COVID-19: Homeschooling has begun, so here are some helpful tips for parents

COVID-19: Homeschooling has begun, so here are some helpful tips for parents
COVID-19: Homeschooling has begun, so here are some helpful tips for parents

As Australia’s nationwide lockdown continues, parents are finding themselves turning to homeschooling for their children – with some parents even becoming tutors themselves. Homeschooling can be a challenge, especially for parents who are already working from home. However, there are many ways you can make working, studying and teaching at home a lot easier.

Here are a few tips:

BEFORE HOMESCHOOLING COMMENCES

Communication is the first step to providing children with a successful learning experience. Organise lesson/study times, 

  • Work schedule: How can homeschooling work around your work schedule? Is there flexibility to shift your work hours to accommodate homeschooling?
  • Chores at home: Ensure you have a clean and tidy workspace to commence work/study. Encourage all family members to keep a tidy household, to give you more time for work and study.
  • Personal space: Create a clear distinction between work and play to avoid distraction.

Once you've defined the schedule, cleared a workspace and set up a plan for working/studying productively, for parents who are looking to tutor their children, it's time to set out your content plan. Contact your child's teachers, search for online resources and talk to you child about what they are currently learning about. The Department of Education has prepared factsheets and other resources for parents to make sure everything is being taken care of when learning from home. Online resources for VIC, NSW, ACT, TAS, SA, WA differ, so make sure you access the right one.

WHEN CLASSES ARE IN SESSION

Make it clear to your child that even though they are learning from home, the learning process should still be taken seriously, and the daily schedule should be adhered to as if they were in a classroom. Devise a schedule which features a combination of activities to retain your child's interest and concentration. This can include, directed learning, self-learning, practical activities, computer learning/research, and snack/fitness breaks.

The Victorian Government’s FUSE Early Childhood page offers resources for effective play-based learning. If your child is in primary school or high school, allow them to keep in touch with their schoolmates. Video calls are always fun — parents can also arrange for their children to have Skype exercise sessions with their friends.

AFTER CLASSES

Homework provides your child with an opportunity to revise whatever that was learned and further develop their skills. Assign homework for core subjects, but make sure not to overburden your child.

Much like working from home, it is easy for kids and parents to lose track of time — dismiss classes on time, and ensure that your child gets sufficient sleep to recharge for tomorrow.

Adjusting to a new role requires patience and resilience. Recognise that it is physically and mentally demanding for both yourself and your child, so it's important to be compassionate and maintain a good level of communication with your family.

Jieyee Ong

Jieyee Ong

Jie Yee is a researcher at urban.com.au with experience in business, financial and property news.

Tags: 
Home schooling COVID-19

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