A Guide To At-Home Learning

Knowing that we have to homeschool our kids can be daunting, but don’t worry – you’ve got this! Check out some tips to help you navigate at-home learning.

Ellen Brown, Director of Learning at Complete Education Australia, one of the largest homeschool providers says, “Just because they are not in school doesn’t mean they cannot thrive. We see children learn quickly with one-on-one attention and a loving accepting environment.”

Cynthia Hancox, who is a government liaison for the National Council of Home Educators and homeschooled for more than 20 years, said the most important thing was parents focusing on children feeling loved and safe.

Hancox said homeschooling implied a choice with preparation, resources and process and as this was not the case parents should instead focus on doing fun things with their children and not put pressure on themselves.

“I would focus on reading stories, playing games, exploring the backyard, letting them ask questions and helping them find answers,” she said.

We have some easy to follow tips to tackle the situation of homeschooling.

What should parents do now to start schooling from home?

You have been homeschooling your children since the kids were born. The only difference is the topics you are teaching. You all are well equipped and qualified.

Establishing a routine is really important, so kids understand what is expected. Whether you are using online resources from your school, or homeschooling resources from your community, it’s crucial to get into a routine fast and set expectations. Be flexible but also make it a positive experience so they want to complete the work assigned for that day.

How do I plan out each day?

Everyone does better when we have a plan to wake up to. Spend time with the kids writing a weekly timetable. By covering Maths and English each morning and one other subject each afternoon, the full curriculum can be covered.

For example:

  • Monday: Start time 8am – Maths, English, Art
  • Tuesday: Start time 8am – Maths, English, Science, and so on

The most important thing is to have a start time. Without a start time screens can gobble up the hours. Although this is entertaining, kids soon become irritable without hands-on activities.

Will my child fall behind?

Many schools are working hard to provide the lessons required. Having another choice is really important too by using online resources or even your own imagination. Not only that, you can actually take advantage of the time. This is an amazing opportunity to give the kids extra revision to catch up, or an extension to move ahead. They can spend time working on areas they are passionate about. Spending the afternoon completing an Art or Science project will encourage them to carry on so they can actually return to school with confidence.

How do I keep the kids motivated?

Let the kids be involved and let them have a say. Kids need to feel they are a valuable part of the team. Fostering a “one for all and all for one” attitude is wonderful for building a close family in a difficult time. Add cooking lessons to lunchtime and meals can be part of the fun of the day. Cleaning can be placed on the daily roster.

Do I need to have teaching experience?

No need to worry. Parents do not have to be teachers. There are resources available that give you the tools to simply enjoy partnering with your children in the learning and there are teachers and community groups ready if you need help.

Relax and try to enjoy the time together

Having a lesson focus and plan allows parents to simply become the co-learners, not just the teacher. Make sure to celebrate their wins and completion of work for the day. Just a few celebrations can make the world of difference.

Add in breaks for fun and socialising

It’s hard for kids to be suddenly cooped up and away from their friends. It’s important to add in online or phone social breaks so they can contact their friends and still feel connected. You can even try activities together like yoga or a walk.

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