How Are You Homeschooling During COVID-19 Lockdown?
10 Tips To Get You A Great Homeschooling Experience.
Growing up in Kenya in the 90s, my parents were teachers, actually headteachers in the local schools. In 2001, just nine months before my mum passed away, my parents opened a private elementary school that is still thriving to date. After high school, I had the opportunity to teach English skills, Math and Science at the school before joining college.
I never really liked to be a teacher, I found it stressful. I also loved it at times, like the moment when a child would sail through lists of quadratic equations with ease.
Fast forward to when my daughter started school, we deliberately put her through a French school, then a Spanish school. My husband then took up the role of homework and school follow-ups because I was also learning the languages at the time. She is now in high school and taking the IB English system.
What I am trying to say is, now it is not going well. This pandemic has taken me back to the drawing board. Never thought this day would come! Homeschooling has me stressed out and I am really getting confused. Just like many parents, I am trying to figure this stuff out and it’s not pretty.
See, teenagers argue, challenge, and think they can figure it all out until they can’t. I was not ready for it and it reminded me years ago as a “young untrained teacher.”
I have had to quickly come up with a plan on how to balance working at home and supporting my daughter through her virtual classes and assignments.
Here are some great tips that I have learned in the last seven weeks.
1. Have a designated space to study and do schoolwork. Additionally, organize all the materials and supplies before hand to avoid constant movement and interruptions. Stay away from distractions like television, music, etc.
2. The family must be structured. Work out a schedule for schoolwork and also to assist in house chores. It allows students to be focused and adapt to the development stage structure.
3. Ensure that review times are short. It helps to have breaks to move, get up and even change rooms from one activity to another.
4. Make sure you understand the instructions. It is essential to establish eye contact and ask the child to "repeat the instructions" of what they have to do.
5. Reinforce independence and autonomy. If your child is not clear how to solve an exercise, encourage them to request help from the teacher, peers or goggle.
6. Be patient. I understand that we are burdened with work responsibilities, housework, and childcare. Let them make mistakes and know they can count on you without fear. The challenges can become great lessons of learning and growth.
7. Reinforce other skills through indoor games. No matter how old your child is games are useful tools to strengthen family ties and to develop patience, manage frustrations, perseverance, and teamwork.
8. If you notice any difficulty in a task, assignment, or specific topic, encourage your child to try a different way.
9. Watch your thoughts and comments. If you disagree with any policy or a specific aspect of the school, avoid making comments against teachers and the system. Remember that at some point they will return to classes and student respect is vital.
10. Do not forget that we are all human, we have a right to be frustrated if you feel this way retire to rest, breathe or use the strategy that works best for you. You will be teaching your child through the example of self-control strategies.