SIX TOP TIPS FOR HOMESCHOOLING
Before we dive into the top tips, let’s recognise that:
a) most of you don’t have a teaching degree
b) you’re most likely balancing work and home school
c) you are an absolute legend
One. Use the resources provided by the school.
Most schools have pretty great online resources available to support learning. Some even have online lessons available with their teacher. This is the ideal situation as it means you can carry on with your work, but if not, you should be able to set up tasks for children to complete and then carry on with your work.
If you have a little more spare time on your hands, you can find additional resources supplied by each of the state governments.
- Learning resources from across the nation (Government of Western Australia, Department of Education)
- Early Childhood – Learning from home (Victoria State Government Education and Training)
- Support learning from home (NSW Government)
- Learning Together at Home program (Government of South Australia, Department for Education)
- learning@home (Queensland Government)
Two. Make sure you have the right tech.
Get this right from the start and your life will be a lot easier. It’s not ideal for your child to be working on a device you need for your work, so if you can, get them their own iPad to use and download all the necessary apps. Check in with the school to see what they’ll need – they may use Skype, Zoom or Microsoft teams. You may also need to have Acrobat Reader and Acrobat Flash downloaded too. If you’re not in a position to get them their own iPad, talk to your school as they may be able to provide you one.
Three. Think about where your children learn best.
It’s a good idea to have a space set up as a learning space – but be flexible. You may want to have designated areas for different subjects. Creative activities like art and music may be best completed in play areas, while maths and spelling might be better at a desk. Of course, we understand you may not want mess everywhere, so keeping learning to one space is fine too.
Four. Learn outdoors.
Not only can this be great to give you a break, but kids love outdoor time too. They can burn off excess energy and have unique learning experiences. You can also leave them to their own devices to a degree, here are some idea for learning for them.
- Art: Take crayons and get your children drawing the scenery.
- Maths: Count the types of trees you see and work out percentages.
- English: Write poems and stories inspired by what you see.
- Music: See what songs your children know about things outside or get them to make one up
- Drama: Challenge your children to improvise on a topic of your choice, with props like sticks, leaves or umbrellas.
Five. Create a schedule.
Of course, plans are made to be broken, but you can create a loose schedule to create a little consistency. It’ll help you plan ahead for activities that your child may need help with. Whether it will work will depend on you and your children – if you’re not really schedule people you could be fighting a losing battle. If you’re not a schedule person, you may be better off just creating a list for the day and tick them off as they’re achieved.
Six. Tour galleries, museums and zoos online.
There are some seriously great resources online, so if your kids get tired of the school curriculum, you can let their little minds explore a range of amazing places all around the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many famous institutions have opened their doors for free, offering online tours at any time of day. Here are some places you can visit online:
- Melbourne Zoos, Sydney’s Taronga Zoo or Zoos South Australia
- The Louvre, Paris
- Sistine Chapel, Italy
- The British Museum, London
- The Guggenheim Museum, Amsterdam
- The Great Wall of China (with The China Guide)
- Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park
That should keep you going!
Hopefully that will ease some of the stress of home schooling. Remember to be kind to yourself and your kids. The teachers understand your daily juggle and won’t be hard on kids when they return to school.