With COVID-19 restrictions, many families have been thrust into trying to manage schooling from home. This comes with lots of challenges, but these tips, from the Jay'Ne family who have experience with home schooling, may just help.
1. Try to create a positive environment.
Ensure your children know that this challenge is for everyone and it will not be forever!
2. Try to incorporate a favourite snack into the study session.
If your children start associating snack time with study time, they will start looking forward to it more. For example, if maths is the biggest struggle, schedule maths with an afternoon snack.
3. Start the study session by asking about something they're into, like a show or a game they've been playing.
Children take more interest when parents seem interested in their hobbies, even if it's only a little conversation before work time.
4. Ask them easy questions every now and then about the material and respond with phrases like, "Wow, nice" or "That’s it, good job."
Kids like feeling smart and if they feel like they're nailing it, they will try harder to continue receiving the positive reinforcement.
5. Develop a simple and positive behaviour system.
For example, a positive behaviour star chart where each star, or string of stars, earns results in privileges/rewards.
6. Make sure your kids have a predictable schedule
Including routine breaks (meals, recess, etc).
7. Set a time limit and respect it.
Tell them that they have a job to do from this time to this time, just like grown-ups have a job to do. We get paid to do our job, so find their currency and pay them for their time, if you wish. The usual currency in my house is TV or PlayStation time. Above all, be consistent and fair.
8. I find most of my older students do not understand what studying is.
Maybe show them the video on YouTube about 10/24/7, which talks about how studying works with your memory and will assist with focused note taking.
9. Have your children help you come up with some guidelines and consequences.
I would try to focus on positive ones and have them earn something (some teachers have treasure chests). So, for instance, instead of no video games, offer video games as an incentive. If all else fails, use the time out consequence - even the older ones don't like it.
10. Never feel guilty if, as a parent, you don’t understand the work.
I have days where I’m teaching Year 10 science but struggling to remember Grade 2 English. Allow your children to see you seek help. It can help strengthen your relationship with your child’s learning if you work together. Keep in mind that if it’s a struggle for you it is certainly a struggle for the child, they just express it differently and need you to be understanding.
11. Your family is ultimately what is most important.
Not the maths questions that don’t make sense today!