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Tips for homeschooling whilst working

Thousands of parents have been taking on the role of teacher since lockdown. However, it’s nothing like previously helping your child with homework questions or sitting down and teaching your child(ren) the ABC or 123. Home-schooling is completely different.

First, don’t be hard on yourself, you can only do what you can do. It is a hard thing to do. There is an entire teaching industry dedicated to home-schooling that requires full-time commitment and now thousands of parents are now delivering some resemblance of this, whilst having to work their full-time job. Here are some tips to helpfully help you along the way.

  1. Put a schedule together

Believe it or not, children prefer routine. They need to understand what is happening next. Like with most people having a plan means you can orientate yourself and that way set expectations. If your child is old enough, put the plan/schedule together. Make them part of the planning process, they are more likely to follow through. In doing this it will allow you to schedule your work day. See when you think your child would need the most support and schedule your breaks to allow that support.

  1. Spend time outside

If you can and have an outside area, garden, balcony etc spend some time out there. Just being outside can help refresh the mind. If your child is of primary or secondary school age, they would normally have a mid-morning break and a run around to loosen up, take a stretch. Remember learning does not always need to be at a desk, take it outside. Hopefully, this is when you can get so dedicated work time in, schedule calls around this time.

  1. Be flexible

Previously mentioned that you should set a schedule, but still do not be afraid to adapt the schedule if needed. Maybe a piece of work set is taking longer than expected, or they are enjoying learning a topic, so you keep it going longer. Things do not always go to plan, even as adults in your working day you need to adapt.

  1. Use external resources

Don’t think you need to do everything yourself, use other resources. If you have the ability for your child to go online there are great resources to help. BBC Bitesize, Joe Wicks and his morning PE sessions, Duolingo as a language resource or computer programming resource Scratch or Blockly for coding. Or even using items in the home like a board game and using the numbers rolled on the dice as part of a maths game. If your baking a cake using the weights and quantities as part of maths.

  1. Record and reward

Make sure you record and make a note of the work they have done well. It is a new challenge for them and you and rewarding good work is just as important. Take a picture of the artwork and send round to family members to also help and encourage their good work. Set yourself a target whether it be for a work project or helping your child understand the latest algebraic formula, reward yourself as well.

Currently we are all going through strange times, but during this home schooling and remote working phase be kind to yourself, nobody expects you to win teacher, parent and employee/manager of the year award so don’t be hard on them or yourself. The last situation anybody wants, is for you to feel burnt out, or your child to dread learning and spending time with you.