Every single parent in Ireland is struggling with the lack of childcare. That said, the even bigger challenge seems to be home-schooling our children. When having children, never did we imagine that we would be home-schooling. Parents aren’t trained in teaching. We have no degree or even the faintest idea. Parents are feeling a tremendous amount of pressure with regards to home-schooling but just remember that each household is different. Simply do what you can and be kind to yourself along the way.
Below are a few tips to make things a little easier for you and the kids.
Set a routine
One of the basic tips is establishing a routine. Children do well when working with a set timetable. Get up (roughly) the same time each day, have breakfast and if it’s early enough let them have some free playtime before ‘school’ starts. As you are probably well aware, schools work with simple timetables that the pupils are aware of and have learned to work from. Working with a routine is an important skill that will teach your children independence and time management. That said, don’t go and plan your entire day. Leave room for flexibility.
Exercise before school work starts
Keeping your child sat at a table and focused can be extremely challenging. You need to remember, children have an abundance of energy hopping around inside their little bodies. Before schoolwork starts, let your child run around and play in the garden to burn off some of that energy. If the weather is bad or if you don’t have a garden, turn on a YouTube video with a 15-20 minute PE class or yoga. In doing so, the children will be focused once “school” starts.
While home-schooling is new to you as a parent, you have to remember that it’s also new to your child. They have a “school” self and a “home” self. It can be very tricky for them to differentiate between the two now that the two has become one. To help them get into the “school work” mind-set, get them to put on their uniform (just the school jumper should be enough).
Journaling is a popular practice among adults but children can just as easily benefit from it. It helps inspire creativity, boost memory, relieve stress and allows space for self-reflection. If your child is unable to write, ask them to do a drawing instead.
Take a break when they lose focus
Taking a break can make homework less frustrating. Children can get fed up or even lose track of what they’re doing. Once you notice your child getting antsy and losing focus, give them a short 10-15 minute break. Let them play, eat or unwind. This will give them renewed focus once you start again. Take advantage of this break and get yourself a well-deserved coffee.