As if parenting and working were not chaotic enough, now many parents will add “homeschool” to their to-do list as they face the new challenge of facilitating their child’s distance learning. Let’s be honest, this will not be easy. But it is do-able. Just remember that this a journey and working out your personal glitches in the schedule takes time, effort and patience.
Be ready for BIG Change.
If you are going from being a stay at home mom with kids in school to a homeschooling mom, your life will drastically change. If you are going from a working mom to a working homeschool mom, drastic change again.
Change is hard and the adjustment will look different for everyone. The most important thing to remember is that things don’t have to be flawless right away, or at all. This is an adjustment for both parties–parents and kids. Be patient with yourself and with your students.
In this time of change, hang on to what has NOT changed–bedtimes, family dinners, sports, and other activities. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, getting exercise and finding support.
Most importantly, recognize this season for what it is–a change for a time.
It’s OK to Ask for Help.
If you are trying to work, homeschool, cook, shop, and clean all on your own, you will burn out. Do yourself a favor; ask for help.
Ask your spouse and kids to pitch in and help. If you can afford it, hire a housecleaner or even someone to help you babysit. Consider a homeschool co-op where you share facilitating responsibilities with other parents.
And last, but NOT least, ask for help for you. If you need someone to mentor you, someone to help you figure out your schedule, or someone to just listen to you, find your person. (I’m available: schedule a free call here)
Stick to a Schedule
If you are working at home while your kids are schooling at home, a schedule is a must. Schedule your work around your child’s school needs, if possible. Talk to your kids about the schedule and your need for them to respect it.
Again, it’s okay to ask for outside help if you can’t do it all alone. You don’t have to be super mom or dad, you just have to be willing to follow a schedule. A schedule is helpful to you and your kids. Known expectations help guide everyone.
Have all Resources Ready
Put art supplies, building toys, puzzles, board games and books in a place where kids can get to them without disturbing you.
Be sure you and your kids understand the classroom technology; have them set up accounts and bookmark websites. The more they can do on their own, the more time you’ll have for work.
Let Them Learn to Figure It Out
It’s going to be very tempting for parents to step in when they see their kids struggling. The best way for them to learn is for you to let them figure it out. The more they own it, the more they will learn and the less they will need you.
Even if your child comes to you and asks for help, don’t give answers. Ask questions that will help them learn to think for themselves. This takes more effort on your part, but you are doing your child no favors when you make things easy on them.
It will be tempting for parents to get through the school requirements for the day as quickly as possible, or to step in and micro-manage your child’s learning experience. Either way, your child is not getting the full benefits of schooling at home.
Even though you may have your kids learning at home only for safety concerns, you’ve been presented with a very unique opportunity that may never happen again. This time with your child can provide many moments for bonding and learning about each other. Not saying everything will go smoothly, but even in rough patches, we learn about how to love family in deeper ways. Don’t let this season pass without grasping that treasure.