How to homeschool – take their workspace to another room
If you’ve been using the same area to work in, a homeschooled child may positively embrace a change of scenery – and therefore experience a change in mindset – if you are in a position to set up their workspace somewhere else in the house. If you can, get outside whilst the weather is good; outdoor learning is so engaging, great for mental health and such a pleasant atmosphere.
Homeschooling resources – start with a warmup activity
If your homeschooled students are starting to feel fatigued by the prospect of learning at home during school closures, away from their teacher and their school friends, they may find it difficult to focus on work. Introduce a warmup activity/puzzle/brainteaser/game to help channel their focus before getting to the heart of their learning. If you have more than one child, you could allow your children to take it in turns to run the warm ups to give them a sense of responsibility.
Homeschool parent – vary teaching techniques and activities
Your homeschooled kids may require variety now more than ever in remote learning activities to retain their attention and keep up motivation, younger children and older children alike. It could help them to have a mixture of resource types to work with – worksheets, writing prompts, videos, audio experiences practical activities and so on. Some things may be better taught in a kinaesthetic way eg weights and measures, whilst others would benefit from visual learning eg flags of different countries.
To improve the variety, it can be useful to look outside of your home for support. Some ideas include: finding plays that have been live streamed, educational documentaries, walking in the garden/local park and examining animals, trees and flowers, or opting for an at-home one-to-one tuition service like Explore at Home. A new voice and approach can break up the learning process and give children a fresh perspective.
Lesson plans – keep it creative
While the core lessons like English and maths are integral to children’s education, it’s important to remember the benefits of the creative arts too. Even though an art lesson taking place on the kitchen table may fill parents with dread, a simple activity involving pencils or pens can allow children to release their creative energy and will in turn have a positive impact on the subjects that may involve more logical or lateral thinking.
Remote education and extra curricular activities
As the weeks go on, homeschooling may become more difficult for children, so accept that formal learning time may become shorter and playtime/breaks may need to be longer and more frequent. Regular snack breaks will also keep their energy up. If you have access to a garden make sure children are outside as often as possible – or you could have regular, five-minute activity bursts with some star jumps or freestyle dance. Even if they end up with slightly less ‘lesson time’ overall as a result, your child’s learning will be much more effective, as they will be less restless.