Homeschooling for Amateurs

March 23, 2020
Homeschooling for Amateurs

Partnering with our friends at ParentCue, and with our professional home school parents, we are launching new daily tips to help you navigate these wild times we are living in. For most of us, that means we’re having to postpone regularly-scheduled life until further notice. It also means that many parents will be responsible for overseeing their kids’ online learning for the foreseeable future.⠀

If you’ve ever tried to help your kid with their homework, you may be legitimately terrified by the idea of days on end of at-home schooling. But here’s the deal—you can do it. You really can! And maybe, just maybe, you can enjoy some of it, too. Over the next couple of days, we’ll share a few helpful tips from homeschool parents on how they make it work in their family.

TIP #1

Create a schedule . . . but hang on to it loosely. Even if all you do is set aside a few hours a day within which schoolwork needs to be completed (for example, 9am – 2pm), it gives your kids context for the rhythm of the day and also gives them a finish line to work toward.⠀

TIP #2

Set up your classroom. Okay, you don’t need a desk or a whiteboard, but designating a chair in the dining room or cushion on the family-room couch for all schoolwork will give everyone accountability and structure. Stock the spot with the essentials—pencils, laptop, charger, paper, water.
The fewer excuses they have to get up to “look for their special eraser,” the less distracted they’ll be.

TIP #3

Use your kid’s currency. Motivation is key. At school, the risks and rewards of whether or not your kid completes work are made clear from day one. The same should be true for your new at-home routine. Can they earn extra screen time? Lose screen time? Figure out what makes your kid tick and leverage it to keep them on-task. 

TIP #4

Be aware of your kid’s learning style. Let’s say that you’re a naturally introverted person who learns best in isolation and your kid is an outgoing extrovert who learns best in groups—if you try to teach them the way you learn best, you’re both going to end up frustrated. Keep in mind that every kid learns differently, your first approach may not be the best approach, and live in the presences of grace. If you find yourself having trouble engaging your kid, try different methods of helping them connect with the curriculum. (For example, reading aloud as they follow along versus having them read lengthy texts on their own.)

Don't be afraid to fail. If you’re doing something and it’s not working out the way you hoped, try something new. Be open with your kids what the challenges are and let them chime in on what they want the day to look like. Be on the same page about the overall end-goal, but be open to changing your approach in how you get there. Above all, live in grace. 

Check back tomorrow for your next Homeschooling for Amateurs Tip!

We will continue to add more tips and information daily!