Remote learning has transformed the way millions of children around the world receive their respective educations. Those who homeschool their kids are accustomed to a certain type of routine and understand the value of developing a structured schedule. When you’re in this unique position for the first time, however, you might not be certain about the best way to proceed, especially if you’re concerned about your kids’ ability to focus and remain productive the way that they are when they’re in an actual classroom.
Remember that things are dramatically different at home. There’s no need for lunchboxes, there’s no scheduled break time, and the allure of watching TV and grabbing a snack is pretty much always present as a distraction. The good news is that there are steps you can take to make any day more productive for the kids. That has a number of advantages, such as getting everything done on time, helping them stay accountable, and teaching them the importance of responsibility. These tips will ensure that your little ones stay as focused as possible when they’re tackling school at home.
First and foremost, you need to create a schedule and establish that as the daily routine for the foreseeable future. Make it a point to stress that it’s not negotiable; otherwise, it’s far too easy for kids to fall behind on their schoolwork if they sleep in for an extra hour or spend too much time on the couch watching television. Begin each day the same way, with some variation of showering, pulling on some comfortable loungewear such as leggings for girls, sweatpants, or joggers, and having breakfast.
Then sit down and go over everything that needs to be completed by the end of the day. In all likelihood, your kids’ teachers have provided all of the essential reading and assignments. Prioritize anything that is due that day so that there’s no room for slacking or falling off track. Have kids check each item off an actual list as they go; this is a way for them to develop a sense of pride in their everyday accomplishments while also giving them an easy option to stay on top of everything that should be done by the end of the day.
Rarely is it possible for anyone to get any type of quality work done in front of the TV, let alone a child who is easily distracted by the possibility of watching cartoons or playing video games. Don’t allow this possibility to throw a wrench in your plans. Ensure a smoother outcome by creating a dedicated study area that is designated solely for school-related activities. A desk or a table is perfect, along with a comfortable chair.
If they’re a little bit fidgety, figure out what they need to be as comfortable as possible. It’s important to create a space where they’re more likely to actually sit down and work without distraction, which means a space that’s not just free of noise and visual disturbances, but also one that is genuinely comfort-focused. If your kid is always cold, for example, make sure they have a cardigan or sweatshirt to layer on over that kids’ T-shirt. Place a cushion on their seat if they need that added padding. Pull back the curtains to let some natural light filter through. Little things like these can go a long way in promoting a successful work environment.
Being cooped up inside all day long may be okay for a day or two, but it can become tiring to go through the same rigid schedule day after day. To break up the monotony and help kids stay engaged and alert, add some quality outdoor time to the daily routine. Make sure that they’re comfortable — leggings or kids’ jeans are great for this purpose because they’re flexible and make it easy for them to run around and enjoy themselves.
You can tie in some educational elements when you’re outside, too. If they’re studying science, you can use this opportunity to teach them about the natural life cycle of plants. Go on a nature walk and ask them to point out different types of flowers and insects. Allow them some time to play, too — that freedom is crucial to their wellbeing and will help them feel relaxed and ready to go when it’s time to start working again.
Some kids may feel more at ease with doing school from home when it closely replicates the actual classroom experience. By filling their backpack with everything that they need for the day, they’ll feel like they’re completely prepared and ready to go right off the bat.
One way to make this a regular habit is to have them look over everything that they need to work on the following day. After gathering everything and putting it in the bag, your child can even create a checklist so that they can tackle each item one by one. It will lead to a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to remain focused and get everything done in a timely manner. By sticking to this sort of routine, your kids can make the most out of this unique time spent studying in the comfort of their own home.