Homeschooling tips from our readers
The start of the 2021 academic year has been delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and many parents have opted to homeschool their children. However, homeschooling comes with its own challenges — we asked our readers for tips.
PERSONALISE THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Your home needs to have a designated area where all the learning will take place and this space needs to cater to your child’s specific needs.
“I noticed that my 8-year-old daughter did not enjoy using my home office as her classroom because my chair and the desk was too big for her. It’s advisable to redecorate the space to include your child’s personality and educational needs. We added her favourite toys and books and I also purchased a child-friendly desk and chair.” Nomzamo — Midrand
KEEP THE SCHEDULE FLEXIBLE
Managing your work and family demands is difficult and you have to come up with a timetable that suits you and your child.
“My teenage son is not a morning person; he struggles to concentrate in the morning and I struggle to do my household chore and freelance work while I’m teaching him. We decided to create a learning timetable that specifically cater to us and we now start our first lesson at 9am instead of 7:30am. You have to do create your own timetable because I now do household chores and catch up some freelance work before home schooling starts.” Boipelo — Soweto
HAVE A CODE OF CONDUCT
The lack of discipline can have a detrimental effect on your child’s education and it’s one of the first things you should figure out.
“I initially struggled to discipline my child during our lessons because he would sulk and cry when I shouted at him. He was not aware of what was right or wrong in our new learning environment. You have to come up with a code of conduct with rules and also outline disciplinary measures that would be taken should the rules be broken. Once I had compiled the code of conduct, I discussed it with him and listened to his input to find a holistic way forward”. Bongani — Umlazi
Academic goals help you track your progress and pick up problems areas that need attention.
“When I started home schooling my 7-year-old and 16-year-old, I didn’t have any measurable goals and I realised their grades were not good because of this. I suggest setting daily, weekly, and monthly measurable and specific educational goals. I even do surprise and scheduled tests to check on their progress.” Xhanti — King William’s Town.
USE ONLINE RESOURCES
The internet has a wealth of educational tools and channels that are useful.
“I struggled to find the right words to explain complex subjects to my teenage kids and this made us all frustrated. If your kids are digitally savvy like mine, I suggest you use educational online tools and channels which clearly explain everything with stimulating visuals. Remember to restrict the settings on your gadgets so they only access age-appropriate content. Nonzwi – Gugulethu