Top tips for home schooling

home schooling

With the current situation and most school shutting down, most parents are opting for him schooling their kids with the support of the school and online materials sent by schools to students.

What about home schooling?

The most important thing is your child….. who they are, how they learn and what they require to learn. You are the parent.  You are able to draw on all the knowledge about your child’s likes, dislikes, strengths and areas of concern.  You can make this experience a successful partnership between you and your child. Remember education is not just about academic knowledge – education is life.

Make sure you get information from your child’s school of their level of attainment and next learning steps. This means you can start teaching your child at the correct entry level.

The Curriculum

Things to consider:

How…are you going to teach, i.e. do you have a style, an approach? You may like to do some online research on different styles. Help your child explore the world, tap into their natural curiosity, and make learning fun and engaging. Don’t feel you have to sit down and do everything formally with your children at home. Provide plenty of stimulating experiences i.e., cooking, playing, making, creating, exploring, imagining…

What…are you intending to teach?  Have you made yourself familiar with the   National Curriculum? Tap into your child’s interests, while also exposing them to new potential interests. Read them stories, talk to them, be creative, get them involved in the jobs you are doing around the house—all these things are helping to build curious learners.

When… how often and how long will your teaching and learning sessions be with your child? Will it be for a few hours every day or 3 full days, it’s up to you and your child. Whatever you decide it should be frequent. Try and avoid long periods of inactivity.

Where…set up the learning area for teaching. You will need a designated area that is your special place to keep resources.

Resources…do you know the texts or the online resources that are appropriate for your child. Be creative, turn baking with your child into a Math’s lesson i.e. weighing, estimating, calculating…

You need to be sufficiently broad in your coverage of the National Curriculum and age-appropriate in your coverage of the learning area. You don’t want the work you are teaching being too easy or too challenging. You want to get it just right to give your child a feeling of success.If your child has any special learning needs make sure you are aware of these and the resources they may be using at school to cater for this. Include strong Literacy and Numeracy components. It would be helpful to set at least one goal per learning area.

Socialization

Make it a priority for your children to skype/facetime their friends and keep up their socialization. This will keep them connected with their peers, sharing their interests and learning. It will prevent them from feeling isolated. Children do not need large groups of peers to be socially content. One or two very close friends and a wide circle of friendly acquaintances can provide meaningful socialisation and learning.

Goals/aims/ambitions/tracking

home schoolingEvery child learns differently and as a parent, you have a lot of intuition about what is best for your own child. You can set educational goals with – and for – your child and you can keep track of their successes and achievements. You will be able to identify where your child is struggling and modify your teaching to respond to this.

Maybe start with making a timetable of learning with your child, including subjects and activities. This co-creation gives your child ownership and buy-in of their learning. Revisit this timetable and be open to making changes if the need arises.

Tracking progress

In order to know how well your child is achieving, it is essential that you keep notes so that you can make comparisons between your child’s previous and current achievements.

These notes:

  • could be written or digital
  • may include photos, documents, reflective journals

If you are struggling make sure you delegate teacher responsibility where you feel the teaching of your child could be better covered by a teacher. This could be done online by hiring a private tutor.

Article written by Kate Bias who is a private Tutor.
UK/NZ Registered Teacher