Tips for homeschooling your little ones. How to keep things interesting and keep your kiddos engaged when learning at home.
Alongside the looming presence of Covid-19, lots of parents are facing lockdown with the added pressure of homeschooling their children. And by no means is the task a walk in the park. Without prior training or experience, we’ve been thrown in the deep end. Armed only with a school syllabus to light the way, we are expected to take on our children’s educational needs and process a global crisis.
We may not be teachers, but we are caring parents who want the best for our children. So, remember the change is taking its toll on our little ones too. Lacking in equipment and professional help, all we can do is make the experience as fun as possible. All anyone can hope is something will be learned along the way.
It’s enough to be doing the best you can. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you certainly aren’t alone. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make the learning experience more bearable for both you and your children.
Read on to discover some great techniques to liven up your homeschooling routine.
Focus on what your child enjoys the most
Children are creatures of extremes, every child has a topic they absolutely adore and another — for lack of a better phrase — completely hate. And interest in each can flip on a dime. So, it is beneficial to allow your little one to lead. Some are born creatives, who thrive in literacy; others feel settled in the numerical order of mathematics. Or maybe they are explorers at heart, in which case, geography could be their favourite subject for the day.
Regardless, try to understand what makes your little one tick and lean into it. The job is made far easier when your child enjoys what they are learning about. Better still, you are facilitating their inquisitive nature, encouraging them to better understand what they love: isn’t that the best life lesson of all? Leave the boring stuff to the professionals.
Don’t worry if you’re unsure how to approach certain subjects, there is tonnes of guidance online. Whatever the chosen subject, BBC Bitesize is a brilliant tool to plan your lessons around. Especially for KS1, Bitesize compiles learning resources and information into easy to understand lessons. Using such a site affirms your own knowledge and can be used as a library to answer questions when you cannot.
Educate using playtime
Regardless of what you are learning about, a point will come where your little ones attention span begins to dwindle. I’m sure you have discovered, once they are bored you have little hope of bringing your child back to the lesson. It can help to disguise learning as playtime: Perhaps a game of dinosaur Top Trumps, can inspire an interest in archaeology? The best kind of education occurs when you don’t know you’re learning.
Or if you fancy a more guided approach, consider treating your kids to a toddler subscription box like the Sago Mini Box. Having new activities routinely delivered, keeps the learning experience fresh and fun. One day your little one is exploring the animal kingdom and next, they are off in a proverbial rocket ship studying the galaxy.
Either way, playtime is a fantastic way for your youngster to learn. It keeps them occupied and simultaneously stimulates the brain. Not only is play a good tool to have up your sleeve, but it’s also essential to the learning process. So, don’t be scared to take a break from your lesson plan.
Move location to keep things fresh
Monotony is not conducive to learning. Being stuck indoors, sat around a coffee table, is no fun for your little one. And let us be honest, you don’t enjoy it all that much either. With no public space to run to, instead, make sure you switch things up around the house as often as possible.
The weirder you can make it, the better. Physical education in the hallway? Fine. Geography lessons on the trampoline? Now, there’s a great idea. It may sound odd, but we know as parents, our little monsters have no bounds to their energy. From the crack of dawn until the time they go to sleep, they bounce off the walls all day long.
Learning in different environments often keeps the energy focused on education, reducing the time kids spend looking for distractions. Make what you are doing the most exciting thing possible and you will occupy your child’s attention. Reciting times tables tucked into a blanket fort will always be more interesting than being sat at a desk jotting down fractions.
Recommended reading: Homeschooling
Although homeschooling isn’t always the most ideal situation, it can be something you can make the most of. The above tips are a great way to start, add them to your routine and soon you will see the benefits of your hard work.