Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Preparing Children for Home Learning
The school year has been moved to a later date. With classes opening in August, your young kids and teenagers are on an extended vacation. Make the most out of this by encouraging them to engage in some home learning activities.
Home learning gives you the opportunity to teach your children, first-hand, the subjects they study, such as Math, English, Science, and History.
Aside from helping with schoolwork, at-home learning is an excellent opportunity for you as a parent to teach your kids life skills that will help them in their adult life. Admittedly, prepare to face some serious challenges in encouraging your children to participate in home learning activities. You might, for instance, be at a loss on what lessons you should teach or what supporting materials you should use in these activities.
If you are looking for a guide on how to prepare your children (as well as yourself) for at-home learning, this guide is for you!
For incoming kindergarten students
1. Set up a home learning area.
If you live in a small home or a condominium unit, you might think that you cannot set up a home learning area at home. The truth is you don’t need a whole room for this. A small corner that is well-lit, quiet, and comfortable will do.
To set up the mood for home learning, make sure that this area is sufficiently filled with materials needed for in-home learning such as books, papers, art materials, and other things your child will need.
2. Set up a regular schedule.
Homeschooling kids might be a challenge, but if you set up a fixed home learning schedule and follow through with it, this will help establish a routine. The first week might pose a challenge to you both, but be determined to follow the schedule you set up until it becomes part of your everyday routine.
Make sure that this schedule won't get in the way of your work schedule; so that you can fully dedicate your time to your children on the set schedule. If your kids see that you are dedicated to following the schedule, they will get a sense of how vital home learning is. This will also be a helpful back to school guide to help them get in the groove once in-classes start.
3. Do some fun activities.
Home learning for kids should not just be all about schoolwork and homework being studied by the book. Make use of videos and other materials that can be found online as your lesson materials.
Moreover, consider these few hours of home learning as a bonding time for you and your children. Every once in a while, do some arts and crafts, sing songs, read, or watch fun educational videos with your kids. These activities are an excellent way to learn about their talents. Once you've figured out their abilities, then hone them. You can also do long-term activities such as building projects, which will encourage both you and your kids to look forward to your next home learning session.
Doing fun activities will also help your child study better even if they’re at home. If you stick with doing schoolwork during this time, they might feel bored and lose interest in your home learning activities.
4. Don’t forget recess and breaks.
At school, your kids get to have breaks. These brain breaks are important for several reasons. One, it helps children to “reset” their mind; and, two, it reduces their stress and anxiety.
Instead of having your kids eat junk food for their home learning recess, prepare them some healthy snacks. If they are old enough and able, let them help with meal preparations from time to time. Doing so will also help them learn simple household chores at a young age.
For elementary grade students
5. Set up a digital time-off schedule.
With the advancements in technology, even one-year-olds now possess basic knowledge of using smartphones and tablets to play or watch videos. This is why by the time they reach elementary grade and have their digital gadgets, it could be hard to keep these away from them, especially if they're at home.
To keep your child from being so drawn to their gadgets, especially now when they're on an extended vacation, set up your child's screen timeout. This will help them focus on the activities you have planned for them. Likewise, this will allow them to realize that there is a better way of life apart from the one they live digitally.
During your home learning schedule, make sure that they won't use their phones to scroll through social media or chat with friends, as these can serve as distractions. For them to understand its importance, sit down with them for a conversation about digital time-off. Reason with them on why this is important. You can also make an agreement with them about the digital time-off schedule you set. Sticking to this will benefit them greatly into adulthood.
6. Communicate with your child’s teachers.
Before the start of school, why not get in touch with your kid's teachers to know about the curriculum they have prepared for the coming school year? This will help you arrange activities that will encompass their subjects at school. Take this opportunity to ask your kid's teachers about areas your kid excels in and those that need improvement; so that you can prioritize these in your home learning activities.
7. Prepare worksheets
Once you've learned about the lessons your kids will be having when they go back to school, it's time that you learn them in advance. After all, it would be challenging to teach something that you are not knowledgeable about the topic.
Once you grasp the lessons, teach these to your kids, with the help of online references. During lessons, encourage them to ask questions. Afterward, prepare worksheets about the topic. Worksheets can are available online. You may also make your own based on your assessments about your child. This will help you know if your child understands the lesson well.
8. Continuously monitor and motivate.
At times, constantly watching your kid solve the worksheets you have prepared for the day can be a bit intimidating. So once lessons are over, and you have given them activities and worksheets to work on, give time to themselves. Let them commit their own mistakes instead of pointing it out to them immediately while working on the worksheet.
Don't forget to return to them once in a while to monitor progress and make sure they're doing the activity. If you see that your child is experiencing any difficulty, return to them for some motivation. This will help them not to give up. After checking your child's activity worksheet, discuss with them their mistakes. Refresh lessons if needed.
9. Teach them valuable life skills.
Home learning is also an opportunity for you to teach your children life skills such as cooking, baking, dress-making, and others that will come in handy once they enter adulthood.
Ask your children about their passions. What skills do they want to learn? Start from there, as this will significantly motivate their desire to learn. Afterward, teach them other life skills they should learn. Start with the basics of performing household chores such as cooking, hand-washing, mending, and simple repairs. These skills may even help them land a part-time job in summer.
For high school students
10. Encourage them to pursue their passion.
As a parent, you can greatly encourage your kids by letting them pursue their passions. Be their Number One fan! This is one of the best ways you can demonstrate your love to your kids.
Observe your children well and see what their interests are. Sit down with them for an informal talk about what they want to pursue in life. Do they want to learn another language, play a musical instrument, or photography? If you can financially support your child’s passion, then do so. Help them reach their dreams by providing them their needs, even if this means simply giving them links to educational YouTube channels that will help them self-study the passion they want to learn. Let them visit these links during their home learning schedule.
11. Have your children intern at home
Even though your child is only in high school, you can prepare them as early as now for the corporate world. If you're a parent who works from home, why not let your teenage child sit down with you as you work and do some simple "internship" activities for you during your work hours? This will help them get an idea of what's to come once they're in college and doing internships at a company.
If you plan to enroll your kid at a university away from home, now is the time to prepare for their forthcoming independence. During their home learning activities, teach them how to do laundry; cook healthy meals; budget their money; and choose fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats at the market, plus how to clean them properly.
12. Set a good example.
Children learn best by imitation. As a parent, the best way to impart useful skills and knowledge to your children is through the examples you set. Make sure that you practice what you preach. This will help make your children see you as a role model they should imitate. For example, if you teach your children the importance of digital time-off, make sure you are not glued to your phone and other gadgets.
Even though they have teachers who impart knowledge, remember that you are the primary teacher of your children. You may not be a teacher by profession, but this should not stop you from molding your kids. Follow these tips to make home learning enjoyable and truly beneficial for you and your children.