Once again, parents are finding themselves having to homeschool yet again – as if it wasn’t tough enough the first time! This time around, the novelty has well and truly worn off – for both parents the children. We were lulled into a false sense of security when school’s started again in September, and I don’t know about you, I had never been so happy to send my boys back. There was also a definite newfound admiration for teachers – how they have the patience to teach, I’ll never know.
So here we are, homeschooling 2.0, and if that wasn’t it enough, we are also trying to juggle working from home too, and that makes homeschooling even harder.
Here are some top tips on how you can handle homeschooling again.
Make sure you have the right equipment
Pencils, rulers, sharpeners and rubbers. Ensure you have all your stationery in a pencil case so it can be easily accessed throughout the day. As lots of home learning is accessed online, you will also need access to a computer and/or tablet and a printer to print out work for your kids to do.
At the moment, we have three laptops, one each for my husband and me to work and one for E as he is old enough to work independently by himself. We realised just this first week back at homeschool that now M is in Juniors, more of his work is online-based, so he will need his own laptop too as we have struggled with him working successfully on his tablet.
If you are also looking for a new laptop, keep an eye out for laptop sale where you can get a good deal on a range of different models.
Make sure you have enough ink for your printer, reams of paper for printing. I also kept back used cardboard boxes, and it came in very handy when doing any Art & Craft projects.
Have a designated learning space
A designated space for learning is really important. There must be enough room for your child to work comfortably and be able to access what they need easily. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have their own desk – the dining room table will work. In fact, our family of four all work from our dining room table and during school and work hours that is our designated workspace. Don’t be afraid to change it up too – learning doesn’t just have to be restricted to being indoors; there are some outdoor educational activities you can do too.
Set a schedule
Having some sort of schedule in place means your child will know what is expected of them and when. The schedule doesn’t mean you have to do everything at a set time, more the fact that they know what is coming up next.
For example, the home school day could look like this (similar to a school day):
- Lesson 1
- Break time
- Lesson 2
- Lesson 3
- Break time
- Lesson 4
- End of school
We don’t start the school day around 10am over here. My boys do around an hour and a half of work before getting a 20-minute break.
Learn at their pace
Although the school will be setting work if your child is struggling with the amount that is coming through try not to let it overwhelm them and let them learn at their own pace.
I have found that mine work better in the morning, so we do the harder topics which require more concentration first. We tend to leave the easier activities such as Art and Science to the latter part of the day wheres less concentration is required.
Have regular breaks
Regular breaks are essential. Kids attention span only last for so long so remember to let them have regular breaks away from their desk.
While it may be a bit of a challenge to keep them active, especially during the winter months, it’s imperative to keep them active. Fresh air and exercise do wonders for your mental health and wellbeing.
Go for a walk, or let them have a runaround or a kickabout in the garden. If you don’t fancy heading out in the cold, you can always do some workout videos online. Joe Wicks has announced that PE with Joe will be back again and there is also Cosmic Kids Yoga and a wealth of other online workouts to choose from.
Give them something to look forward to
Staying focused on their learning without their teacher and school friends can be tough. Don’t forget to encourage them and praise when they have done good work. You can also give them rewards such as screen time or treats to look forward to at the end of the school day.
Let them socialise with friends
Not physically seeing their friends can affect your child’s wellbeing. Allow them to socialise with their friends via video calls and/or online gaming. It may not be ideal, but it’s the next best thing from seeing them in person.
Try not to stress
Above all – try not to stress. We are not teachers, and we are all just trying to muddle through as best we can.
You are doing your best, and if you need to have an emergency Inset day because your kids a too tired and just aren’t engaging in schoolwork, that’s totally ok. They will also be finding it hard going back to homeschooling again, having been at school since September.
I hope you have found these tips useful – what tips do you have to share?