By Marli Naidoo
Covid-19 and the lockdown have cast everybody adrift in their own little boat on stormy seas and every parent (willingly or not) has emerged as a home schooler. In spite of the wonderful time of togetherness for families, instructing your own children academically is not always an easy task. Fortunately there are parents who have been schooling their children at home for years who have plenty advice.
Do not try to create a duplicate school at your home. Many parents work from home fulltime or are still working away from home and there are simply not enough hours in a day to spend eight hours of it on school work. Be flexible and do not spoil the enjoyment of your togetherness by trying to control everything.
Do not burden your children with impossible expectations. They will get tired, lose focus, try to skip the work and treat the home like home (and not like school).
Routines differ from family to family and the order in which the work is done, is less important than the environment and the method of implementation. The optimal home-schooling schedule is one that keeps an individual child busy (with his or her unique personality and needs). Parents will be most successful if they draw up a schedule together with their children that satisfies each one’s individual needs.
Do not spend the whole day in the same room. Perform different tasks in different areas and be sure to go get out of doors. Physical activity during breaks can help students to concentrate better.
Use the internet and self-study where possible. You do not have to hover around your high-school children every moment while they are busy with school work. Allow them to accept part of the responsibility for their own progress. The internet provides your children with unlimited information and opportunities to explore new interests and to learn anything under the sun. What an opportunity!
Control what you can and do not stress about the rest. We live in unheard-of times and nothing is normal. The things parents are busy with are not really home schooling or traditional schooling, but pandemic parenthood. You have to adapt and rearrange your priorities until everything is back to normal again. It is quite possible that you are not going to be as productive as before, and the house will not be as clean and neat.
Let them sleep late. Start your day quietly and without conflict, on a positive note. You can carry on with your own work while the children are still asleep.
Education is not only about what is in books. It is about the development of character, communion and respect.
Every moment holds a possible lesson. You can have your child follow a cookie recipe that she has to double. This will count as an applied-mathematics lesson.
Practise self-care and do not compare yourself with other parents. Get enough sleep, eat healthily, take time off for yourself, exercise, and do something you enjoy. If you don’t take care of yourself, things will unravel.
We do not have to replace our child’s teacher. He is a trained, professional person who plays an important role in your child’s life and you do not have to fill his shoes. Just be yourself and support your child as his loving parent.
Express News: https://www.expressnews.com/lifestyle/health-family/article/Quarantine-schooling-Veteran-homeschooling-15174429.php
USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2020/04/08/coronavirus-quarantine-how-to-homeschool-ideas-parents-teachers/2967964001/
A Fine Parent: https://afineparent.com/coronavirus-support/schooling-at-home.html
Eureka Street: https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/tips-from-a-veteran-homeschooler