I’ve been doing this for a long time with my kids. And some of the most important and helpful things I have learnt about homeschool survival at home are listed in this one post.
Tip #1- Comfortable Work Space
Kids need a comfortable environment to work in. Even if it’s on the kitchen table. Ensure they have a comfy chair, space, privacy, good lighting and a water bottle.
This will give them less to complain about.
Tip #2- All in the Presentation
Make the presentation of the lesson fun and interesting. Particularly for the younger-aged children.
If you can dress up in a costume when reading a book – this adds more fun. Have some fun music playing in the background or speak in a playful voice.
Resist the normal teacher mode unless necessary.
Tip #3- Routine Relief
Start the day with a consistent morning routine.
Same wake-up time and begin lessons at the same time each day where possible. Ensure the kids are prepared and ready to go by a set time so they know what is expected.
Routine when followed eventually limit unrest and provides relief to everyone.
Tip #4- Mornings Matter
Kids’ brains function better early in the morning.
Perhaps start with maths or science first – Save the creativity (English, History, Art) or physical activities till later in the day.
Tip # 5 – Handy snacks
Allow your kids to snack while they are working as this will limit angry outbursts and distractions. Little plates of fruit or nuts that can be kept at easy reach. This will limit the whinging for food.
It is also good to keep energy levels up and reduce tiredness.
Tip #6- Outside Learning
Sometimes when learning feels too much like a classroom or rigid, kids will start to resist.
A change of scenery often helps. So take the kids outside for some lessons. Set up in the backyard or at the park. Not everything is book and desk learning. In fact, that just sounds plain and boring.
So spice it up !!
Tip #7- Resist this Question
Don’t ask them constantly “how are you going“. They will likely answer, Good or this is too hard.
Instead ask: “Show me what you are working on?“ This way you will know what they are doing and have done, as well as they will indirectly be reiterating what they have learnt when they give you an explanation.
Tip #8- Don’t hover
This is a must not do constantly. Don’t hover over them.
Let the kids self-direct themselves. Just be the parent that is available when they request help or assistance. (Dependant on age.)
Tip #9- Reading
All Kids either love to read or love being read to – either one is beneficial.
Reading is a simple pleasure that can be shared together. Take turns in reading aloud and share the selection of the book that is being chosen.
That way they can choose a favourite subject and you can choose a new topic of interest to broaden your horizons.
Tip #10- Take a break
When you feel your patience is wearing thin with the kids and you are getting a little frustrated or even tired, take a break.
Remember your mood will affect their mood so it’s beneficial for everyone to take a break for a while.
Tip #11- Watch the clock
Have a clock handy so kids can not only learn the time but be aware of the time and how long things take to complete.
They will understand how long a minute or an hour is. Make a point of monitoring the time so they become aware of time management.
Tip #12- Allow challenges
Expose your kids to some serious challenges and hardships. Resist the temptation to fix everything for them.
Problems are made to be solved so allow them to show leadership and build resilience.
Tip #13- Trust
Trust must be given for it to be earned.
Have faith in your kids and let them show you that they can be trusted…until they cant. Let them work on their own and meet deadlines, allowing them to have some control of what they want to do.
You will be surprised that they will want to do the right thing and earn more trust and receive even more allowances.
Tip #14- Allow the kids to teach us
Kids are smarter than we think.
Allow them to be the teacher and you the student. Let them teach you a few lessons. This has many benefits including allowing them to take charge.
It re-enforces things and subjects that they’re learning about and it’s also fun.
Tip # 15- Self direction
There will come a point when parents won’t be much help with subject content, particularly in the senior years.
Accountability and responsibility lie in the student, not the parent. This is where self-motivation and self-direction help them to take control of their own life direction.
Tip # 16- Reward Yourself
As the champion homeschool parent you are, reward yourself regularly, you deserve it.
You need to keep your mental and emotional health positive and healthy. Book a massage or meet up with friends for a coffee date.
Tip # 17- Music is a Must
We all know that music changes moods so try to add background music when the kids are learning.
Make it appropriate and not overpowering so as to cause distraction. Try classical music or calming tunes in general. Use music to set the tone of the lesson.
Tip # 18- Physical Activity
Remember to add some physical activity to the day.
Go for a walk, kick a ball around, play hopscotch, jump rope, do yoga or even hula hoop. Do it with the kids or let them run free and do whatever. Somehow exercise and play make the stresses go away !!
I hope these top tips for homeschool survival will help you navigate your way through the trials and tribulations of homeschooling.
It’s not easy. But as I learnt, Knowledge is power and any sort of help is better than no help and things can only get better when you know better.
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How to Homeschool – The Good the Bad and the Ugly Realities of Doing it Successfully
This is the book I wrote to my younger self about doing it successfully. Take it from someone who has been there.
It is everything I have learned from my 18 years as a full-time educator, mum, and housewife.
It is everything you need to get started.
About The Author
My name is Ursula Boston. I’ve been educating my daughters as a proud homeschool mum for nearly 20 years. Alongside managing our household and small business from home.
If you want to learn how to do this from someone who has actually done it. Twice! I will show you HOW.