20 Tips For Helping Kids Learn at Home

In the fall of 2020, everyone who is going into their first home-bound “Back to School” experience may feel a bit overwhelmed by long months ahead. Homeschooling isn’t easy, especially for working parents. Even with a few months of experience behind us, there is still a lot to adjust to the “new normal”. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to make your homeschooling experience more manageable. 

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The more fun your kids have learning, they better they can retain the information.

20. Make Learning Fun

For some parents, this point might seem obvious. But it can never be overstated that learning needs to be fun. While teaching kids from home, they are probably thinking more about their video games in the next room than the lesson in front of them. With so many distractions, it’s absolutely necessary to grab their attention by making learning fun. Information that children learn when they’re having fun is bound to stick in their minds more so than others. If you’re not sure how to make a lesson more fun, do a quick search on Facebook groups and Pinterest.

Having personal space is crucial to concentrating on work.

19. Give Your Child a Space of Their Own

When your child goes to school, they have their own desk, locker, or cubby to store their belongings. Even in High School and college, most kids tend to gravitate to the desk they have claimed as their own. Having this consistent, reliable work space is crucial for getting comfortable and concentrating on school. Depending on your living situation, it might not be possible to give your children an entire room as a homeschooling space. However, the internet is filled with images of parents sharing their creative solutions to giving their children a place of their own to work. For example, many parents have purchased desks and set them up in their child’s bedroom.  Others have transformed their living room into a co-working office space where the desks are arranged in every corner.

There may be supplies that can help your kids learn better.

18. Ask Your Kids What Would Make Learning Easier

As adults, we try to keep everything together. But in this strange time, no one really knows what to expect, especially if you have no experience teaching. Instead of telling your kids what they “should” be doing to learn, take a moment to ask them if there’s anything that would help. Everyone has a different learning style; visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing. (If you’re unfamiliar with learning styles, take a minute to read this article.) For example, my younger brother was a computer science major in college. He felt that it was a lot easier to work out mathematical equations on a dry erase board. It helped him so much that he would reserve spots in library conference rooms and empty classrooms. Eventually, I bought a large dry erase board as a gift to help him study. This wasn’t too expensive, and it helped him get straight A’s. Now, he even works as a part-time professor. (Go figure).

If your child loves to draw, embrace their passion for the arts.

17. Embrace Their Interests

Some of the most exclusive prep schools in the world have programs where children are encouraged to focus on their natural talents.  For the first time in their young lives, your children might actually be able to focus on the topics that interest them the most, rather than worrying too much about what their peers or teachers are telling them. While it’s still important to get good grades in every single subject, try to pay attention to the places where your kids really flourish. Their natural curiosity and talent in a certain subject should give you a good idea of what they would like to do in the future. The earlier you can pick up on these traits, and help encourage them to follow their dreams, the more successful they will be.

Always try to stick to a schedule, even if you’re not on hard deadlines.

16. Stick to a Schedule

Many students are required to take roll for their online learning, but there are some homeschooling programs that are more flexible with scheduling. If you happen to be in the latter category,  I strongly suggest that you still stick to a schedule. Teaching your kids to wake up on time and show up to class is giving them structure that will  help give them a sense of security and predictability. It also helps them to become responsible adults when they are old enough to go to a real job.  As tempting as it may seem to sleep in late and let your kids have the freedom to work when they want, having a schedule really does make a huge difference in productivity.

Keep in touch with your child’s teacher to monitor their progress.

15. Keep in Touch With The Teacher

If your children are doing an online program that is affiliated with your local school system, it’s still possible for you to speak with their teachers. Only now, instead of going to parent-teacher conferences, you’re going to send an email or give them a phone call. If your children are struggling with anything, don’t hesitate to communicate with their teacher. They are still going through the motions of figuring out how to teach online, and may not be aware of any potential issues. Work together with the teachers to find solutions to helping your child succeed.

Cooking is a valuable life skill that shouldn’t be overlooked.

14. Teach Life Skills

One of the biggest  criticisms that Millennials received in the past is the fact that a lot of us grew up without many “adulting” skills. This was probably because we were raised in a society that taught us that academics were the most important thing in life, and we could always hire someone else to do things for us once we had a college degree and a great job. However, there are plenty of valuable life skills like cooking, cleaning, and repairing that our previous generations took for granted. Focus on the life skills you are particularly great at, and help pass down your best qualities to your kids.

Online tutoring can be truly beneficial.

13. If Necessary, Hire a Tutor

One of the major downsides to homeschooling is that it can be difficult to teach your kids everything they need to know. For many of us, it has been years since we graduated High School or college. So the idea of being asked to answer your kid’s questions about complex mathematical equations is a nightmare. We already mentioned keeping in touch with the teacher. But with 30 kids in the average classroom, they probably can’t help everyone on a daily basis. If your child is struggling, consider hiring an online tutor.

Celebrating the first day of school is a huge milestone in a kid’s life.

12. Celebrate the Milestones

However, just because time is slipping away doesn’t mean you should let the important dates pass you by. Make sure you celebrate the first day of school, start of spring break, graduation and more. Time is going by very quickly during the pandemic, and many of us tend to forget the day of the week.

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