No matter which way you look at it, home schooling your child is not easy. Plenty of parents have found it a challenge. The great news is that no matter how tiring and stressful it feels right now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a way out. In this article, James Goldsmith from 11plustutorsinessex.co.uk offers us some advice.
We don’t know when that will be or how schooling may look in the future, but what we do know is that we can help you right now.
To try and make it as easy as possible for the time being, we have put together some of the best ways to support your child whilst they are at home learning.
Have a structure to your day
One of the simplest things that you can do to make your home schooling experience that little bit better is to try your best to have structure to your day. Children thrive with routine and if they know what is going to happen and roughly when it might happen, then this is going to really help them to make sense of home schooling.
You may find that your own schedule dictates some of this structure, or, if you are one of those parents receiving online lessons from a teacher, your schedule is likely to be set out for you.
Make time for fun
Another key part of home learning is to make sure that you do whatever you can to still have fun. It is all too easy to be focused on what you need to learn rather than simply being a family still. Make sure that you make time for fun. Whatever form that comes in for you. Some families will take up a new crafting hobby, whilst others may want to play out in the fresh air together. Whatever it is that works for you, make time for it.
Be realistic in what you can do
Most of us have had grand ideas on how we are going to ace home schooling, as well as working ourselves from home and taking care of our families. However, the truth is that this isn’t as easy to do as you hope.
Be realistic about what you can achieve, keep in mind how many other things you need to do and above everything else, be kind to yourself. Chances are, even with the best planning in the world, you are going to find the entire process a lot harder than you realise.
Being stuck at home is no fun and we can all end up towards being lazy rather than keeping active. It might not be as easy as normal to get outside and exercise chances are limited, but there are ways that you can be as active as possible. Think about at home workouts, play in the garden, even in the cold and try to make sure that you all get out once a day for a walk. We can promise you that you will feel so much better when you have got out in the fresh air and (hopeful) sunshine.
Follow the lead of your children
Your children probably know better than you on how they learn, which means that you should follow their lead. Let them show you what they need and how they best take information in. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, you are not a qualified teacher, let them show you how best to educate them.
Try and enjoy it
It is easier said than done, but the important thing to do is to try and enjoy your time home schooling your child. It is a chance to spend time together that you wouldn’t normally, so, whilst it is going to be focused on learning, it is still important to make each other smile as much as you can.
Think of fun things to do away from learning, or even think about fun things to do during learning time. If it makes you both smile, then it is the right thing to do. Try out experiments that you have seen online, or, get arts and crafts out and let them get messy and see what they can create.
Talk to others
There are so many other people out there feeling the same way that you are. As parents we tend to keep our feelings to ourselves, for fear of being judged, but now is a time to share. Speak to your friends who are also home schooling, chances are that they are feeling much the same way that you are.
It might be enough for you just to have someone to sound off too, but you may also find that they have ideas or approaches that you haven’t thought of and that could actually help you and your child during this difficult time. It doesn’t even have to be in a big group (although Zoom catch ups can be a lot of fun of course). Sometimes just a small get together virtually is enough to put your mind at rest.
Your child also needs to socialise still. They can’t meet up with their friends in the real world of course, but they can meet up with them virtually. So, try to set them up to do this as much as you can.
Not only will it give them a chance to see their friends, but it can also be a chance for you to take some kind of break. Even if it is just to have a cup of tea in peace.
You may not have ever wanted to home school your kids and you may not ever want to again. But the important thing to remember is that you have got through it. Sure, there have been some bumps along the way, but you did it, you survived and your kids will thank you for it. One day.