It’s pretty easy to accumulate bad habits, we’ve all been there. One more minute of free time in front of the television becomes an hour and before you know it a big part of the day has been lost! Taking breaks is good, healthy even, but taking too many and for too long is just procrastination, and you don’t want this to turn into a habit! Staying on track and standing firm with your children can be a difficult thing to do as you take on the role of both parent and teacher. However, remote learning provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the areas that need work and create better habits. Parents also get to create a unique bond with their child that they wouldn’t otherwise get to have if the student were placed into a traditional school setting.
When you’re navigating the homeschool world and trying to make sure your little learner has everything they need and are staying on top of their responsibilities, it’s easy to forget about having fun. Homeschooling leaves so much room for both students and their parents to create their own excitement and have a great time while learning. Plan projects, activities, and field trips that will inspire your child to fall in love with learning and look forward to having class each day. Plan a scavenger hunt, build a model together at the end of a lesson, take a nature walk, or go to a museum and check out the interesting exhibits. Whatever you decide to do with your child, just remember to sprinkle a little fun over each day and try not to take yourself too seriously all the time.
Everything has a place it should be, and at the beginning of a new school day, the last thing any parent wants is to be scrambling to find supplies or textbooks. A good habit to form is getting your children to pick up any papers, pencils, markers, books, or other supplies at the end of a lesson before they can do anything else. This way, everything will be neat and organized for the next school day. A clutter-free space promotes productivity, and this encourages students to keep the space tidy since they are able to accomplish so much more in a day. Parents can create a filing system for important papers and projects or put together a calendar with important assignments and deadlines. Things like this will make remote learning much less stressful for everyone involved.
Perhaps you work, work, work, one day, and then the next day you do absolutely nothing. It is essential to not only remain organized and tackle your daily tasks but to consistently do this. If you try to pile too much onto your plate while homeschooling your children, it will be difficult to keep up with yourself. You might end up being so stressed that you don’t accomplish anything or perhaps you’ll end up with multiple half-finished tasks. Set goals that are both reasonable and attainable for yourself and your child. This way, everything will get done and you won’t be brought down by the stress that comes with having so much on your plate that you never quite get to all of it.
Racing to the Finish
No need to rush! Students need the time to fully grasp new concepts and materials, and so do parents. Going too quickly may cause you to make an error while explaining a new concept. Take your time when it comes to teaching, it’s less pressure on yourself and your child. Every now and then we fall behind, and that’s okay. Life happens, and certain events get in the way sometimes. Even if you miss some classes while homeschooling, it’s not the end of the world. Just pick up where you left off and keep the same pacing as before. Rushing through subjects will result in students not retaining the majority of what was taught to them and becoming confused. It’s okay to spend a bit more time in an area where your child is having some difficulty or to be playing catch-up, just make sure you work at a speed that is intuitive to you.
No Wiggle Room
Are you the type of parent who has a fully loaded schedule? Do you plan every single second and leave yourself no room to breathe? It’s good to be a planner, but not to your detriment. Unexpected events are going to happen, and whether it’s last-minute plans, a family emergency, or one of your children has a stomach bug, you have to be ready for it. Leaving space in your day for these potential occurrences will allow you to squeeze in that doctor’s appointment for your little one or run to the store to restock on arts and crafts supplies for homeschooling. It is essential for parents to have wiggle room because not only is life unpredictable, but life with children is unpredictable, and you should be prepared for any issues or unforeseen circumstances that might arise.
No Free Play
Planned activities are great, but students also need opportunities to explore on their own and get involved in the hobbies that excite them. Perhaps your child likes to read books, paint, cook fun treats, or get outside and run. Encourage them to participate in as well as invent their own fun activities. Free play is a great way for young people to learn about themselves and also the world around them. Letting your child take the reins for a portion of the day will inspire creativity on a daily basis and also just allow your child to take a break before continuing on with the lesson or at the end of a long day. A remote learning schedule is completely customizable so that means parents can make sure their students have plenty of time to be curious.
Too Much Work
It may be tempting to double down and have your child take two English courses to cover all of your bases, but there’s just not enough time in the day for all of it. With all of the curricula that need to be tackled, sticking to the essentials is the best move. Try to find programs that cover all of the important information for your child’s grade level. No need to try and get really far ahead or have multiple books for every subject, because they will just become overwhelmed and end up falling behind as a result. Find a healthy balance of subjects that fits your child’s homeschooling needs and they will be just fine.
What Time Is It?
Where has the day gone? Is it 3’o clock already? You don’t need to have your child get up as early as you would for regular schooling, however, there needs to be some sort of boundary when it comes to wake up times. This way, your entire day isn’t off balance and you have an appropriate amount of time to complete your daily homeschooling tasks. It might be tempting to try and get an extra hour of sleep, but one hour becomes two, and so on. Time setting goes hand-in-hand with consistency. You have to be smart with the hours you have in the day in order to remain consistent and not be tempted to procrastinate. Hold your children and yourself accountable to be awake before a certain time each morning.
Just put it away! Both yours and your child’s phones will only serve as distractions during lesson time. Taking a break from technology while remote learning will help with focus and productivity. Without the buzz or ding from a text message notification to steal their attention, students will focus all of their energy on the work in front of them. You can turn the phones off, put them on silent, or place them in a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Social media is fun to be a part of but when it’s learning time, no phones should be allowed at the table. This can wait until free time, and not only will your child be able to focus better, but they will also appreciate the privilege of having a phone much more than before.
So, we’ve established that parents picking up bad habits while homeschooling is very common and can really disrupt the entire flow of the learning process. The good news is that bad habits don’t have to have a long-term, negative impact. Just remind yourself to stay on track, have a plan, and know your limits. Being both parent and teacher is a challenging ordeal but with the right mindset and a little bit of creativity, you’ll be well on your way to helping your child succeed in school while forming healthier habits.