Are you looking into homeschooling your young child for the first time? If so, it is important to know that there are significant differences between learning in a public-school setting and learning from home. Here are some tips for how to help your child adapt to homeschooling.
Accept your role as a teacher
While you are a parent, you are also a full-time teacher now. Accepting this role is necessary because, when you’re teaching your child, you need to look at them as a student instead of your child. If your child gets frustrated with learning, you might feel tempted to give up. But since you are a teacher, you need to encourage your student to pay attention and learn. Your child’s ability to accept their role as your student depends on your ability to accept your role as the teacher.
Teach them in the way that they learn best
Students learn better through different teaching styles. Some learn subjects better through subject-related movies and games; others learn better by reading age-appropriate books out loud. The homeschooling process will be more effective and allow you to more easily reach your child if you tailor your teaching style according to their individual needs. When you teach your student in the way that they learn best, they’ll be more likely to cooperate with you and respect you as a teacher.
Keep consistent hours
Just as schools start and end at certain times, your role as a teacher should start and end at certain times. This way, your child will be able to better distinguish when you hold the role of a parent as opposed to a teacher. You will be able to balance out goofy leisure activities and serious schoolwork. It might take some time, but eventually, you and your child will settle into your roles. You will both enjoy the balance between a parent-child relationship and a teacher-student relationship.
Part of being a teacher, especially for young children, involves words of affirmation and rewards for good behavior. However, instead of rewarding your child like you would as a parent, think about rewards a schoolteacher would give. For instance, teachers would give students pizza parties in the classroom. They would not take their students out to eat on a normal school day. Here are some appropriate rewards as a teacher:
- Longer and/or earlier recess
- Movie time
- Extra snack time
- Game time
It is important to differentiate the rewards you give them as a teacher and as a parent to show your child what your different roles involve. Also, if you change your mind about homeschooling, your child will adapt more easily to the change.
Encourage friendships outside of school
One good thing about homeschooling your child is that you do not have to worry about bullying or distractions from other students. However, it is critical for their social development that your child make friends. Since they cannot make friends in school, encouraging them to participate in activities outside of school will help with socialization skills.
Hopefully, these tips for how to help your child adapt to homeschooling will make the transition go smoothly. To help you adjust to your role as a teacher, you can buy pre-designed curriculums. Find curriculums for different levels of math, science, music, art, English, Spanish, reading, and social studies. Curriculums are available online and in stores.
Very helpful post and something a lot of parents will be doing this school year!
My daughter was having a tough time with the girls at school bullying her, so being at home during the pandemic has been a nice change. That being said, the kids don’t work well independently, so I feel like it does take a lot of effort on my end.
I’m a homeschool mom of 6, and have been a homeschooler since the start since late 2009. I think you covered such helpful and insightful suggestions here!
These are great tips and very timely since we just shifted to homeschooling. I agree that it is important that we keep consistent hours and start building a routine.
I couldn’t agree more with some of these points. My kids respond so much better when education has a game component vs. more traditional things like flash cards and repetition. It’s a struggle especially during Covid-19 but we are doing our best! Thanks for the tips.