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:
- Learning at home takes much less time than at school because you are not managing a large group.
- It’s okay that you are not a trained teacher. Be kind to yourself. Some days will go better than others.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Include household tasks in your plan including food prep, cleaning, laundry and yard work.
- 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.
- 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.
- Have field trips both as a lesson as well as a reward.
- Incorporate your child’s areas of interest. If your child likes planes, make sure math, science, vocabulary and writing activities relate to aviation.
- Remember to include electives! Music, Art, Drama and Physical Education. Let your child help choose the activities.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.