Homeschooling In the Midst of Covid-19

Due to the Coronavirus that is causing many issues in our world, many of you are staying home. On top of having to work from home, many people also have their children staying at home.

As a Florida certified teacher, a former middle school teacher and also a mom, I understand that many teachers and parents are concerned about homeschooling. Let me share some tips with you that might make the process easier for you and your children.

Create a Schedule

As you’re adjusting to your new routine and trying to get some work done at home, it is easy to get sucked into an unstructured life: going to bed late, sleeping late, and letting your kids watch unlimited TV, etc. One thing that could help both you and your children is adding some structure. Create a simple schedule and stick to it. For example, breakfast, cleaning, sports, math, science, free time, etc. Make sure that you add rewards like playtime (outdoor play, if possible), to help you reinforce following the routine. Make sure weekends still look different from the school days. Be flexible!

Talk to Your Children

If age-appropriate, explain to your children what is going on. When we don’t talk to our children, they create explanations themselves, which might be very far from reality. You can explain to them that you are staying inside and not going to work or/and school to protect yourself and other people from being infected. You also may tell them that you are always there if they need you. Answer their questions! Explain to them that you, too, have responsibilities such as work to do. Share with them how your schedule looks.

Communicate Your Expectations and Use Rewards

Make sure your children know what you expect of them. Do so in a transparent manner. Make sure they understand. A checklist of things to do might be useful (but don’t make it long!). Remember to use rewards and not punishments. Use verbal reinforcement when they do something well.

Spend Time Together

Set up some time to spend together with your children. They might need your help with their schoolwork. If time permits, you also might teach them something useful. Cooking together, drawing, playing sports, or just engaging children in doing some work around the house might help build up attachment between you and your kids.

Ask Your Children for Help

They might be capable of more than you think. And it might be time for you to use some of their help. Teach them how to do their laundry, sweep the floor, cook meals, take care of animals. Remember rewards and reinforcements! Notice what they have done. Tell them how much you appreciate that.

Make it Fun

When you are helping your children with their schoolwork, make it a fun time. Do they need to learn their vocabulary words? Throw a ball back and forth every time they answered correctly! Discuss an educational video together. Do a scientific experiment. Share your knowledge with them in a fun and age-appropriate manner. Teach them essential skills that they most likely will not learn at school (such as budgeting or doing laundry). Notice what they genuinely like and spend more time doing it. Allow them to take a lot of breaks!

Remember Your Self-Care

It is easy to get overwhelmed. That means you need to set time apart for yourself and your own needs. Even 1 minute might be important. Take a deep breath, read a book, take a shower, have a cup of tea. When you have energy, you also have something to give to your family and children.

Make it Imperfect

The most important tip: it will not work perfectly. And that’s ok. During these times they might eat more junk than usual or watch more TV, and everything else will look imperfect. Remember that your goal is to get through these times and preserve as much peace as possible, so imperfect is great.

Take good care!

Reach out if you need to!

With love,

Aly Landry, MS, NCC

Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

National Certified Counselor

Flordia Ceritfied Educator

(321) 209 2049


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