11 Tips for Successful Schooling at Home

The public health crisis of 2020 compelled students and parents to adjust to remote learning. Some parents took it a step further by playing the role of homeschool teacher. Regardless of where parents fall on the at-home or online learning spectrum, they could all use some help.

1. Create a Designated Area

The idea of attending school in bed seems appealing, at first, but students need designated areas for learning. Creating the right environment can reduce strain from sitting in one position for too long. It can also help to set the mood for learning. Some parents have created elaborate remote learning spaces with lockers, posters, whiteboards and classroom furniture.

2. Make a School Schedule

If parents decide to take over homeschool responsibilities, they need a schedule. It does not need to be an exact replica of the schedule used at school. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to consider the individuality of children and the parent. Are they morning people? Would starting classes at 10 in the morning give everyone more time to wake up and feel ready for learning?

3. Make Room for Individuality

Some children will adjust to homeschool with no hiccups. These children may not even feel excited about the prospect of physically attending school, in the future. Others may not feel as enthusiastic about being at home and separated from friends. Take children’s individual learning preferences into consideration as well.

4. Set Goals

Children work best when they have something to aim for. Set individual goals, based on each person’s abilities. Some children may feel slighted if they are expected to reach higher or lower targets, so parents may need to explain these differences. Keep in mind that children and schools are also adjusting to homeschool, so children may have different performance levels than usual.

5. Build Life Skills

Whether parents want to take over or supplement homeschooling efforts, this is a great opportunity to teach children life skills. Parents are teaching children to meditate when they become frustrated. Others are teaching children to make simple meals.

6. Go Beyond Classroom Learning

Some parents are truly testing their creativity by taking learning into new spaces. The pandemic may sometimes confine people to the home, but there are opportunities to explore. Even a day of outdoor learning can make a difference. Parents are also doing the following:

  • Taking children to farms or forests to learn about plants
  • Visiting zoos to learn about animals
  • Visiting historical sites to complement book learning

7. Add Extracurricular Activities

Children who participated in afterschool activities will have the most difficult time adjusting to life at home. Parents can find ways to help children find new hobbies or change the way they enjoy old ones. Here are some fun homeschool suggestions:

  • Music lessons or band practice via Zoom
  • Virtual painting lessons
  • Gardening lessons with grandma
  • Biking or skating in the neighborhood

8. Invest in Technology

With unemployment rates at all-time highs, many parents are struggling to make ends meet. This can compel them to cut corners that affect student learning. It’s important to budget for the technology students need to do well. This includes reliable tablets or computers and high-speed internet.

9. Make It Social

Parents can recreate break time with friends by launching video calls during playtime and lunchtime. When there are multiple children in the home, they might also enjoy doing things together, such as playing outside or trying new lunch recipes.

10. Ask for Help

Parents often feel pressured to get every new stage right on the first try. Everyone makes mistakes or stumbles across areas where they need help. Talk to other parents about homeschool challenges and coordinate with school teachers. It’s also important to ask for help and pass on lessons learned so far.

11. Exercise Patience

Most children struggle to understand why they must be separated from their friends. It is one thing to miss them at school and yet another to find they must also miss birthday parties. give up summer camp and cancel sleepovers. Parents must exercise some patience while also leading by example.

It will take some time before parents and students find the homeschool solutions that work best for them. Until then, openness to a little trial and error can go a long way.