5 Tips for New Home School Parents
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the state of Colorado has ordered all schools closed until April 30th, which means parents are now going to be taking on the role of educators in their children’s lives. While some schools may offer virtual classes and distance education, there is a great deal of responsibility left to you as a parent.
Although the prospect of homeschooling with little to no preparation is daunting, this can be a wonderful opportunity to connect with your children. These tips will help you set healthy boundaries, maintain peace and get the most out of teaching from home while schools are closed.
Don’t Force a Strict Regimen
While a regular schedule is important, you might find that your homeschool instruction differs greatly from traditional classroom hours. In fact, this is something that many regular teach-at-home parents love about this type of instruction.
Elementary school children will benefit from lots of educational play; focus on doing lots of hands-on activities and having avid discussions rather than trudging through textbooks or assigning countless worksheets. Middle and high schoolers can typically guide themselves, but you should stay connected and offer guidance and support.
Give your family patience to adjust; you most likely won’t find your ideal rhythm right away, but that’s okay. This is a new challenge for everyone to work through together.
Start the Day as Usual
Children should get dressed, have breakfast and brush their teeth before they start school. This ritual will help them get into the right mindset for learning, and it can help create a much-needed distance between home and school life. They should have a designated “classroom” area and keep their supplies organized.
Maintain Some Ground Rules
Homeschooling means you can do more things together that you normally wouldn’t, like kick-off your studies with some mind-centering yoga. Although breaks are okay (and much-needed for both parents and students!), there should be boundaries in place. Avoid letting your children watch television, play video games or do anything else they normally wouldn’t be able to while they’re at school.
Remember Your Place as Their Parent
You may want to adopt the role of a teacher right away, but this can be difficult for children to adjust to. If you suddenly become a strict and harsh disciplinarian as an instructor, children will feel hurt, confused and be less willing to participate. Instead, work together as a team to cover the necessary material and learn together.
In many ways, you already are a teacher. You don’t have to play a part to take the lead in your child’s education.
Work Around Their Schedule
If you are working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, then you will need to balance instruction with your own job. You might do this while your children are working on their own assignments, playing or napping. For many parents, homeschooling might have to take the center stage, which means they’ll have to do most of their work in the early morning or evening.
Homeschooling and remote working are two big transitions for the family, so remember to be gentle on yourself. Ultimately, the best lesson you can teach your children while you homeschool during the coronavirus is to show up each day and try your best.
If you or your family need some additional help adjusting to self-quarantine and the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re here to help. Foundations Family Counseling offers virtual therapy you can access whenever you need it. Reach out today at 303-393-0085 or contact us directly through our website.