Hi everyone! In addition to being the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for WILCO SUPPLY, I'm also a mom of two awesome kids who are going into 1st and 3rd grade.
If you're reading this, chances are you’re a parent looking for ways to give your kids a homeschooling experience as awesome as your child’s teacher. I know what you’re thinking... how can I turn myself into a teacher with the global pandemic changing just about everything in our daily lives? Well before you read ahead, keep this in mind- You are a student too!
This is a huge learning curve to master and expecting ourselves to operate the same way as professional educators is an unfair expectation to place on our shoulders. What we can do is focus on these five crucial tips as a new homeschooling parent:
1. Set up a designated area for homeschooling
We can all be honest here and admit that our homes are not always Pinterest-standard organized and that’s okay! Life happens and before we know it, we end up with a stack of clothes on that one specific chair or miscellaneous items spread out across our coffee table. Setting an area specifically for schoolwork will help your child differentiate where he or she needs to focus and not be distracted by “life” that surrounds other areas in the home. You don’t have to purchase a brand-new desk for your student either, both of my kids have homeschooled on our kitchen table!
Bonus tip: Having a printed schedule or a to-do list at the designated study area can help keep both you and your child on track for the day!
2. Set reasonable goals
Wouldn't it be amazing to have your child read three books and suddenly jump a grade level in math all in one week? Sure, it would! But should we strive for that with the potential of feeling burnt out and unmotivated? Probably not. You know your child better than anyone else and can use this opportunity to see what works best.
For my 6-year-old son, he absolutely loves making goals. Every time he accomplishes one task, no matter how small it is, it motivates him to do more. These goals can be as simple as spending 15 minutes a day of uninterrupted reading or waking up on time for the day! Having a goal list for your child to see may be another way to keep him or her excited and ready to learn.
3. Stay connected!
Sometimes the answer we are looking for is not always found through a Google search. It's okay to lean on the experts when you’re unsure of how to teach a subject or answer a question. Not only should we lean on our amazing educators, but don't be uncomfortable reaching out to family and friends who are also homeschooling their children. This is another great way to learn about new methods others are using in their home.
4. Add life skills to your curriculum
Have you ever looked back and thought, “I really wish I learned that in school.” This is a great opportunity to put down the books a few times during the week and teach our kids essential life skills. Homeschooling doesn’t always have to mirror the structure of a traditional classroom.
Some of those life skills can include how to cook, how to sew a button, or even how to write a check. These are lessons your child will take with them beyond any classroom and will ultimately thank you for when they’re older. For myself, I can happily say my kids know how to change a tire. However, I’m still working on showing them how to fold the laundry after the FIRST dryer run, but that’s another story.
5. Set a time for uninterrupted lunch
Just the other day I thought to myself, how often do parents stop and ask their children the simple question: “How are you?” We all love going out for lunch with our friends to catch up, so why not do the same with our children right in our own home? It is a great way to get some quality time without the distractions of the television or cell phone. As an adult, I sometimes get overwhelmed when I see the news or get updates on what is going on in the world during this pandemic. I can only imagine what our kids are thinking!
Adjusting to the life of homeschooling can be pretty intimidating, so I hope these tips resonate with you! They are simple, but so easy to forget when we have an extensive list of responsibilities. Just remember to slow down, breathe, and pat yourself on the back. Not only are you taking care of your family during these uncertain times, but you are also stepping in and guiding your child through their education. You got this and I am right here with you.
Your fellow homeschooling mom,