How to Homeschool (and Stay Sane) While Schools Are Closed

Many parents around the world are now trying to juggle working from home while fitting in time to homeschool their children too. 

Adjusting to this new way of life is not easy; it’s difficult for parents and kids with such a significant change to regular daily and weekly routines.  

Here are some helpful tips to try and create a manageable home, school, work routine for families and set up a viable home learning workspace for kids. It may not be an ideal situation right now, but if a workstation is set up much like the school environment that kids are used to, chances are kids are more likely to get involved and get work done.

Choose the right space, room or area.

When a particular room, space or area is designated for schoolwork only, it will feel more like school time for kids. Find the right spot and stick to that same spot every day. It doesn’t have to look like their classroom at school. It’s about trying to create a sense of routine that feels like school time for them. 

Working areas should be comfortable, but it doesn’t have to be over the top. A simple chair, desk, good lighting and some storage space nearby for their books and pens is enough. It may also be a good idea to set this area up close to parents so that you can keep a watchful eye over them. You are acting as their teacher right now, they may need some support and may ask a few questions, try to assist but don’t get stressed over it, just do what you can to help to support them. 

If you are lucky enough to have a spare room that you can dedicate to homeschooling, use it. 

Declutter

Parents may wish to remove some clutter from home to create a better workspace for homeschooling their kids, as well as for their own remote work. If so, the best option is to put some of these household items aside for the time being and later on place them into a safe and secure storage space.

This will help provide a blank canvas and kids may feel rather enthusiastic about their temporary classroom.

So, to sum up:

  • Find a suitable table or work surface big enough for them to do their homework and try to keep it clutter-free as well as encouraging kids to tidy up after themselves, just as they would at school.

 

  • Make it comfortable as they are more likely to sit for longer and carry on with their work when they are comfortably seated.

 

  • Surroundings are important. Setting up the right scene and environment will help to maintain their concentration. Turn off the TV and don’t allow them to be easily distracted.

 

  • Displaying your kid’s work and achievements are important. You could always use a pinboard and pin work up weekly. 

 

  • Keep the space clutter-free. Use self-storage to remove some of the clutter for a few months so that the room or space is less distracting for them. Give them a place to store their pens and pencils on their tables, just as they would at school and store their work in the same place every day so that they know where to access it easily.

 

  • Get the kids involved after all they know their school environment, and routine better, so make sure you ask for their input when setting up their homeschool workstations.

 

  • Review their schooling tasks. Most schools are sending outset work for kids to do at home and informing parents of their academic duties so that they can keep track. Make sure that you regularly look at their schedules and actively email schools/teachers if you need some clarifications or more understanding. 

 

  • Routine is what school is all about for kids, the time they go in, the time they have their breaks and lunch, and the time they spend per lesson, plus home time.  

 

Try to maintain a routine which is the same every single day (albeit something suitable for you at home). Allow kids to take a break. Maybe go to the balcony or the garden. Let them get some fresh air.

Just try not to skip days unless it’s absolutely necessary as they may start to lose focus and drive. Even if some days you only manage to get a little schoolwork done, something is better than nothing.

To finalise, don’t forget to show your appreciation and reward them for their hard work, and take some time to reward yourself for being a fantastic parent that is doing its best in these unprecedented times.