With the recent announcement here in Queensland that schools will be moving to home-based learning for the first 5 weeks of Term 2, it’s time to get ready for the adventure. This is going to be new for many of us, but here are 5 ideas that just might you get into the swing of homeschooling!
1. Get a Few Things Straight
A bit of clarity from the start is sure to help everyone down the track. As Term 2 approaches, sit down and talk with your kids about your expectations of them as at-home students. You also need to hear from them. What do they think about doing school from home? Are there things they’re concerned about? Are there things they’re looking forward to?
2. Become Masters of Time & Space
(No, not quite like Doctor Who)… Time – Get a good daily routine going. Each child’s school may set this up in some way, but if not, help your kids to design a school day that works for them. When does it start and end? What does break time look like? What should be covered during the day? Space – It’s also important that your child has a space set up for effective learning. Does the space provide them with what they need? Does it allow them to focus on their learning without too many at-home distractions?
3. ‘Home-based Schooling’ Does Not Equal ‘Online Learning’
We live in an amazing time where our technology allows us to do incredible things when it comes to online learning. Most, if not all, schools will be running an online learning program to facilitate virtual classroom experiences. BUT, keep in mind there are other ways to learn at home that don’t involve the internet. Can your kids read actual books, create some art, build something, cook something or run around outside as part of their learning program?
4. Get the Balance Right
The current circumstances have put all of our lives out of balance and trying to get some sense of balance back is going to be a daily challenge for everyone. Be mindful that your new at-home student is engaged in that daily re-balancing act but may not always have the awareness or words to describe their experiences. They are the same person with their usual social, emotional and spiritual needs – just living in a world that has turned sideways on them. Keep an eye on them. Do they need some physical activity? Do they need to connect with their friends? Do they need some fresh air?
5. Keep Talking
In the end, if you keep the lines of communication open with your kids, you almost can’t go wrong. Check in on them regularly and create opportunities for them to share how things are going for them. What’s working? What’s not working? What do we need to change to make this crazy new world order work better for us?
All the best with it. We hope you enjoy your home-based schooling adventure and that these 5 ideas help to get you off to a great start.
About the author…
Steve has over 30 years experience in school, community and church-based youth work. He is currently working as the Training & Development Manager at SU QLD, overseeing teams that deliver training and produce resources for SU QLD staff and volunteers. He holds post-graduate qualifications in Social Work, Politics & Government, and Christian Studies.