20 Learning From Home Preparation Tips for Parents To Support Their Kids
Schools closing, and moving education to a home school scenario, is probably an idea that does not resonate well for many families. However, circumstance globally, have just imposed this concept on many countries. Living spaces at home have to accommodate school learning until further notice.
The idea of home school may be a well oiled concept for some, but to others the thought may bring shock and horror into their lives. How will they cope with having home and school in one place? How will it affect the lives of the family members?
Here are some practical tips and guidelines for ways to be prepared mentally, physically and socially to the change learning from home will bring to family life.
Making the mental adjustment to learning from home:
- Take some time to develop the right mind set. Accepting, rather than resisting, and talking openly about the consequences of learning from home.
- Discuss self motivation especially with the older learners in your home environment. It is a ’need and want’ scenario – you many not want to study at home, but sadly you need to study at home.
- Set goals for each learner each week. Focus on achieving manageable goals. In this way the enormity of studying at home is not so huge. Small manageable chunks will be easier to contend with.
- Help children to create a mental picture of work time and space, and recreational time and space.
Making physical adjustments to learning from home:
- If it is possible, set up a study area where the lessons and learning will take place.
- Take time to plan a routine and timetable of work and play time. Let your children take part in designing this so they have had input in how they will balance their time.
- Check your computer and WIFI connections are ready to support a home school programme. Do you need a headset or any other extras to join other groups?
- Find out what your school is offering in terms of support and online lessons. Check for free resources available.
- Make allowance for the needs of different age groups. Having more than one child working at home is more challenging. Encourage the older children to work at things without too much supervision.
- Decide on how and where you will store the children’s work and school resources. Keep things neat and organised. This will help avoid frustration of things going astray during the process of working on school activities at home.
- Make yourself familiar with the work and be ready to put some time in to organise and prepare some of the lessons.
- Have a goodie basket of motivational treats for some rewards. Make provision for ‘time out’ rewards or break time. Allocate time together treats where the family does something entertaining together as a reward for good work or good behaviour.
- Create a ‘flag’ system for calling for help especially if there is more than one child in your home school. This will help prevent everyone demanding your help constantly. A little paper flag that stands up on the table to indicate help needed will make it easier to find time to answer all the request for help. The children wait and do something else while you give help one at a time. Those who are waiting cam read a book or do a puzzle to keep them busy.
- Stock up with puzzle books, word games and colouring books and easy reading materials to keep children busy if you are not available to help.
- Give rewards and praise especially in the beginning while routine is being established. Have a rewards chart so there is an incentive to receive something for good work.
Making social adjustments to learning from home:
- The whole idea of being at home and not going to school is a social adjustment and this will be a challenge. Discuss this factor with older children who are very aware of their social groups.
- Be more sociable at home. This means playing family games, spending time talking to each other and making time for family meals or gatherings.
- Encourage children to speak about their feelings. Disappointments, anger, frustration, or lack of motivation should be discussed as openly as possible to avoid any negativity. In the same way success and achievement should be noticed and praised.
- Use social media and contacts with other family members to keep in touch through forms of internet communication.
- Look out for home school support groups and connect with others in the same situation. Being connected is important.
This all seems like rather a tall order and perhaps rather daunting at first. Home schooling is a work in progress kind of experience. There are benefits to home schooling too. Through this time of restriction children may grow in interesting areas not experienced before.
Albert Einstein was known to say:
‘I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.’
Perhaps the learning from home concept, and a change in the style of education children are used to, will open new doors. Parents can take this opportunity to encourage curiosity. If it worked for Albert Einstein that could be a key indicator that it could work for you too. If you are prepared, facing the remote learning scenario, will not be so daunting.
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