Homeschooling Tips to Get You Through the Rest of the Academic Year

Sharing is caring!

Roughly 5.4 million children attend private schools in the U.S., while around 50.8 million kids are currently enrolled in public schools nationwide. However, both private and public schools have now been shut down in most states due to the novel coronavirus. These closures have forced parents to take a more active role in their children’s education, with many taking over daily learning activities themselves or facilitating remote learning modules for online study.

In short, it certainly hasn’t been easy — and it isn’t over yet. Some states have already announced that summer school will not take place in the classroom, and many families are wondering whether their college-bound kids will even be able to go to their campus in the fall. But before you start worrying about that, you’ll have at least a few more weeks of classes to get through at home. Whether you’re currently taking charge of your kiddo’s schooling or you’re just trying to make sure they get the most out of their Zoom lessons, here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind.

Set Up a Separate Learning Environment

Your child may have their own desk space, but they may not have their own computer or you may not feel comfortable leaving them to their own devices in their bedroom when it’s time to hit the books. Instead, you may want to set up some kind of space where they can learn (and where you can still get work done, if you’re still employed remotely).

Whether this space includes the kitchen table, is in the family room, or is in another area of the home, it should be relatively quiet and uncluttered. According to a Cornell University study, productivity levels are highest when temperatures are around 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep that in mind when tending to your thermostat. Plenty of natural light will help, as will limiting distractions. While technology will likely play a big role in your child’s learning right now, it’s important to place limits on screen time and make sure your child can focus properly.

Have Structure, But Allow For Boredom

Routine is key for children and teenagers, especially when it comes to school. But it’s not easy to keep up with that routine when everything is topsy-turvy. By now, however, it’s likely your family has settled in a bit and has come to accept this new normal. Establishing a structure for homeschool is essential, as it needs to feel different from an extended summer vacation. You’ll want to set some ground rules and make sure that all parties agree. You may also want to emulate your child’s normal school schedule to minimize disruption.

At the same time, you’ll want to resist the urge to budget your child’s day down to the minute. Your kiddo might not normally have a lot of time to be bored when they’re actually in school, but boredom can help to foster creativity and self-discovery. And since the brain makes the most connections among its cells before your child turns 10, this can be a great opportunity for them to learn in different ways from what they’d normally experience inside the classroom. Don’t forget that it isn’t all about textbooks and quizzes; they need to use their imaginations, too. Not only will this help your child’s development, but it can actually take some of the pressure off of you to be a stand-in for their teacher all the time.

Give Everybody a Break

While sticking to a routine is important, remember that we’re all trying to be productive in the midst of a global crisis. In many ways, it’s going to prove impossible for your child to learn at the same capacity that they would in the classroom. Don’t beat yourself up for not being their teacher or for their lack of focus. This situation really is unprecedented and no one is dealing with it well.

Cut yourself some slack — and remember that everyone needs a break (or several). Spend time outside in the yard, work on a puzzle, play a family game, blow off some steam with a dance party, take a walk around the neighborhood, or encourage your kids to relax and read a book. While these activities might not be conventionally associated with education, they’ll help to teach your kids the importance of balance and self-care. Plus, they can actually provide a lot of insight about the world and about themselves — and that’s just as important.

Homeschooling your child is never going to be easy. But when it’s during a pandemic, it’s no wonder that both kids and parents are going to feel perpetually stressed out and unfocused. By setting up a learning station, establishing a structure with wiggle room, and remembering that mental and physical breaks are essential, everyone will be able to get through the rest of the school year in one piece and will be better prepared for what’s to come.

Sharing is caring!

Speak Your Mind