If you’re in an area where the schools are now closed indefinitely, you might be faced with the prospect of home-schooling. Even if exams are postponed, all school subjects – Math, English, sciences, languages, arts –get better when practiced, and skills will drop off if they aren’t used for months at a time. This means it’s good practice to keep your kid or kids doing some lessons, even if they aren’t as regimented as in “real school.” With that in mind, you might find yourself falling into the role of teaching them subjects you thought you’d left behind in high school! Here are a few top tips to keep everyone sane during this turbulent time.
1. Be available…
…at least during lesson time. You might now have to work from home too, so it’s tempting to stick on an educational video and leave your kids to it. But engaging with them and working together as they learn is one of the positive things that can come out of homeschooling. There are plenty of ways you can work and invest without actually having to sit at a computer – look at trying your hand at becoming a forex broker, for example. This means you can sit with your kids during class time and then set them tasks for when you need to get on with a little homework yourself!
2. Teach the same lessons but at different levels
There are plenty of excellent resources online – mostly for teachers, but available for you to use – that will give you some guidance on how to tailor classes for mixed ability pupils. This works the exact same way for different ages. Obviously, if you’re working with a four-year-old and a sixteen-year-old, things are going to be a little trickier. A top tip for these situations is to engage the older child with helping instruct the younger sibling. Teaching, explaining clearly and concisely and imparting knowledge, is a great skill for the older child to be picking up as well as refreshing their knowledge on whatever they’re working on with the younger kid. In this situation, you may have to run a slightly different lesson for the children, but you can still work with them both at the same time and getting your older kid to run through the basics of, say, Spanish, with the little one will be good for both of them.
3. Use online resources
Homeschooling is still considered a little bizarre, but without formal education in place in many states now due to Covid-19, it’s going to become more and more commonplace and is significantly easier now than in the past. Take advantage of apps, the internet and digital resources available. If you’re teaching older kids, then get them to go through what they find and research the lessons they want to do. Part of being a great student in 2020 is strong internet-research skills, so remember, it might not seem like they’re learning but they still are.
Keep your cool – they can be frustrating, but you’ll both remember this time for the rest of your lives, so aim to make it as fun and engaging as possible whilst still keeping their learning a priority. And you might even find you have a natural calling for teaching.