During the pandemic, tips for homeschooling really are gold dust. For those struggling with juggling remote working with homeschooling (again), these 10 tips should help…
As a parent, you want your child to get the absolute best education possible. Without this, the chances of them securing a bright future are certainly lessened, especially with the rising prominence of academia when applying for jobs everywhere.
Education Law in the UK and the US protects children from mistreatment within the school system, giving them the best possible chance at educational success. That said, the same can’t be said for homeschooling, which doesn’t quite transcribe to the standards of institutionalized education.
With this in mind, during a time where homeschooling is quickly becoming the norm, how can you ensure your kids still get the best education possible? Especially with your many responsibilities on top of this, namely making a living, it’s certainly not an easy feat. These 10 top tips for homeschooling whilst working from home should help you to get it right…
1. DON’T TRY AND REPLICATE THE SCHOOL DAY
First and foremost, it’s important that you don’t attempt to replicate the school day as it would normally take shape. Homeschooling doesn’t take as long as normal schooling. What’s more, this sort of timetable creates almost impossible expectations which simply won’t be achievable.
Don’t just stick to the usual 8 til 3.30 day; why not try working during the day and homeschooling in the evening? Do what you find works best for you.
Additionally, don’t simply prioritize contact teaching, as well as academic subjects. Your child can learn just as much through independent learning, virtual learning, and chores, which we’ll talk about a little more later. Don’t underestimate the importance of these life lessons within your curriculum.
2. SET A SCHEDULE
Although there’s no way you can replicate the school day to a tee, that doesn’t mean that you can’t set a schedule up to make things more organized. To do this, you need to decide on a homeschooling model, and come up with a program that fits you all.
This really helps to create some sort of method from the madness. It means a set wake-up time, set times for work and play, and will help both you and the children with feeling productive and in control.
Remember, as we’ve mentioned, your day doesn’t have to fit with the usual timings of school. Do what works for you and your family best.
3. LET INDEPENDENT LEARNING TAKE THE FOREFRONT
If you’re working from home at the same time as homeschooling, there will be almost no time in the day to fit it all in. Because of this, don’t underestimate the power of independent learning. This could come in the form of:
- Arts and crafts
- Letting them decide what they want to do
Even though you might be scared to give your children this sort of flexibility, you might be surprised by what they come up with. They might choose a history book from the bookcase to get absorbed into, or a board game to play together that has an element of brain work. Some days, you’ve just got to let loose and trust them.
4. DON’T SHY AWAY FROM ONLINE RESOURCES
Although you might have this image of yourself being a very hands-on teacher, you also have to bring home the bacon. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to rely on online resources for help to give you a breather.
These days, there are so many virtual learning tools, be it videos, worksheets, or educational games. They may even be better at teaching your kids than you are, so don’t underestimate these options.
5. REMEMBER: HOUSEWORK IS HOMEWORK
As we’ve seen, homeschooling takes on a different guise than the usual schooling process. Instead, it’s more about life lessons, and what better life lesson is there than responsibility?
Whilst juggling work and homeschooling, you’ll no doubt have little time for housework. With this in mind, why not get your kids more involved in the household tasks to help them grow, and to help you out along the way? Whether it be cooking, cleaning, gardening, or the like, it can all be part of your own curriculum.
6. SHARE RESPONSIBILITES WITH YOUR PARENT FRIENDS
One great way to kill two birds with one stone is to rely on other parents for support throughout this time. With everything being virtual these days, setting up virtual teaching sessions with your parent friends could be a great idea. Each of you could take a couple of days of the week, or a slot within each day, to be the “teacher” for your chosen subjects.
Not only does this give each of you the chance to run errands or work remotely during this time, it also means you can share the burden. What’s more, you can get the most out of each of your individual skills. No doubt one of you will be an English whizz, and another a maths genius; work to your strengths to create the most effective learning plan for everyone.
Ultimately, this will help each of you to feel a lot less alone throughout all this. It’ll also feel less like you’re failing your children, as you’re in it with other parents. It’ll be a win-win for everyone.
7. SCHEDULE IN PLAY TIME
Your schedule doesn’t have to be just work, work, work; there should also be designated time in there for the kids to play. This gives them something to look forward to, and gives you a moment in the day to be productive yourself.
There’s also nothing to say that this “play” can’t be educational. You could crack out the arts and crafts, a board game, or even sit them down in front of some build-your-own lego. All of this has benefits for developing a child’s brain, and helping them decide where their interests lie.
8. ADOPT A REWARD SYSTEM
There’s no doubt that, through it all, a little bribery here or there will certainly have to come into play. There will be days where the kids just don’t want to cooperate, so you could implement a rewards system to help with this. Some ideas for incentives could include:
Two hours of solid work for half an hour of TV
Whoever works the hardest gets to choose dinner
A sweet for every correct answer
50 pence for every worksheet completed
Whatever you choose, providing this sort of incentive is sure to keep the stakes high, and allow you to get on with your work along the way. You gotta do what you gotta do!
9. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR EMPLOYER
COVID-19 has shown us all that it’s entirely possible to get your job done to a great standard at home. It’s also shown us that everyone works in different ways, and the usual 9 ‘til 5 working day might not be for all.
With this in mind, don’t hesitate to communicate to your employer about your needs during this crazy time. Flexible working is becoming more and more part of the average working world, and if this will allow you to do your job better, why not!
10. DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOU OR YOUR KIDS
Finally, it’s so important that you’re not too hard on yourself or your kids. This is such a troubling time for everyone, and is something no families have ever had to go through.
With this in mind, if you have a day where the kids simply won’t co-operate and you have to sit them in front of the TV for your sanity, do it. It’s these little breaks that may help you all cope in the long-run. Simply pick yourself back up the next day, dust yourself off, and keep trying.
Did You Find These Tips for Homeschooling Whilst Working from Home Useful?
There’s no doubt that homeschooling whilst working from home will be tough; maybe even the toughest thing you’ve ever had to do. That said, these 10 tips should hopefully help you to overcome the challenges ahead. We wish you luck for the future of homeschooling your kids.