Every parent with an under-18 right now knows the overwhelming pressure of “keeping your child on track.” Educating at home can be a challenge. Keeping up with the curriculum is hard. It’s safe to say that teachers are worth their weight in gold when it comes to making everyone’s lives easier.
So what’s a parent to do? Not everyone can be an algebra teacher and a writing whiz while holding down a day job and making sure the laundry is done. Here are five great tips from some of the AimHi teachers to help you make the most of this unusual period of homeschooling and beyond!
1. Incorporate activities that don’t involve screen time
We’ve all had days recently where we’ve overdone it on computer time. It can lead to eye fatigue and headaches. The last thing your kids need is to associate those two things with learning. Ugh. So, shake it up a little!
Learning can happen anywhere, and as their honorary teachers, it’s your job to be creative. Get them moving with a game that requires running around. Try going outside and using nature as inspiration. Or simply ask them to do some offline reading. Remember the days of real, hold-them-in-hand books? Ah, memories.
2. Use your kids’ interests as a starting point for creative projects
It’s ok to stray from the curriculum. Here at AimHi, we believe learning should involve delving into subjects that motivate students to ask questions. Is your daughter into robots? Use this as a chance to talk about engineering and ask her to explain some of the technology behind C3PO or Wall-E. Or for little ones, build a Lego-bot and talk about its “powers”. Does your young son love animals? Can he name all the mammals he sees in the garden? What do they eat? What about the ones that live underground?
In short: start with their interests and, when you can, relate it back to what their curriculum requires them to know.
3. Be flexible
Who says an algebra lesson has to last for an hour? The great thing about homeschooling is the opportunity to move at an individualised pace. If your learner “gets it,” then move on. If they don’t, try a different approach. Sometimes, especially with more difficult subjects, it can be helpful to break it down into smaller concepts taught in shorter lessons. Or perhaps, teach in a different context. For example, use lunch as a way to explain fractions. Slices of pizza can go a long way in keeping someone’s attention! Imagine if your boss used food to exemplify quarterly sales goals…
4. Designate a “school” space
Much like when working remotely, it’s often helpful to have a distraction-free space specifically for doing school work. That doesn’t mean they can’t change it up, but when they really need to focus, there should be a place they can spread out their materials.
For some, it’s a desk in an office in the home. For others, it’s the kitchen table. Maybe it’s sprawled out on the floor of their bedroom. Whatever is comfortable and works for your family is the right option.
5. And finally, have fun (!)
It’s a stressful time for everyone, and hopefully, one we will soon be able to look back on with some proud moments of achievement. Try to have fun! When are you going to spend this much time with your kids at home again? We’re living through history, and while there are some grave things happening out there, learning should still be an enjoyable experience. So, take a step back and remember why you’re doing this. While they may be frustrated now, your kids will definitely appreciate your dedication later.
And of course, if they need a little extra help, we’re here for you. AimHi Tutoring is now available. To find out more, or to book, click here. You'll even get three free trial sessions.