How to Support Your Children While Homeschooling
Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about how to support your children while homeschooling.
You might be homeschooling your kids by choice or out of necessity, but either way, they need your help to succeed. What can you do to support them?
As a parent, your attitude toward your child’s learning influences their chances of success. Here are eight tips for how to support your child while homeschooling.
1. Embrace Asynchronous Learning
Learning falls into two categories — synchronous, such as when all class members attend a live lecture, and asynchronous, where individual learners complete activities at their own pace. Schools have long incorporated both practices, but most parents are only familiar with the former.
When your child starts homeschooling, understand that they might complete assignments faster than their peers. Piling on more of the same or forcing them to complete extra work can breed resentment — why should they have to do more for the same reward? However, providing entertaining supplemental activities lets them pursue their passion without the pressure of completing X amount of additional work in a specified timeframe.
Asynchronous learning is a boon for students with learning disabilities. Those who struggle can take more frequent breaks and rewatch videos or review material as much as necessary while they catch up and build competence with the subject matter.
2. Help Them With Their Planner
Homeschooling does require your child to take on more responsibility than merely showing up for class on time with paper and pencil. If they want to succeed, they have to get organized — teaching them another vital skill they’ll need in adulthood.
However, no one is born with knowledge of how to use a planner. As a parent, sit down with your child at their day’s end for a snack. While you nosh, go over their agenda, assigning time estimates to each to-do and adjusting them as necessary.
3. Talk to Their Teacher
Just because your child now learns from a desk in the kitchen doesn’t mean skipping out on parent-teacher night. These events still provide valuable opportunities to learn about your child’s classroom experience and share any special needs they have with their teachers.
If you have a schedule conflict that prohibits attendance, set up a one-on-one conference. It’s also wise to do this if your child struggles with complex issues you prefer not to discuss in front of other parents.
4. Give Plenty of Breaks
Children weren’t built to sit at a desk for eight hours a day. They need to run, skip and jump to develop their wee muscles, skeletons and motor coordination.
Please give your child frequent breaks throughout the day. One way to do so is to introduce them to the Pomodoro method. For every 25 minutes they work, they get a 5-minute break, and after three “Pomodoros” or labor periods, they take a longer 15 to 30-minute rest.
5. Create a Nurturing and Productive Environment
School can be a battlefield for many children. Fortunately, you control their home environment — make it nurturing and productive.
Eliminate distractions by creating a dedicated homeschool workspace for your child. Even adults can’t perform at their best with a TV blaring in the background. Ensure they have a nourishing breakfast and ready snacks to keep them going throughout the day.
Make your home a bully-free zone. If you tease your children, even in jest, it can crush their spirit — they might not know you are only joking. Focus on using supportive, positive language when you interact.
6. Overcome Technical Difficulties
One of the highest hurdles families faced in 2020 was having multiple people streaming devices simultaneously. If you haven’t upgraded your internet connection yet, please do so as soon as you can afford it to decrease frustration caused by lag time and Zoom classroom crashes.
Unfortunately, the most disadvantaged students often struggle the most to get the supplies they need. While stock is limited, check with your child’s school — they may provide a free laptop for students who can’t afford one.
7. Engage Them in Extracurriculars
Your kiddo might not miss the classroom but could yearn for soccer practice. Try to get your kiddos involved in any extracurricular activities your school offers.
If your child attends a charter homeschool, inquire about their partnerships with local public schools. Some academies that lack sufficient enrollment to have teams themselves team-u0p with larger entities to provide these activities to students.
8. Treat Online Learning Like “Real” School — It Is
Please don’t fall into the trap of treating homeschooling like an extended snow day. While your child might not have to wear a uniform to report to class, they’re still attending “real” school and deserve it treated as such.
If your child is in class, save them from embarrassment by ensuring you look appropriate for the camera before appearing over their shoulder. Ask about their day at the dinner table and inquire about upcoming finals and field trips the way you would if they attended a traditional class.
Support Your Children in Their Homeschooling With These Tips
As a parent, you can do much to make or break your child’s educational adventure. Use the eight tips above to support them in their homeschooling.