Whether you’re homeschooling for the first time during the coronavirus shutdown or you’re a regular homeschooler, it’s good to maintain a basic daily structure. Here are some quick tips to help you stay on track.
Do your best to start your school day at the same time each day. Whether it’s 8AM or noon, block off a chunk of time dedicated solely to homeschooling, just as you would block off appointments in your planner. Then protect that time. Don’t let your to-do list or want-to list get in the way. If you don’t make teaching your kids a priority, it won’t happen. And children thrive on consistency, even the spontaneous-oriented ones. They draw security from knowing what to expect.
Stop interruptions before they start
Don’t let distractions eat up your school time. Shut off your cell phone or at the very least mute it. If someone wants to get ahold of you, they can leave a message.
Don’t turn on the computer unless it’s needed to complete a lesson. When the lesson is over, turn the computer off so it doesn’t become a distraction for you or your child.
Manage one-on-one time
If you have more than one child, remind them that they may have to take turns when it comes to one-on-one help from Mom. My daughter frequently needed more of my time because, being older, her lessons took longer to complete. To be fair to my son, I’d spend a half hour with Autumn, then help him with a subject, and then go back to helping Autumn.
If you have more than two children, pair them together for short stints. You can help one child with a subject while the other two play together. After your allotted time, switch partners.
Watch Your Words
Be careful what you say; your words sink straight into your child’s heart. If you constantly tell your son, “You’re such a troublemaker,” don’t be surprised if he actually becomes one. Instead, purposefully seek to instill confidence. Here are some examples:
The complaint: “This is too hard.”
Discouraging response: “No, it’s not. You’re just not trying hard enough.”
Encouraging answer: “Yes, it is, and you’re good at hard things. You can do this.”
The complaint: “It’s too easy.”
Discouraging response: “Fine. Then I’ll double your assignments.”
Encouraging answer: “Isn’t that great? You understand the material. Now let’s try something that will be more challenging.”
The complaint: “I don’t like this.”
Discouraging response: “Tough. Life is full of boring things that you won’t like.”
Encouraging answer: “Then let’s get through it so we can move onto something more interesting.”
The complaint: “I’m too tired.”
Discouraging response: “Too bad. Get with the program.”
Encouraging answer: “Take a break. Lay down and shut your eyes for 10 minutes.”