6 Tips for Homeschooling While You Work From Home
November 8 is National Parents as Teachers Day and with 2.6 million kids having switched to homeschooling since the pandemic began, the observance seems more relevant than ever.
For many parents, being thrown into homeschooling without much preparation was tough enough. But consider, too, that many of those parents had to continue working from home while educating their children. While many of those students have since returned to a brick-and-mortar school, there are plenty who have decided to continue to homeschool for the 2021-2022 year. In an effort to support those parents, we've created a list of practical tips.
1. Start the school day later.
If your kids are the type to sleep in, let them! Use the opportunity to get up early and complete any critical work while the house is quiet. There's no rule that says homeschooling has to begin at 7:30 a.m.
2. Teach when your kids are alert and engaged.
You may want to limit actual teaching time to the hours of 9 a.m to 1 p.m., for example, when your kids are most alert and attentive. Use the afternoon hours for work they can do on their own, such as research, reading or math facts.
3. Designate a white board for urgent questions while you're on the phone.
Kids who are old enough to write may still no understand the importance of an uninterrupted call to ask for a snack or to roller skate in the driveway. Provide a quiet way to let them ask their question without interruption.
4. Create and nurture independence.
Put snacks without reach, give them a list of specific tasks to complete, and ensure all the tools they need to complete their schoolwork are readily available before you sit down to work yourself.
5. Take work on the road.
Many places that offer kids entertainment, tutoring, or brain training (trampoline facilities, open gymnastics, swim lessons, LearningRx) offer wifi for working parents. A solid 2 hours of fun for the kids means (largely) uninterrupted time for you. Remember, play is an important part of learning too! Think of physical activities as a PE class.
6. Don't strive for perfection.
A good education is important but that doesn't mean you need to run yourself into the ground juggling work and homeschooling. Focus on the basics of academics and making learning fun. Cut yourself some slack as you work through this transition year. Remember why you're doing this and remind yourself that it doesn't need to be a permanent decision.