The unexpected changes that have been brought upon parents, students, and teachers because of the COVID-19 pandemic have created a lot of stress and uncertainty as we head into the new school year. Many parents who had never planned on this homeschooling adventure with their children now face a situation where their kids will be learning at home either full-time or part-time. It is vital to realize that this opportunity can be a positive one in many ways, if you understand that you can handle this task, and take the time to make it a meaningful experience for your kids. There are a few basics every parent should know to get the semester started and get the most out of the circumstance.
What Type of Homeschooling Will Your Child Be Using?
Since most parents have never been homeschoolers, it is no surprise that they don’t know there are two types of home-based learning. Each has its advantages, but knowing which method you are using is the first step in understanding homeschooling.
- The synchronous approach. If your child’s school is employing this type of online learning, it will take some of the pressure off the parent, as the teacher will conduct traditional classroom teaching via videoconferencing in real-time. The primary role of the parent in this scenario involves making sure the student is logged on and focused on the lessons. The teacher will lead the class in expectations and instruction as they answer questions, assign work, and set deadlines.
- The asynchronous approach. In this type of homeschooling, the parent takes on more responsibility in making sure the student completes their work. Teachers provide packets of worksheets and typically lead instruction through videos that the student can access at any time. This can be beneficial to students who don’t work well under pressure, as they can work at their own pace, and the parent can help establish a schedule that fits the family lifestyle.
Keep These Tips in Mind
The most important thing that you should know as you begin homeschooling your child is that you are very capable of handling the task, and you are probably doing better than you think. Here are a few tips to make things go smoothly.
- Keep it fun. Don’t force your child to sit still in front of the computer for hours. Including games, songs, and time outdoors helps your child stay focused when they need to complete assignments.
- Involve others. Whenever you can, get adult family members and friends involved in your child’s learning process. Having different role models read stories or help to solve problems keeps it exciting and fresh.
- Use your resources. Online libraries, museums, zoos, and aquariums are ideal ways to make learning interesting and effective for students. Interactive exhibits are a fun learning tool when visiting the venue is not an option.
- Routine is vital. Although everything seems topsy-turvy right now, it is still important to keep a semblance of structure in your child’s life. Schedule your days appropriately, keeping your child’s attention span in mind, and remember that consistency is important, but you should always remain flexible.
With this information, you are ready to get the school year rolling and help your child to learn. Just be willing to adapt and learn as you go, and most importantly, go easy on yourself. You can do this.