For many parents, the prospect teaching your child is daunting. How do I school my kids when I’m not a trained teacher? How do I get anything else in the house done? What about my child’s social needs? What about my job? These are just a few worries you may be having. Here are some helpful tips:

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  1. Learning at home takes much less time than at school because you are not managing a large group.
  2. It’s okay that you are not a trained teacher. Be kind to yourself. Some days will go better than others.
  3. Learning doesn’t have to happen at a desk. Have at least 3 work spaces that your child can choose from such as a table, a chair on the porch or in the fort they made in the living room.
  4. Every activity of the day has the potential to become a learning activity. Things that you haven’t previously thought of as educational become a learning opportunity.
  5. Co-plan the day together. Draw simple pictures of the upcoming tasks on a white board then you and your child can put numbers beside each activity to plan the order.
  6. Include household tasks in your plan including food prep, cleaning, laundry and yard work.
  7. Scavenger Hunt! Hide parts of a work activity in different areas of a room and let your child find them one at a time to complete them.
  8. Bring learning concepts to life. Do a baking activity to learn a math concept. Do a science experiment. Act out a play related to a history lesson. Make a comic or video about a topic.
  9. Have field trips both as a lesson as well as a reward.
  10. Incorporate your child’s areas of interest. If your child likes planes, make sure math, science, vocabulary and writing activities relate to aviation.
  11. Remember to include electives! Music, Art, Drama and Physical Education. Let your child help choose the activities.
  12. If you have multiple kids, set up a station for each child and you rotate between them; have your older child help teach lessons to your younger child.
  13. Let your child be the teacher and you be the student! Pretend you don’t understand so your child has to “teach” the concept to you.
  14. Have Fun! Kids remember better when the activity is pleasurable. You can teach a lesson in the pool, at the beach or in the yard.
  15. Schooling at home is an opportunity for a connected sweet time together that you and your kids will remember for years to come.

Originally published in Maui Family Magazine.