When 2020 started, I was so optimistic that it was going to be a good year. Possibly even a great one. Little did I know the shitshow that was going to unfold just months later.
From Covid-19 self-isolation, lockdown and a toilet paper shortage to distance learning (home-based schooling). Let me tell you, teaching four kids of different ages that all respond to different styles of teaching is not the easiest thing to do. Since spending weeks at home with the kids being their interim teacher (and I cannot stress interim enough – I have zero interest in doing this longer than I have to), I have been met with some challenges of homeschooling.
The challenges of homeschooling / home-based learning
I am someone that adapts and adjusts easily to change so this experience could have been a lot worse than it has been. However, there are certainly some things that I’m not loving or that other parents might be struggling with and are looking for some guidance. Here is what I’ve found so far:
• No sleep-in – No formal school, no work and yet still no sleep-ins. *Sobs*
• You are solely responsible – Now, obviously as parents, you are responsible for your child each and every day however it is now your responsibility to ensure they are up to date on their learning as well. Which brings me to a challenge many will be facing.
• That makes no sense – You will now need to try and remember that long lost information you learned at school 15+ years ago. Maths, I’m looking at you! And don’t even get me started on the ‘new’ ways to work out maths problems… WHY ARE THEY SO COMPLICATED NOW?
• Learning it yourself – In order to help your child effectively, you might find yourself having to learn the new ways things are done. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? In some cases, you might feel like you are completely out of your depth… that’s ok. You can always ask your child’s teacher for help via Seesaw, One Note, Blackboard, Canvas, or whatever platform your child’s school uses.
If that doesn’t help you can always get the assistance of a tutor. Which might be a good idea for kids in high school and those in particular that still have to sit their HSC this year.
• Time management – I have four kids (ages 13, 11, 7, 4) and splitting my time between them all so they get the help they need while learning from home is a juggling act. Not impossible but let’s just say we have implemented the ‘raise your hand’ rule so I don’t hear “Mum, mum, mum, I need help, can you read this, I don’t understand, mum, mum.”
• Patience – Which brings me to patience. Both you and your child will need to have a little extra patience during this time. It is new for all involved and it will take some getting used to.
• Remember to take breaks – Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to teach your child 6 hours a day. Even at school, their day is broken into sessions to allow for breaks. At home, 1-2 hours a day is more than sufficient. Depending on how your child/ren learn, you may also find that certain times of the day are better suited to learning than others as your child will be more focused.
Many parents are working from home at the moment as well which is adding extra stress because they are trying to do everything. It is important to remember that you can only do so much. These are difficult and uncertain times so do what you can and don’t stress about the rest.
Everyone is facing challenges of homeschooling and distance learning but there is help and support available if you need it.
What difficulties and challenges of homeschooling (homebased learning) are you experiencing?
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