Coronavirus has changed the way millions of people live, with lockdown keeping families at home until the disease is controlled. Schools across the country closed their doors, and parents have been forced to take on the role of teacher in order to continue their children’s learning. This new responsibility can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re required to work from home yourself. You may be searching for ways to keep them happy and interested whilst they learn, which is no mean feat. Read on to find out how to keep your little ones engaged during home-schooling.
Start early in the day
If you want your child to be as engaged as possible during home-schooling, try to start early in the day, this maintains a routine and is familiar to a normal school day. Letting them watch television, play video games, or play outside will only make it harder to get them to concentrate on learning. Lessons don’t need to be long either, with around fifteen minutes long enough if you want them to fully focus. This is likely to be much more effective, with longer lessons more likely to result in distractions and arguments. After fifteen minutes, let them go outside to get some fresh air. This will help to improve their concentration.
Follow a schedule
Whilst a home-schooling schedule won’t be as strict as at school, it’s still important to have a routine. For many children, it can be helpful to write out their schedule, so they can follow it and know what to expect throughout the day. Students who find it difficult to pay attention often benefit from structure and knowing what comes next. A schedule lets them know when they will be finished and will no longer be required to maintain their concentration.
Technology can be incredibly useful during home-schooling; however, many parents still don’t use it enough. As well as there being an abundance of free educational apps, such as BBC Bitesize, Duolingo, and Quizlet, there’s also a great choice of school software available. You can use this software to reduce distractions and even control the screen on your child’s computer to get their attention. In addition, many parents are turning to YouTube, with various channels offering simple educational videos to explain difficult subjects. Many children become more engaged when visual aids are used, so this is a good idea if your little one is struggling to focus.
Get creative during lessons
Many parents find that integrating creative activities into home-schooling can help to keep kids engaged and better remember what they have learned. Don’t just assume that creativity can only be applied to music or art lessons. Creative activities can be enjoyed when learning various different subjects. For example, for geography, why not get them to make a colourful map of their local area. Or, for history, they could paint a picture of their favourite historical figure. This is a fun and effective way of getting them to engage and really think about a subject – much more so than essay writing for many children.
Keep it active
Whilst some schoolwork must be done at a table, you can keep your child entertained by interspersing desk-based activities with tasks that require them to move around. This often demands some level of creativity from the parent. Ideas include playing charades to learn vocabulary words or learning to write spelling words on the driveway with water guns. It’s also worth noting that some kids are able to focus better when they’re standing or moving around. With this in mind, you might allow your child to learn whilst swinging on a swing or rocking in a rocking chair.
Find your own home-schooling style
Try to remember that every family will home-school in a different way. With only a small percentage of kids home-schooled before the Covid19 pandemic, the vast majority of parents have zero experience of teaching their little ones at home. So, don’t worry too much about doing things a certain way or getting things absolutely right. Find your own style and do what works for you and your family. When you find your own rhythm and identify teaching methods that your children engage with, you’ll find it easier to maintain their attention.
Home-schooling can be tough, particularly as you’ll need to keep your child engaged during lessons to help them to learn effectively. Kids are used to learning in school under a rigid schedule, and so switching their learning environment to the home can be difficult.
Boredom and drifting imaginations can set in, especially when you’re doing your best to teach them a subject that they’re not interested in. Hopefully, our top home-schooling tips can help you to keep them engaged and interested during this unusual time in their learning lives.
Thank you for reading, let us know down below in the comments how you and your family are finding home-school. What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced?