If you are in the unexpected position of homeschooling, then you will appreciate what a responsibility it is to take on. It’s a period of our lives that no one has had any time to prepare for and the majority of us are not teachers, or have any experience with teaching.
At the moment, it’s very much a juggling act of managing your child’s educational needs, with running a house and possibly working too. Here are some points that are worth considering.
Utilise the resources available to you
Most schools are providing work for your children to complete. It can seem overwhelming and almost impossible to keep up but try not to feel defeated by it. There are a wealth of resources online to choose from, so make sure that you pick and choose what works best and what your child will get the most from. No one is expecting them to complete everything that is assigned to them – it’s all a general guideline to follow and will be dependent from child to child. Let your children’s teacher guide you regarding what may be helpful.
Recognise the level your child is at
Remember that children develop at different stages and that your child will be at a certain level amongst their peers. Try not to expect too much from them and push them too far. When there is a mismatch between a parent’s expectations and their child’s performance, it can cause frustration for both.
Keep their home as their sanctuary
Kids are used to being educated in a school setting – as a result, home is very much their haven and a place of safety. It’s crucial that they still feel as if their home is a calm environment and that they don’t start to associate negative feelings about the place that they should feel happiest in.
Please don’t fixate on the hours they work
They are not restricted to school hours. Do whatever is best for you and your family. It’s easy to succumb to the pressure of assuming that your child needs to be working for a certain amount of hours in the day. Homeschooling is not going to be the same as attending school.
Their days are structured at school but don’t forget that the hours are broken up by regular break times and they won’t all be glued to desks for hours on end. It’s easy to feel guilty for the activities that they’re missing out on, especially primary school trips that children seem to gain so much from.
It’s just not sustainable and neither you or your kids will benefit from it. If it works better, then set some work for the morning when they are likely to be more alert, and then make the afternoon more about being creative and getting stuck into a good book.
Younger children (KS1), tend to be able to work for one to two hours, whereas older children (KS2) can work for up to three hours. It all depends on your child and of course, what the subject is that they’re learning.
If nothing else, keep them reading
Reading is so essential to their development in many ways and not only will it keep their minds occupied, but it’s also teaching them as they read and improving on their vocabulary and knowledge.