Tricks to not only help parents and carers keep their sanity, but find the unique benefits of homeschooling
By Kate McMahon, Student Tutors
As parents and carers around the world grapple to juggle their new roles as teacher, canteen supervisor, maintenance clerk, librarian and tech support, many are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of home-based learning. However, with some handy tips and tricks, you can ensure that your household not only survives the home-based learning experience, but even thrives. In this article, educator, high school teacher and Executive Manager at Student Tutors Kate McMahon explains how.
Back to basics
With social media providing parents with picture-perfect glimpses into influencers home schooling set ups, complete with sustainably-made quinoa mosaics and new languages being learnt as a family unit, it’s time to lower the bar and get back to basics. Home-based learning will present challenges to households, some days will work well and others will be a total disaster. Teachers have days like that in the classroom too. The goal is to ensure students are engaging with some school work each day, this will look different for everyone.
Set a routine
Schools centre around routines: bell times, break times, learning patterns. A routine is essential to home learning too:
- Set alarms and have normal ‘wake-up’ and get ready times for the household
- Students do not have to wear their school uniforms, but should not be in pyjamas – change into clothes that let everyone know the day has begun
- Set a timetable that works for your household. You might like to follow your child’s normal school day of classes and breaks, or set a new timetable that works for everyone in the home.
- Where possible, have break times outside and keep it social. Try to align breaks for the whole family — let small children run around and make noise to burn off that energy.
- Be flexible — every day brings new changes, remember that the routine is just a guide, pick up the routine where you can but be flexible too.
Everyone has a role
Parents can often find themselves overwhelmed by the many caps that they feel they have to wear in a home-based learning situation. Here are some tips that we suggest at Student Tutors to outsource this work.
- School staff are still working; whether your child’s school sent home work packs, or students are engaging with their teacher via online learning, remember to simply follow school instructions and encourage children to ask their teachers for help.
- The majority of schools have IT support staff to help troubleshoot issues, contact them for help when needed.
- It’s okay not to know all the answers. Help your child ‘find’ the answer by working together, this can be an enjoyable way to engage in the learning process together.
Education is the opening of the mind
Education comes in all shapes and sizes, and while schools are setting work to complete, remember that learning opportunities come in many different forms. Seemingly ‘recreational’ activities actually help children’s learning:
- Board games (e.g. monopoly) help children with counting and logic skills
- Cooking helps with measurement and coordination skills
- Taking the dog for a walk engages with observation skills and physical activity.
If you have any other questions about home schooling, or need help with your child’s tuition, please reach out to the Student Tutors team today.
Kate has a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary Teaching), having previously completed a Bachelor of Science (Biological Science). Kate is currently a Science High School Teacher and also composes Year 11-12 Textbooks for Pearson Education
Kate’s role at Student Tutors is to manage and run the successful tutoring company. While overviewing all our staff and enquiries, Kate also runs our Distance Education Support Program run across Australia.
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