How to cope with home schooling – 7 great tips
Are you at home with kids, trying to keep them on track with their schooling?
Are you working from home yourself, trying to juggle family, school, work and home life?
The Coronavirus has changed life as we know it, and this will have a massive roll on effect on your family and home life. The routine you were so used to, has gone out the window. Instead, you have kids at home, bored, raiding the pantry, wanting to see their friends, and trying to keep them up to date on their schooling. Home schooling – you are now the teacher! Many schools have given kids homework to do, or have them online learning.
If you’re working from home yourself, this can prove to be one chaotic life!
So how do you manage it all?
How do you not stress out, concentrate on your own work, plus make sure the kids are happy and doing what they need to do?
Well, we may not have all the answers, however hopefully some of these tips may assist you to work through you new home schooling life with the family.
- Firstly, set up a dedicated space for yourself, and each family member
It’s important you aren’t all on top of each other, and you’ll all need a space where you can work. Make the effort to set this up each day, and keep each child to that space ongoing. They can have their workbooks, stationary, laptops, and whatever they need to work through the day. You’ll need a place for your own work and laptop as well, that way you’re feeling like you’re “going to work”. A separate rom or office is ideal, but if you don’t have one, make sure it’s an area a little separate from where the kids are.
- Set up a New Family Routine
At the start of the day, map out with your children what they need to get through that day. Write it down in a list, then note some times next to each item. Make sure you schedule in breaks too, then you can see what your kids have on their plate, and try work your daily work schedule around this. This ensures as a parent you are across what they’re doing, and you can make sure they’re not going overboard or trying to do too much. Explain to your child that they can be a little relaxed with their workload, and they’ll probably find they’ll end up being happier and more productive.
- Have regular breaks
It’s really important to have regular breaks whilst all at home together. Schedule in morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea breaks for you all, and make sure you move away from your work space area for the breaks. This gives your eyes a break from screens or reading, and changes your state of mind so that you can refresh. Taking a short walk outside and getting some fresh air will clear you mind.
- Understand it won’t be the same as school, be flexible
Working and home schooling won’t be the same as normal, and you can’t expect it to be. Be flexible! Don’t feel the need to push your kids – embrace a relaxed home schooling life. If they’re aren’t feeling the best, it’s okay to stop for a while. Adding pressure to complete things in a certain time frame isn’t healthy for a family, and your kids will resent you for it. You want to still be their parent, not their teacher. Do your best to assist them where possible, and make sure you let them know that it’s okay to go through things at a slow pace. Give your children time and attention as best you can around your work. Offer support and guidance – they will need it at this time.
- Manage interruptions whilst you are working
How can you make sure your children don’t stop to ask you 100 questions through the day, and interrupt your work? Get out a notebook, or a piece of paper to stick on the fridge. Write the heading “Ask me later questions”. Talk to your children about questions they may have through the day, and ask them to really think about how urgent they are. If they can wait until later, maybe on your lunch break or at the end of the day, write them on the book or piece of paper, so they don’t forget the question. Then you as a parent can come back to these questions and answer them. This will ensure you stay connected with your child, answer their questions, however minimise the interruptions you receive all day, so you can concentrate.
- Schedule in some fun time for them
Make sure there’s some fun time in your day. This may be a run around the yard on your lunch break, maybe watching a movie after dinner together, or baking some cupcakes at the end of the day. Whatever small thing this may be, have a fun moment with them, so they can understand that home life isn’t so bad. You don’t want it to be all work and no play…..
- Stay Connected
It’s really important for children to stay connected to their friends at this time, and it’s important for you to connect with friends and family too. Facetime chats don’t have to be long or overly involved. Set up a few times a week where your kids can chat with their friends, on a phone or iPad. If you have younger kids, you can do a play date and set up a phone or iPad in their toy rooms, and they can watch each other play. Older kids might like to play video games simultaneously or paint their nails whilst chatting. This makes them feel like they are connected and having some fun together. It’s also important for you to do the same. Chat to loved ones, Facetime friends and have a virtual coffee together. Have a vent, have a laugh, and even a cry if you need to.
We’re all in this together.
Written by Hawkesbury Penrith Mums