When things get chaotic, setting some kind of routine can be what helps you through. Given said that, balancing work from home and homeschooling can be a juggle so it’s about doing the best you can.
One of the most common questions asked during the movement control order is how to organise a home to help kids with their homeschooling.
Here are some of the best things we’ve found:
1. Set up a schedule
Figure out what’s on and when so that everyone understands. Just like at school, a routine is very important for kids.
Establish the best times that work for you and your kids and stick with that routine every day.
However, plan lots of breaks. Homeschooling is hard and nerves are easily frayed. Be easy on both yourself and your kids.
2. Set up the space for work
Give each child his/her own workspace. And, if possible, make that space somewhere other than the regular dining table.
It’s ok to leave a little bit of a school mess at the end of every day. As long as each child knows what area is there, then there won’t be too many disagreements.
If you have lots of kids and a limited amount of space, consider some masking tape borders on the table. You want to do your best to minimise conflicts before they have a chance to start.
3. Give everyone their own supplies
Give each child a box or a bin for all of his/her books and supplies. This is especially helpful if you are using a table for lots of purposes (like dining or your own home office).
Let them fill their box with their own supplies which they can easily move back and forth from the work area.
Let them decorate their box any way they’d like. Make that an art project for them to express some creativity.
4. Emphasise quiet time
Quiet times for reading are really important. Make sure there’s no music in the background, no TV on, and no one looking at videos on the internet in the background. All of those are distractions.
For some, the best reading time is right before lunch. For others, it’s later in the afternoon when kids need to calm down a bit.
You know your kids better than I do. Figure out what time of the day is reading time and have all of your kids participate in it at the same time.
5. Maintain the familiar
Snacks, lunch, and exercise are all parts of most kids’ school days. Build those into your schedule as well. They’re key to helping kids learn, maintain a balanced mood and stay healthy and optimistic.
6. Be real and honest
Lower your expectations. This environment that we’re in is very, very strange. You’re probably stressed and so are your kids. A little progress every day is the goal. Don’t expect more than that.
Setting up goals which are practically out of reach will only add to everyone’s frustration. Talk openly and honestly with your kids about what is happening in the world.
Give them a chance to express their concerns and opinions and respond with age-appropriate information and advice.
7. Remember, there’s a bright side
Try to remind yourself that there’s a silver lining here. This is an incredible time for you and your kids to do some serious bonding. Remind yourself that every day – especially when they seem to be driving you a bit up a wall.
Your children look to you for direction and to set the mood. Stay calm and be the parent – even when that’s difficult.
We will get through this period. We need to do what everyone says (like stay inside and wash your hands often).
Homeschooling serves two purposes. The obvious first purpose is that your kids’ minds will continue to grow; but, the second is that it will add some order and make some potentially long boring days go by more quickly.
Be well and stay safe – I hope these few tips work for you and your family.