. Having a routine and a clear boundary between home and school life will help your children to adapt quickly to this drastic change.
Make Them Get Dressed
Part of your structure needs to involve getting dressed. Your kids might not be leaving home for school, but changing from their pyjamas into a set of clothes for school will help them to separate school time from fun time. They don’t need to wear their school uniform; just a simple outfit will help, as long as it is different from what they wear to bed.
Set A Good Example
There’s no point in telling your children that they need to study and not get distracted, then getting distracted yourself, or telling them to get dressed and then not doing so yourself. They won’t respect you if they see that you’re not obeying your own rules. As such, you should set your kids a good example by behaving the way you expect them to. Children emulate their parents and look up to them, so if your kids see you working hard and being committed to your work, they will be more likely to do the same.
Homeschooling is never easy at the beginning, particularly in stressful times like these. I hope these tips help you to create a supportive, nurturing environment in which your precious children can flourish.