If it isn’t enough that we are going through a national pandemic, this pandemic is requiring us to isolate ourselves and our families and treat our jobs like extreme sports as we maneuver working from home. Adding fuel to this wildfire is the challenge of homeschooling your children. Homeschooling one child presents with its challenges but having multiple children only compounds those challenges. Many parents are feeling overwhelmed by the task of homeschooling their children, and resources for conquering this task are practically non-existent.
If you are feeling frustrated with homeschooling, here are some things to consider to smooth out the transition.
- Create a daily schedule: Your child is used to going to school every day and knowing exactly what is happening for the day and when. Within their classroom area schedules that reference when a certain subject occurs, what time lunch is, and even what time dismissal happens. Having this schedule eliminates any anxiety kids feel regarding what is happening for the day. Restore the consistency they are missing by making a daily schedule that your family follows during the week. Creating a plan will eliminate boredom and the occasional broken household item, but you must be CONSISTENT! For suggestions on home school schedules, click here.
- Create a learning environment: Some frustrations are a result of kids being out of their everyday routine. Having a space at home where you can decorate with academic posters and display their work on the walls will put them in the mindset for learning and mitigate their behaviors, consequently reducing your frustrations. Complete the area with stations for pencils, crayons, paper, other school supplies. For ideas of homeschool learning environment designs, browse this google search.
- Create opportunities for movement: In school, students have structured movement breaks between tasks. This helps to expel their energies before engaging in seatwork. Be diligent in establishing opportunities for your child to run, jump, hop, skip, yell, scream, play with a ball, or whatever physical activity they would enjoy. We have all been cooped up in the house, and I’m sure your little one(s) will benefit from opportunities to let off some steam. While they play, this would be a great time to enjoy your favorite tea or afternoon snack and soak up some “me time.”
- Teach what you know: As teachers and students concur with the work of Common Core, there is no expectation that parents do the same. Teach what you know, how you learned it. The standard ways to add, subtract, multiply, and divide are still applicable in today’s learning. While school-based curriculums are designed for the broadest audience, you have the opportunity to customize your child’s learning and provide them a more personalized learning experience. Don’t stress; just teach what you know.
- Extend yourself some grace. Everyone around you is experiencing the same challenges while navigating the elements of Covid-19 pandemic, and believe it or not; your children are experiencing their challenges. Children across the country are experiencing separation anxiety from their friends and teachers, which may cause some undesirable behaviors at home. Therefore, it is completely OK if one day you just can’t do it. If you are a parent trying to manage to work from home and homeschooling, consider identifying 2-3 days to teach your children and then scale it up as needed once you have the hang of it. Find tasks that children can complete independently and take in a self-care moment. It will be essential for you to find pockets of time for yourself to restore your mind and body. Be gentle with yourself; give yourself some grace.
As Americans persevere through the pandemic, parents must step into their superhero roles and face homeschooling head-on for the sake of education. Although a monumental duty, finding ways to make that duty more manageable, ultimately makes it a less frustrating and more enjoyable experience.