6 Homeschooling Tips for Parents During COVID-19
Schools and daycare centers have suspended the classes and operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kids are now expected to stay home and continue with their school requirements. This leaves parents with the responsibility to ensure that the learning never stops with the school closure.
This may pose a challenge, especially to parents who have shifted to working from home and are new to homeschooling kids. Before you start to get overwhelmed on how you will juggle home chores, work, and homeschooling your child, we have enlisted some tips to help you get started with homeschooling.
Tips for Homeschooling During COVID-19
1. Start a conversation with your child about the current situation and homeschooling set up
Your child may have already heard about the COVID-19 from the news or their school. Even so, you should take the time to talk to your child. You may refer to our article, COVID-19 Prevention: How to Teach and Protect Your Kids, for tips on how to talk to your kid about COVID-19.
When your child understands the situation, let him know about the plans on homeschooling.
2. Set a daily routine and schedule with your child
Routines are essential, especially during this extraordinary time because it serves as the child's guide on what he/she needs to do during the day. It gives the child a sense of security, consistency, and predictability. This also helps the child understand time management, learn about responsibility, and develop good habits. It will also help all family members manage their daily activities.
Sit down with your child and get his/her suggestions on the activities he/she wants to do. As a parent, you need to identify essential tasks that need to be done and allow your child to freely choose their activity.
Not all families will have the same routine and schedule. You are free to create a program that complements the lifestyle of the family. You can refer to the Tiny Steps Homeschooling Schedule for an example of a daily schedule. Feel free to print the Tiny Steps Homeschooling Schedule Template to make your own agenda.
Here are some tips on what to include in your homeschooling schedule:
a. Find out the school's agenda for online learning
If your child's school has organized an online learning session, make sure that you put it on the daily schedule. Prepare your child's laptop, applications, and internet connection to be able to join his/her class.
b. Assign chores to your child
Involve your child to do age-appropriate chores at home. Younger kids can be taught to pack away their toys after play, to dust small furniture, or even prepare their own snacks. Older kids and teenagers can be assigned to make their beds, take out the trash, set the table, or do the laundry.
By giving your child the responsibility to do house chores, you delegate the work you need to complete at home and help reduce your stress in maintaining the household. Most importantly, you teach your child practical skills he/she can use as he/she grows and allow him/her to feel accomplished when they finish their task.
c. Set time for outdoor activities
If you have a backyard in your home, allow your child to spend time and play outdoors. At least 15 minutes of sunlight can help kids get their dose of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is said to help improve mood and create a positive mental attitude.
The freedom of movement they get playing outside will help your child stay happy, active, and healthy.
You may set up an outdoor play area for your child or let him/her play freely in your space.
d. Put indoor physical activities on the list
Help burn all those excess energies and stay fit by engaging your child in fun physical activities. You can invite your child to exercise, do yoga, have a dance-off, or challenge them to do a scavenger hunt. You can set up a mini-bowling alley or an obstacle course in your living room.
e. Give kids free time to do what they are interested and passionate about
Every child has their own interest and hobby. Allowing your child to choose their own activity helps them pursue their passion and develop their creativity. Support your child on his/her passion project by providing him/her with the materials needed.
If your child likes drawing or painting, provide him/her with art materials. If your child wants ballet, play classical music for them to dance to. You may leverage on free or paid online lessons to supplement their learning.
f. Spend time with your child
If both parents are working, make certain that at least one of you is available to help support your child during the day. Carve out time from your work schedule and use this time to homeschool your toddler or if you have older kids, use the time to check on their requirements.
Try to learn what your child is studying during his/her distance learning. In this way, you can think or suggest supplemental activities you can do together to reinforce the learning.
Bond with your child while both of you do house chores, arts and crafts, or outdoor play together.
Check out our article on Fun Activities To Do at Home for more activity ideas to do while staying at home.
3. Identify a space for homeschooling activities
Find a space in your home that is conducive to learning activities. The area should be well-lit, quiet, and away from distractions like toys, gadgets, and television. It would be better if the child has his own table and chair so that he/she feels comfortable in it.
Let your child personalize his space to entice him to do his homeschooling activities. Your little one's school materials should be accessible and should be within his/her homeschooling area.
4. Watch out for your child's emotions during homeschooling
Stay attuned to your child's feelings as they may be prone to confusion or even anxiety as they adjust to the new routine of being at home all the time. Help your child adapt to the changes by supporting them through the adjustment phase.
5. Introduce new and fun activities
Make home learning during COVID-19 enjoyable by introducing new experiences to your child. Try baking cookies or making origami. The opportunity to create and explore new things is endless. Spark your child's curiosity and build new skills with them.
6. Make room for flexibility and changes
Since you and your child are new to homeschooling, you will need time to adjust to the new routine. Expect that you may need to update your homeschooling schedule until your family finds the right groove.
The schedule or agenda is there to guide the family, but don't let it stress the family members. Let it serve as a guide, and don't pressure your child to do everything on the dot. Give some room for some flexibility and allow him/her to extend some activities he/she enjoys.
We hope the tips we suggested helps you strategize on how to incorporate homeschooling into your family's daily life. Always maintain a positive attitude and enjoy the experience as you navigate through the joys and challenges of homeschooling your child.
Ready to find a great sitter?