As a busy professional, it can often be difficult to make an abrupt transition to working from home without sacrificing productivity, communication, and focus.
Add in the challenge of homeschooling one or more children and you’re suddenly faced with a seemingly insurmountable task. We won’t claim there’s a “silver bullet” to make things easy. But we’re happy to say that there is a wealth of resources, tips, and insights available to make homeschooling your children - while also working remotely - more manageable.
In other words, with a little bit of research, a plan, and a positive attitude, you can help ensure that your children keep learning at a high level.
How to Homeschool Your Child while Working Remotely
1. Leverage Online Resources
In times like these, the Internet is good for more than just cat videos and funny memes. Specifically, it’s home to a vast array of effective teaching tools. The list provided here is by no means an all-encompassing, but to help get you started, we’ve compiled a sampling of links to a range of online classes, plus fun (and educational) activities.
- Free and Low-Cost Online Classes
- Learning-Focused Games and Activities
- Study Guides
- Test Prep
- Connecting with Friends
- Virtual Tools of National Parks, Zoos, Farms, and Museums
2. Create a Space that Fosters Learning
Depending on the layout of your home, you may or may not have an ideal spot available for homeschool studies...but you need to make the most of your living space. The reason is that learning can be greatly enhanced in an environment that helps a child stay focused and engaged. Here are some changes you can make in your home to help optimize eLearning:
- Video games, the TV, and of course a smartphone can divert attention away from schoolwork. Keep the learning area free of these and other distractions during the school day.
- Many schools have discovered the health and productivity benefits of standing desks for students. Consider purchasing a student desk that allows a child to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
- A whiteboard with flip chart hooks can greatly enhance a variety of creative and interactive learning activities.
- If you are setting up a learning area in a multi-use area (such as a living room or family room) consider acoustic desk dividers and room dividers to create privacy while also reducing noise and distractions.
- Purchase low-cost classroom décor items like education-oriented posters, a globe, etc. to brighten up your learning area.
3. Establish a Schedule and Stick to It
During the "normal" school year, kids are accustomed to waking up at a certain time, their morning routine, a specific class schedule, and of course enjoying recess and lunch at the same time each day. Kids like it when they know what to expect and often perform better when a structure is provided.
Once you and your children have established a daily routine, do your best to maintain it. This not only applies to coursework and study time, but also to breaks and snacks.
4. Make Learning Fun
Thinking back on your own education, do you recall a teacher who inspired you to finally master your multiplication tables by turning it into a game? Do you have any fond memories of a field trip that sparked your fascination in science, literature, art, or perhaps history? Did you notice that you looked forward to your hands-on lab courses in college, but sometimes dreaded lectures?
If so, apply this thinking to your child’s homeschool experience. Take a “field trip” to the backyard garden to teach biology. Point out birds flying over the house to help with an understanding of physics. Let your child participate in online shopping to help them get a better grasp of addition, subtraction, budgeting, and so forth.
With a little creativity, there are fun lessons to be had everywhere you look.
5. Physical Activity is Key (and So is Good Sleep)
According to experts including Harvard Medical School, there is a direct link between aerobic activity and improvements in memory and a variety of thinking skills. In addition to that, Harvard Medical School states that eight hours of quality sleep is crucial to “…the brain's ability to consolidate both factual information and procedural memories about how to do various physical tasks.”
As a parent homeschooling a child, this means you should make sure your kids are taking regular breaks for play…as well as getting to bed on time so they can start the next day energized and ready to learn.
Ultimately, successful distance learning is possible if you set your child up for success. We hope you found these homeschooling tips for beginners helpful. And for a home school setup that will meet and exceed your expectations, look to Luxor! We’re open for business.