A lot of parents who are already busy managing their household and work are facing a new challenge – homeschooling the kids.
I thought teaching kids at home is going to be easy because everything is searchable online. There is a decent Internet and a printer. Plus, there’s no shortage of resources and homeschooling providers. So, what could go wrong, right?
As soon as you begin the lessons, you realize how challenging it could get. Quite frankly, most parents have a lot on their plate already while some couldn’t rely on their patience to carry out a lesson.
Apart from the obvious savings and safety benefits, I realized homeschooling my child gives the chance to create lessons that match her interests. At four she’s enjoying necessary coding activities in Scratch, she’s gaining the confidence to learn how to play the ukulele and more. And that’s on top of her regular reading and math drills.
It sounds a lot for a four-year-old, I know!
But there are ways to introduce these lessons gradually without overwhelming you and your kid.
Looking for more homeschooling tips and inspirations?
Have a consistent homeschool routine
Back when physical schools were still open following a daily routine was a lot easier. Wake up at 6 am to get your kid ready for her morning class and then drive her to school. But with homeschooling, suddenly, it feels like you can start the lessons at whatever time you like depending on everyone’s mood. However, when we had an inconsistent schedule, my kid was less enthusiastic to begin her lessons because she felt her playtime wasn’t enough. Now that she has a fixed study schedule, she has become more focused on finishing her lessons on time. I guess it motivates her because she knows playtime comes after every study time.
Get inspiration from free online resources
I read somewhere that free online resources are a great way to jumpstart your homeschooling. And it’s true! After a few weeks of trying free resources, I got ideas on what my kid should be learning at her age. It made the homeschooling process much more comfortable. All I have to do is choose a topic for a week’s worth of lessons. My top favorites are Greatschools.org, Twinkl.co.uk and BrainPop.com
Setup different areas for learning in your home
I have this habit of keeping things new and exciting for my kid. We would visit different zoos, playgrounds, bookstores and malls to keep her engaged. But with the lockdowns and travel restrictions for people 21 years old and younger kids could quickly get bored. So, instead of having one area for arts and crafts, worksheets and reading time, we have small nooks at home dedicated for specific activities. She uses her small red table in our bedroom for study time and another table in the living room for computer lessons.
Relax your screen time rules
Being cooped up at home for months with kids brings a lot of challenges for busy parents. We can’t sit for hours teaching our kids at home. We have to find ways to encourage independent learning while we handle other matters like work and house chores. So, over the past few weeks, we tested out a bunch of edutaining apps to facilitate my child’s learning. My must-haves for educational apps are Kiddopia, Code Robot, How it works, How are made and the Human Body.
Ask your child’s school for support
One of the things that I appreciate about my daughter’s school is their willingness to share professional tips on how to effectively teach the kids at home. Last month, we were able to avail the school’s Summer online school for free because we paid a slot for her last year. The free trial online school The teacher conducts twice weekly meetings with the parents to make the whole teaching process easier. But for those schools who are also in the process of figuring things out, it’s better to step up and ask for advice.
And of course the most apparent discovery from this homeschooling journey…
After spending three months trying several tactics, these tips helped us achieve a few things.
My four-year-old daughter is getting better at reading and appears to be enjoying her math drills too. She has a compilation of her drawings and has been showing interest in decorating her “bunny hole” or “home” with her artwork. We’ve been spending a lot of time in the garden playing ball games, scavenger hunt, flying kites and a lot more.
It sounds simple, but homeschooling gave us a chance to go back to the basics and focus on the essential things.
Homeschooling gave us a chance to go back to the basics and focus on the essential things.
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