We’re living in wild times, friends! For most of us, that means we’re having to postpone regularly-scheduled life until further notice. It also means that many parents will be responsible for overseeing their kids’ online learning for the foreseeable future.
If you’ve ever tried to help your kid with their homework, you may be legitimately terrified by the idea of days on end of at-home schooling. But here’s the deal—you can do it. You really can! And maybe, just maybe, you can enjoy some of it, too.
Here are a few quick tips on how to make the most of your at-home learning experience. (Special thanks to homeschool mama Maggie Adams for sharing these incredibly practical and helpful tips with us.)
1. Create a schedule . . . but hang on to it loosely
Even if all you do is set aside a few hours a day within which schoolwork needs to be completed (for example, 9am – 2pm), it gives your kids context for the rhythm of the day and also gives them a finish line to work toward.
2. Set up your classroom
You don’t need a desk or a whiteboard, but designating a chair in the dining room or cushion on the family-room couch for all school work will give everyone accountability and structure.
Stock the spot with the essentials—pencils, laptop, charger, paper, water. The fewer excuses they have to get up to “look for their special eraser,” the less distracted they’ll be.
3. Use your kid’s currency
Motivation is key. At school, the risks and rewards of whether or not your kid completes work are made clear from day one. The same should be true for your new at-home routine.
Can they earn extra screen time? Lose screen time? Figure out what makes your kid tick and leverage it to keep them on-task.
4. Be aware of your kid’s learning style
Let’s say that you’re a naturally introverted person who learns best in isolation and your kid is an outgoing extrovert who learns best in groups—if you try to teach them the way you learn best, you’re both going to end up frustrated.
Keep in mind that every kid learns differently, and your first approach may not be the best approach. If you find yourself having trouble engaging your kid, try different methods of helping them connect with the curriculum.
(For example, reading aloud as they follow along versus having them read lengthy texts on their own.)
5. Don’t be afraid to fail
If you’re doing something and it’s not working out the way you hoped, try something new. Be open with your kids what the challenges are and let them chime in on what they want the day to look like.
Be on the same page about the overall end-goal, but be open to changing your approach in how you get there.
6. Be there for your kids
What your kids really need most right now is you. Your presence. Your steadiness. And your love.
Oh, and one homeschool silver-lining? You get to stay in your pajamas all day if you want!
We understand that these are uncertain times—even more uncertain than “normal.” If you’re battling anxiety or stress, you’re not alone. And here’s an article that might help.