- 4 mins
Home School Tips and Tricks
When you are ready to take the plunge and homeschool your child, it is normal to feel overwhelmed. After all, you are responsible for your child’s education! But don’t worry, you can do this. With a little planning and organization, you can give your child a great education at home.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you home school:
The first step is to get organized. You need to set up a dedicated homeschooling space with all the supplies and resources your child will need. You also need to develop a daily routine and timetable so that you and your child know what to expect each day. This will help to keep things running smoothly. Go through the schedule the day before to help prepare your child for the upcoming plan. This also provides them some time to manage their own expectations.
Find a curriculum
There are many different homeschooling curriculums available, so take some time to research and find one that will work well for your child. There are also many online resources and homeschooling groups that can offer advice and support. It is always a good idea to find the curriculum that schools in your area are using, in case homeschooling turns out not to work well for your child. You always want to have the option of placing your child back into school at some point.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you are struggling to cope with homeschooling, don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. There are also many support groups available for homeschooling parents. If getting outside help from an au pair is possible for your family, it might be a great way to get a bit of respite. Although you will have some wonderful memories from homeschooling your own child, it could also increase frustration as your child might not be able to switch from you being their parent to you being both their educator and parent. It might be a good idea to slowly fade your presence as the full-time educator with some support from an au pair or teacher at home helping out. If this is not possible, ask a friend or family member to help with shifts.
Take breaks and keep things interest-based
Remember that both you and your child need brain breaks. This is important to avoid burnout. Schedule fun activities and downtime each day so everyone can relax and recharge. You have the luxury of creating interest-based activities, which will ultimately be more motivating than generic, group-focused tasks. If your child is interested in bugs, you can include math concepts outdoors, looking for interesting insects and bugs. There is so much you can do to ensure that your child (and you) stay connected, focused, and interested in the material presented.
Be prepared to be flexible. Homeschooling is not always easy, and there will be days when things don’t go according to plan. Don’t be too hard on yourself; remember that you can always adjust your approach if something isn’t working. If you are already keeping the material interest-based and including frequent breaks, remind yourself that we all have off days. Your child might not be interested in anything you present today, but tomorrow is another day. I have appreciated following the famous advice “Choose your battles wisely.”
These days, schools are more inclined to include mindfulness activities, such as short meditations before and after breaks, to help create a homeostatic balance for each child. Including a mindfulness activity during homeschooling time would be a good idea. The Moshi app is a great tool to have on hand when practicing mindfulness and learning social-emotional skills. Here are our favorites to use throughout the day:
- Wurley’s Happy Morning Meditation (also available on YouTube) to wake up their minds and bodies
- Dewy’s Blissful Mind Broom to learn how to stay positive and sweep negative thoughts away
- Oopsy’s Sleepy Tea Time to help them drift off to sleep after a packed day of learning
Believe in yourself
According to De Jong et al. (2022), parental self-efficacy, meaning parents’ beliefs about their ability to teach their children, plays a significant role in the success of homeschooling their children. You are doing an excellent job and will do an even better job if you believe in your ability to teach your child at home.
With these tips, you will be well on your way to successfully homeschooling your child. Take things one step at a time, and enjoy the journey.
De Jong, P. F., Schreurs, B. G. M., & Zee, M. (2022). Parent-child conflict during homeschooling in times of the COVID-19 pandemic: A key role for mothers’ self-efficacy in teaching. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 70, 102083.