The COVID-19 crisis has turned many families into unexpected homeschool families. Becoming a homeschool parent overnight can seem intimidating, but thankfully you don’t have to face it alone. There are all kinds of resources available to help parents provide a positive experience to their kids.
Here are five ways that you can help your children thrive in their new homeschool environment.
Set the stage for success
The physical space that you homeschool in makes an impact on how your children learn. Set up a space that is designated just for your homeschool, like a family room, playroom, or guest room.
Remove distractions like TVs and set up a workspace where they can focus. Organize your homeschool room so that you can find all books, supplies, and technology needed for school and work efficiently.
Now’s the time to add some “school spirit” to your homeschool room. Making your room special and motivational can help your children think of this temporary learning change as a fun new adventure instead of a chaotic and scary change. Let your kids decorate some pictures for the walls. You can even print some educational decor.
Build lasting routines
Children thrive on stability and predictability. Since their lives have taken an unexpected twist, one of the best ways to help them is to set routines to give your days structure and help your children know what to expect. You don’t have to schedule out each minute of their day. In fact, overscheduling can create even more frustration. But creating a simple routine that your family follows each day can help bring order into your home.
Here’s an example of a daily homeschool routine:
- Wake, breakfast, and chores
- Workbooks and online learning
- Lunch and playtime
- Reading and quiet time
- Playtime and dinner
No one routine will work well for every family, so you should adjust your routines based on the ages and needs of your children. If your routine gets thrown off a little throughout the day, just calmly redirect back to it. The key is to be flexible while also providing structure.
Use educational resources
Some kids can rush through their schoolwork and finish it quicker at home than they would in the classroom. If you find yourself with lots of extra time to fill but don’t want your kids watching TV or using technology all day, there are all kinds of educational activities you can set up.
Many educators have done an excellent job creating resources that your children can use to help supplement their work during this time. Contact them if you have any questions about extra educational activities that will complement their instruction.
If you have access to a backyard or porch, that’s a great opportunity to incorporate time in the outdoors into your homeschool routine. Try nature journaling or taking a nature walk in your backyard.
Getting out of the house can help your kids mentally reset and release some energy. Organize and update your yard to make it the perfect outdoor escape for your family, and you can even get your kids involved in the project. Clear the weeds, fix broken equipment, and let your children rediscover the fun of playing outside.
Boredom is a good thing
It may be tempting to fill every moment of your child’s day with activities (especially when you’re tired of hearing “I’m bored!”), but research shows that allowing children to have unstructured free time is actually very beneficial. When your kids have to use their imagination to come up with something to do, it helps them use their creativity and problem-solving skills. It also encourages collaboration.
It’s a good idea to plan free time into your daily routine to help your kids work through their boredom. If they’re having a particularly difficult time thinking of things to do, consider writing out a list of games and activities and putting it on the fridge or writing them on popsicle sticks and placing them in a “free time” jar.
Discover a home you love
Taking these simple steps can help you create a positive learning environment in your home and help your children thrive during this uncertain time.
If you’re ready to buy or sell your house, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Steinborn & Associates can help. We’re the leading real estate company in southern New Mexico and we’re taking every precaution necessary to help our clients stay safe and healthy while taking the next step in their homeownership journey.