Many parents have recently taken on the role of becoming their child’s teacher. Many parents do not have prior teaching experience and some may be experiencing stress and frustration around the process. Most teachers would share that managing a classroom of children involves flexibility, patience, and planning. If you are a parent who has recently taken on this new role, below are a few tips and strategies to help make the transition and process easier:
Create a “learning space” for your child to complete their work. This space should remain consistent during the home learning time. If possible, try to make the space free of distractions and in a calm and quiet place. Keep all of the materials needed for “at home schooling” located in this space as well.
Creating a schedule can help with predictability and structure for your child’s day. Limit their learning time to what is age appropriate. Adjust the time by grade level and by specific learning needs for your child. Try to make the schedule visual with pictures and words. This allows your child to always be aware of the schedule. Lastly include snack time or meal times in the schedule as well. Allowing breaks in the schedule decreases boredom from occurring. Breaks could include meal times, “recess” at home, arts/crafts, and mindfulness activities.
Set behavior expectations for your child during this time. Review your schedule with your children. Setting specific learning goals provides expectation and possibly motivation for your child. Communicate expectations, such as noise level, through verbal and visual instructions. An example of this would be creating a color chart for different noise levels (red= quiet time, yellow= soft, inside voices, green= singing/ playing loudly). Expect your child’s behavior to be different than when they are in their regular school setting. Be flexible and adjust your approach to your child’s needs.
Be kind to yourself as you take on the new role of “parent/teacher.” Acknowledge that it may not go as planned and that is okay!
Author: Gabrielle Massi M.A.