There’s definitely an emphasis on the word new in this new school year! Learning from home has become the new reality for so many kiddos and their families – and we want to lend a helping hand with this experience. If you’re homeschooling for the first time or helping your mini student learn remotely, we’ve got a few tips and tricks up our sleeve that we want to share with you!
Here are 10 tips for helping your child learn at home:
Set a Schedule
Every child, parent, and family are different – but following a consistent schedule is key to helping your kiddo learn effectively! Try to mimic what your child would experience in a school – a bell that calls them to the classroom, distinct time periods for lessons, as well as breaks for snacks, recess, and lunch. In turn, sticking to a daily routine can help them concentrate and complete the tasks at hand!
Create a Learning Space
Setting up a special study nook can also go a long way in terms of concentration. Make space for a kid-sized table and chair or re-use a current living space – just clear it from its usual bits and pieces, such as decorations on a dining room table or food on the kitchen counter. Instead, fill the space with papers, pencils, erasers, a tablet or computer, and other school supplies!
Putting learning on pause throughout the day is essential! Whether it’s to eat a quick snack, to step out in the backyard for some fresh air, or to do a family workout as part of a homestyle PE class, taking breaks can help your little one learn better. After all, physical activities that get them to move ‘n’ groove can increase their productivity and reduce stress!
Keep Distractions at a Distance
A classroom is built to keep kiddos focused on learning, but the home comes with a few distractions that can get in the way of that! To keep these to a minimum, we suggest: turning off the television and other devices, storing toys away, prioritizing quiet tasks while your kiddo is studying, and limiting playtime with furry pals (as tempting as it is). This way, schoolwork will get their undivided attention!
Gamify a Lesson
If you notice that the traditional educational route is not jiving with your lil’ student, then switch things up by turning a lesson in a game. This is a great opportunity to pull out learning toys or to get crafty! To practice counting for example, play a game of “Rock, Paper, Number!” – instead of the objects, hold up a number of fingers and count the total! You can also create a numbered sheet to circle the final number after each round.
Mix in Screen-Free Activities
Both homeschooling and learning remotely are likely to involve tablets, laptops, computers, or cellphones – the use of which can result in a fair bit of screen time for your kiddo. So, to balance things out, consider throwing some screen-free and hands-on lessons into the mix! If possible, print out the given learning activity your child needs to work on or remake it on paper and get them to do it by hand.
Don’t Forget to Socialize
Doing group exercises, sitting with your best buds in class, or playing at recess not only give your child the opportunity to have fun, but to socialize and improve their communication skills as well. And even if they’re not in school, socializing is still possible – and important to their wellbeing! Sit with them during their lessons, participate in the educational activities, or organize supervised online study groups so that your toddler can chat with their buddies.
Keep Track of Tasks
When you’re planning out the day or the week, you can also keep a calendar handy with all of the lessons, homework, and deadlines. This can help you stay organized – and it can double as a visual representation of your kid’s educational progress. To make it more colorful, get big and bold stickers and encourage your child to pick which ones go next to a completed task. This is sure to spark a sense of personal pride!
There’s no such thing as the perfect student – no matter the age or the learning ability, kids will have their ups and downs when it comes to schoolwork. The trick here is to hear them out, to show your support, and to potentially make changes based on what they say to improve their learning environment. And don’t forget to focus on the positive – highlighting your child’s accomplishments can boost their confidence!
Class doesn’t last all day! Once the work is done, switch out the school supplies for toys, games, or outdoor activities and fill your evenings with a ton of fun! Put a puzzle together, make a colorful drawing, snuggle up on the couch with a good movie, and take this time to strengthen the bond between you and your kiddo.
Navigating this new educational terrain is no easy task, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone! You can speak with teachers, reach out to fellow parents, or consult online resources. We’re all in this together!