Last week the Governor of Arizona announced that schools would remain closed for an additional week after the Spring break and yesterday that got pushed even further into the future making it another two weeks due to the Corona Virus outbreak. With schools and parents scrambling to figure out how to finish out the school year, I wanted to share some tips with moms on how to teach kids at home with schools closed. Having been a mom for 30 years and having homeschooled our first daughter throughout high school, I know that there are some definite tricks to educating kids at home. Here are my favorite hacks for how to teach kids at home!
No matter if your student’s school is doing all the classes online, handing our educational packets or just doing testing online, keep these tips in mind to save your sanity as a mom!
Create a Basic School Schedule During School Closures
Your school day at home doesn’t have to look like a typical school day, but you do need a schedule! We are creatures of habits, so it is much easier to wake up knowing that you want the kids started on their schoolwork by 9 am, then to have to make that decision EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Make the schedule work for you and your kids.
You are playing the role of a part-time teacher, so your school day needs to work for you and your student.
For example, I am a morning person. My 16-year-old daughter is a morning person too so we start the day at 7:30 a.m. whereas my 13-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter are definitely not morning people so we compromised since I am a morning person to start the day at 8:30 a.m.
Three Types Of Learners
There are 3 main types of learners: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Visual learners tend to watch and read in order to be able to learn. They do well to recopy notes or reread over the lesson. Auditory learners can listen to a teacher and comprehend without having to see a lesson written. Kinesthetic learners enjoy moving or being hands-on while learning. They can play with Legos, color or craft and still take in everything that is being said.
So watch the signs and be aware of what kind of learner you have. You and your child may actually work through a lesson faster by you reading while they work on something with their hands. If you ask questions based on what they just listened to and they can quickly answer then you may have an auditory or kinesthetic learner.
Begin Your School Day With Something Fun
Make your school time more inviting by beginning the school day with something enjoyable. You may enjoy a critical thinking exercise, science experiment, craft, or listening to an audiobook.
Find something that is fun, but also educational. And if you can get some reading or experiment done that they have to do later anyway then it is a clear WIN!
Check Your Kids Work To Keep Them Accountable
Let’s be honest folks your kids are only human and if they can they will get away with slacking or not even doing their work at all. We all need a little accountability in our lives.
Hopefully, you won’t need to follow behind everything your kid does, but everybody does better if they know their work may be checked.
Help your kids out by checking their work!
Take Breaks To Complete Schoolwork At Home
Most middle school students can complete their schoolwork in several hours at home. So there is no need for your student to be sitting at a desk for 7 hours. They can finish it much faster.
Your student may be at school for 7 hours, but they are not sitting that whole time. Actually, they aren’t even working on schoolwork all 7+ hours.
Keep your student moving steadily, but allow for breaks. Students will become easily frustrated and start working slower if they are just expected to sit until everything is done.
Watch School Online with Your Student
If your tween or teen has to watch a lesson online, on a subject they struggle or you are not familiar with, watch it together. Watching it together will help you catch up with what they are doing, and it will motivate your kid to be more likely to concentrate on the lesson.
The fastest way to get through the work is to stop and watch the lesson with your kids. That way if your child has a question about their schoolwork you can answer it most likely.
Education Is All About Cultivating A Desire To Learn
If your child doesn’t have a ton of structured schoolwork, remember that education is truly about cultivating a love of learning. So if your teen is reading up on the latest space mission or creating a new recipe they are learning.
The best lessons are where you take something they already want to learn or do and teach them something small in addition.
I have found that short lessons work best. When we cultivate a love for learning, then our kids will continue to read, ask questions and research on their own.
Give Yourself Grace When Teaching Kids At Home
Having everyone underfoot all day long and homeschooling everyone can leave the house quite messy. Household chores and tidying need to be part of your home education experience.
You can do this! You know your kids and you are the one who taught them to dress themselves, ride a bike, talk, throw a ball and more. This is just an extension of everything you have already been doing.
When you teach school at home, make sure to give yourself grace.
Give yourself some grace and allow for feelings of fatigue and overwhelm. You will be richly rewarded for the effort you take on to work with your kids. But homeschooling is tough at times.
Have an End to the School Day
I love homeschooling, but sometimes I just want to be a mom and not a teacher. So give yourself an end to the school day.
This helps you all transition back into the home routine where you run errands, have free time, prepare dinner, enjoy quality family time after dinner, prepare for bed and the next day, have time with your hubby and go to bed yourself.
We’re done with our school day by 1 p.m. typically. That leaves time for chores, cooking and baking, errands, etc.
It’s going to be up to you to find what works best for you and your family.
I know that these are crazy times what with all the school closures and all but it is my fondest wish that you and your family stay well and I hope you will look back on this time positively due to the time it allowed you to have with your kids.
Take care until next time,