Homeschooling Tips when Schools are Closed!
While schools have closed, a lot of us are struggling with working from home, helping kids do school work, and taking care of the house which seems to be a huge mess all the time!
Memes are popping up on social media everywhere on how parents are realizing the problem was not the teacher, and how they’ll probably discover a coronavirus vaccine before the scientists do.
A lot of parents choose to homeschool their kids even when schools are not closed, and this is the time when we can learn from them how do they get their kids to sit with discipline and learn; when the play and learning areas seem to get so intermingled.
Homeschool Structure is different than School.
One mistake I feel a lot of us are making is we’re trying to recreate school at home, so similar hours, classes, breaks, lunchboxes, worksheets etc.
As much as wanting to add a structure will make the process streamlined, so much will it increase the work for you and stress for your child.
A homeschool environment is very fluid and loosely structured, so much so most homeschooling moms don’t have a structure but rather homeschools have a “rhythm”.
We can’t deny the fact that we are at home, aka our comfort zone. So “non-structured” and spontaneous stuff is bound to happen here.
In short — Life will come in the way!
Every day our kids are going to learn from home while we ourselves try to work from home too; so somedays one with happening and some other days other will happen, no matter how much we plan things out!
This is Normal! Don’t stress about it.
Homeschool in the morning hours.
While you don’t have to make a strict time table. If possible get the school work done the first thing in the morning; the kids are used to doing the work in the morning. Plus, they’re more fresh in the morning so easy for them to concentrate.
The more you get it into the day, the difficult it is for everyone.
Remember not to put the TV on the first thing in the morning, as we do on weekends often. It’ll only make it difficult for kids to work after that.
Reserve the TV for mid-day when everything gets difficult to deal with, and everyone needs a break!
Plus remember — Homeschoolers don’t school all 6/8 hrs. Because the kids are less in number when they learn at home, which is supposed to take 30 mins takes only 15 mins for them to do it.
Set the expectations accordingly. Don’t try to recreate the school timings, you’re only going to make it difficult for the kids to sit and learn, and there will be more whining and all.
Lower the Expectations Bar.
The environment is not the same for the kids you can’t expect them to perform the same; as they did when they went to school.
This is once in a lifetime kind of a pandemic, that we’ll all tell stories about all our lives, including our kids.
So let’s make memories that they’ll remember and will be happy to share.
Relax your expectations from them, and be happy with whatever gets done, in this already chaotic situation!
Don’t limit learning to School Subjects
Life is not just about STEM subjects. It’s also about arts, cooking, dancing moving around, science experiments from kitchen stuff.
And this lockdown has given us an opportunity to practice all these ancillary subjects in life.
Cook with your kids, Paint, Color, Dance, all that is learning too! And a huge part of life.
In Short — Have fun with kids, make memories!
Take Breaks, and Expect kids to Take Breaks
You need your to break to fix lunch, or get your own work done; these are kind of mandatory ones.
But, remember to take that coffee break too!
In fact, plan them in your school time rhythm; breaks for you and for kids too!
Kids running off their chairs while doing their school work at home is a reality you might already be facing.
It’s difficult for them to sit in a place when it’s home! That’s the reality and we should be happy about it. It just means kids feel safe at home and feel free.
That’s exactly what home is for — to feel free and safe!
They’ll bug you a lot (because they miss their friends)
School is not just learning, it’s also about friends, for some kids that’s all school is about.
And with social distancing, they’ll miss their friends a lot, and they’ll need you to understand this!
But alas because isolation is the best option for us amidst this coronavirus crisis, we’ll have to find creative ways to get them to feel connected with their friends.
Encourage them to make cards and write letters for their friends to share later.
Do video calls to get them to see each other.
As much as it is difficult for us to listen to their pestering about how much they need other people than you. You also need to appreciate their ability to make such beautiful connections!
Don’t Feel Guilty
Really! Don’t feel guilty for not getting things done in this difficult this, you’re being a parent, teacher, friend, neighbour everything together.
This is an exceptionally testing time. It’s not normal, as long and the kids are safe; everything is fine!
We’re literally on survival mode AND You’re doing an AMAZING JOB.
This shall pass too! Hang in there and let’s make happy memories at home that we can remember for years to come!