With schools closed across the U.S., parents are having to get the hang of homeschooling. Learning how to do it can be overwhelming, especially for those who are balancing working from home, too. If you’re in this boat and you’re getting burned out with lessons, assignments, being your kids’ IT person, and third-grade math, you’re not alone. And these tips from homeschool experts who’ve been through it themselves can help you help your kids learn without leaving you burned out.
- Take a break from school work- If the academic pressure gets to be too much, former teacher and homeschooler Tonya Abari says there’s no harm in taking a break for a few days or a week. It’s okay to cut yourself and your kids some slack. If you have to choose between finishing assignments or having fun, educator and homeschooler Jennifer Sutherland-Miller advises choosing fun.
- Turn the backyard into a classroom- Ditch the desks and get outside where kids can explore nature, get dirty, and enjoy unstructured play. You can also give them projects like building a maze with sticks or doing a scavenger hunt with different kinds of leaves and rocks.
- Help your child cope with loss and sadness- Just like adults, kids may be struggling with anxiety and being unhappy while living in quarantine. Try to help them identify their feelings and talk about how to work through them.
- Try experiential learning- When you’ve had enough math and science, get your kids engaged in hands-on learning they don’t get in traditional school, like baking and cooking, or building something with you.
- Schedule a few activities for the same time every day- Kids thrive with reliable, consistent routines, so try to give their day some structure, like waking up and going to bed at a set time and having meals around the same time each day.
- Schedule downtime too- Life has been turned upside down for families, so it’s important to include downtime for both parents and kids. This means making time for things that aren’t school-related and don’t involve screens. Let them have control over choosing a low-stress activity, like painting, listening to music, or resting.
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