As homeschooling seems to stretch endlessly for many families, certainly school districts try to provide guidance and curriculum. ￼These are some tips offered by my offices to ease the course. And even make it enjoyable.￼
The success of homeschooling depends on your willingness to commit to a structure and a schedule and your willingness to be on top of it. I have families maintain a large calendar, or even whiteboard, that has all the family activities on it, to be able to see them at a single glance. This includes outdoor activities, family time, special events, social commitments, downtime (described below), class time, and, of course, homework. Homeschooling is not just about schoolwork.￼
Use available resources
- KhanAcademy.org has also added new features and functionality as a result of the pandemic, including daily learning schedules for children ages 2 to 18.
- thinkwell.com offers classes for homeschoolers taught by acclaimed professors in subjects ranging from high school and Advanced Placement mathematics and science to American Government, Economics, History and even public speaking.
- audible.com has free books for kids.
- math-drills.com has free math sheets for kids
Model the value of dealing with uncertainty.
At Embolden, we call this emotion coaching. The pandemic, so often referred to as unprecedented times, really is. Mental flexibility is a hallmark of executive functioning, and incredibly valuable as a life tool. Teaching and discussing as a family how to deal with not knowing is invaluable￼.
Change your expectations.
Things are not the same. Expecting a similar level, duration, or output of work is unrealistic. Set the kids up to enjoy the experience. Before worrying that you or your child are underperforming, remember that having and maintaining close emotional connections with kids during this time is a priority.
Free time, is an incredible stress reducer for children, and so is outdoor time. One family I know it takes a family walk most evenings of the week. Parents have told me that kids really open up to them on these outings. Another option is quiet time, an hour away everyone has to entertain themselves, whether they choose to read, play games, or even text with friends.
Encourage fun chores
Homeschooling is not just about school. I have many of the kids I work with plan a menu or recipe, make the grocery list, and make a meal for the family once a week. Other kids and teens I work with enjoy working in the garden with parents or family, or taking care of indoor plants. Start with less demanding tasks, and reinforce the importance of a family home and all its members.
Be easy on yourself. And them.
It’s important to remember that homeschooling isn’t going to be perfect. It’s a stressful time for both you and your child. Teachers, parents, and students have all noted in studies, that it can be hard, and even tiring. So if you need to put on a movie to get through the afternoon, or call it quits for the day, that’s okay.
Stretching, walking around, playing with a furry family companion, and even going outside for short breaks have all been shown to increase concentration. ￼