By Hayden McEvoy, founder of A Team Tuition
You’re passionate about your children’s education. But, you didn’t sign up for being their teacher. And yet, suddenly, thanks to COVID-19, you’re home-schooling. Whether you’re teaching ABC’s or motivating your high schooler to do their history homework, this pandemic induced home-schooling is a tough gig. Over the years, I’ve trained many tutors and students in my unique teaching philosophy. It’s the philosophy which transformed my grades from D- to straight A’s. And, I’ve seen those results duplicated in thousands of Aussie kids. In this time of crisis home-schooling, I want to share these skills with you.
Teach Them to Learn
The difference between decent educators and phenomenal educators is this: they teach kids to fish. Not literally, of course. But you’ve heard the saying, ‘you can give a man a fish, or you can teach him to fish’? Well, that’s what great educators do. Instead by focusing on content, they focus on learning skills. Time and time again, we’ve seen that the students who achieve the best results are those who are equipped to study effectively. They know how to transform what they hear in the classroom into genuine knowledge. This period of homeschool is a golden opportunity for your child to hone their independent learning skills. Resilience and support is the recipe to make that happen. Good learning skills are formed by healthy study habits. You can facilitate the formation of those habits.
Give Yourself a Break
Before we get into the practicalities of teaching – remember that no-one is expecting you to transform into a fully trained teacher. Parents who homeschool regularly spend years learning how to do it well. So, give yourself a break. Look at this simply as a chance to learn how your kids learn. Use this time to nail your role in encouraging and supporting their education. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your family. This is a difficult situation for everyone. Ideally, you should recruit some help. A tutor who can teach your child how to learn will be an infinitely valuable resource to your family right now. But, to supplement that help, what practical steps can you take to setting up an awesome temporary homeschool?
Schedule For Success
Learning takes time. So, how do you cope with a child who can’t sit still for five minutes? As soon as their lesson starts, they get fidgety. Every afternoon they put up a fight about homework. The first step to home-schooling success is establishing a sustainable schedule. Kids and adult alike thrive with routine. Just because the school bell isn’t ringing doesn’t mean you can’t have structured days. Think about the times which you have meals, breaks and physical movement. Keep that routine up and your child will learn what to expect each day. Maybe you could write the schedule up and put is somewhere the whole family will see, like the fridge door. Build fun rewards into each day to keep everyone happy.
Talk About It
Feel totally out of your depth when it comes to teaching? At a basic level, it’s really all about conversation. Learning happens best through interactions. Ask questions and listen to their answers. Let them ask you questions – if you don’t know the answer, work with them to find it. You don’t have to be a geography teacher to help your child get to grips with weather patterns. You don’t have to be an early education specialist to help your child learn about colours. No matter what your child is learning about – this content will be greatly reinforced simply by conversation. Find moments throughout the day or at the dinner table to get the whole family talking about whatever your child has been learning.
Variety is the Spice of . . . School
Every teacher uses resources in their own way. Some carry around cartons of craft supplies and others love to use PowerPoint slides and movie clips. Keeping a child’s mind engaged is made far easier with the right resources at hand. You don’t have to go far to find useful resources. Look on Pinterest for simple games and crafts which fit educational themes. Think about movies your family can watch together, which line up with what is happening in the classroom. If you’ve got a high-schooler, suggest some podcasts or audiobooks you could listen to together. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to link play, rest and learning.
One Step at a Time
This period of makeshift home-schooling is not easy. So, take it easy on yourself. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A Team Tuition provides online tutoring according to our unique educational philosophy. We are currently experiencing a burgeoning number of enquiries and working hard to help everyone we can through this difficult time. It’s recommended that if you’re considering an online tutor, you get in touch without delay. Focus on creating an environment in which your child can learn to learn. With that perspective – and a whole lot of patience – we’ll get through this together.
Hayden McEvoy is the founder of A Team Tuition, a tutoring company that believes in empowering every student to reach their full potential. They cover Primary School, High School as well as ATAR preparation.
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