Homeschooling and distance learning has its advantages, but it can also be overwhelming for both you and your child. Managing your child’s education from home while also fulfilling household duties and work obligations will require changes in schedule, routine, and lifestyle and you’re bound to run into some difficulties along the way as you adjust to the changes. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. To make life just a little bit easier here are a few tips to follow to make the transition to distance learning easier on everyone.
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1. Make a space for learning
Most adults working from home have a specific area of the home in which they do work during the Covid-19 lockdown, it’s important that you create a similar space for your child. Your child will do their best work in a quiet, comfortable, and dedicated space that is strictly devoted to learning. Make sure it’s a space with limited distractions away from where they would normally play games or watch television.
Let your children help choose a workspace for themselves, this will help them stay motivated to work in that space if it’s not forced upon them. Before letting your child choose, narrow down choices for them which include a few distraction-free places where your children will feel comfortable. By giving your kid a reduced set of options, it makes them feel like they have some sort of control over the decision.
2. Maintain a schedule with breaks
It’s important for children to have a routine and follow a schedule during this time, just like they would have at school. Try to help your child maintain their routine as close to normal as possible but don’t be afraid to introduce some home comforts into the school day to make the transition easier for your child.
Some children may like the stability of sticking to a similar schedule to the school day while others may need a more gentle approach. If your child is struggling to adjust, ease into the school day and start off with educational playtime to get their mind warmed up for a day of learning.
Part of the joy of homeschooling is the ability to move at a slower pace. Have some coffee while your child plays or watches an educational show, and you’ll both be in a better mood when the school day begins.
Around lunchtime, encourage your child to get up, get some fresh air, go for a walk around the garden, or have a snack so that they are not sedentary for the entire day.
3. Use online resources, but don’t go crazy
Free online resources are amazing, but try not to get too caught up in the need to keep your child occupied for 6 or 7 hours straight like a normal school day. Don’t get bogged down by the flood of downloadable PDFs and lesson plans available online. If you’re working from home yourself, they can be especially overwhelming. Instead, find a couple of resources that work along with the work their teachers have set out for them and build from there. You’re not going to recreate school in one day, and no one expects you to, so start small.
If you’re looking for a good online resource, try online tools like Breakout EDU. Whether you have a child in junior school or high school, Breakout EDU has a variety of educational games that touch on subjects like science, maths, and languages.
4. Allow them to interact with friends via video chats
Your child is used to a lot of social interaction at school and may be missing this form of contact during the lockdown. Allow them time to interact with friends online and go beyond social media or text messaging with regular video chats with friends. Video chats are often the closest thing to seeing someone in person, and are a great way to get in social time during the lockdown.
5. Be kind to your child and yourself
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your child during this difficult time. Limit stress around the school day by reminding yourself to be gentle and understanding with your child (and yourself) as you adjust to this new learning schedule together. It’s not always going to go well, it will be overwhelming, you will need to take a break, and that’s ok.
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