Homeschooling during the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to do away with the cons of the traditional education system and make learning more fun and effective for your children.

How to successfully homeschool your kids during the pandemic

When the coronavirus pandemic broke out and the country went into lockdown, nobody expected it to go on for this long. Your children would have had their summer vacation when the lockdown began, so it wouldn’t have affected their studies. But June is here and it’s time to start a new academic year. While the pandemic still persists, you can’t let that affect your children’s education. 

Most schools have transitioned to online classes, where they either upload video lectures beforehand or have live classes. They then expect the students to watch these videos and upload their homework on an online platform for review. The deadlines are usually week-specific, so what your child does daily and how diligently they study is up to them. 

It’s no secret that students, irrespective of their age, will slack off if given the opportunity, and this new online system of schooling allows just that. That’s why you have to take up the responsibility of homeschooling them and check whether their online learning is on track. Here are some pointers:

1. Don’t recreate their school day

The important thing when homeschooling your child is to see that they learn regularly and effectively, and not that they follow a strict routine. There is no need for them to wake up early in the morning or sit through 6–8 hours of classes at a stretch. Instead of trying to recreate their typical school schedule, take advantage of being able to add elements of flexibility and fun. They can start their classes post-lunch or study in 2-hour time slots. 

Related: Working moms: A day in the life of these unsung heroes during the pandemic

2. Involve them in decision-making

The one complaint most children have against adults is that the latter think they know better than them and boss them around. This is a good opportunity for you to involve your kids in making decisions. It will teach them the essential skills of problem-solving and teamwork. From deciding their daily schedule to additional activities they wish to explore, ask them what they want and come to a joint decision. 

3. Stay in touch with their teachers

Whether through school WhatsApp groups or regular calls, it’s important for you to stay in touch with your children’s class teacher. It’s easy for children to lie about projects, homework, etc. when they are the mediator between school and parents. Apart from staying in the loop of what’s to be done, you could also discuss any issues you may be facing regarding certain subjects, online learning, etc. 

Related: 7 Fun ways to keep your children engaged during the lockdown

4. Supplement the study material 

Textbooks and video lectures can get boring for your children day after day. Given all this extra time they spend at home, you can use this opportunity to shake things up. From fun YouTube videos and movies to interactive online courses and audiobooks, you can supplement your children’s current study material. Changing the format and sources of information can keep learning exciting for kids. 

Tips to motivate your children to study from home 

Studying, in general, isn’t exciting or much fun. But now it’s even harder with the pandemic and having to deal with all the adjustments and the uncertainty. Here’s how you can help motivate your children. 

  • Set up a dedicated study space: Just as you need a dedicated workstation when working from home, your children too need a study space. This can be a study table in their room or just the dining table. But make sure they have all the supplies they need – books, stationery, laptop, etc. and that nobody disturbs them during their study hours. 
  • Be a cool mom and bend some rules: While the school may have had art, dance, and music classes, your child may not necessarily be interested in them. Don’t force them to comply at home as well. Instead, replace these slots with something they are genuinely interested in – such as baking or reading novels.
  • Set up video calls with their friends: Interacting with their friends and classmates is a big part of the school experience. Try to schedule weekly video calls with their school friends by discussing it with their moms. The kids can not only discuss their homework and assignments but also catch up and chill during these calls.
  • Plan something fun for the weekends: Despite the pandemic and lockdown, there needs to be a distinction between the weekdays and the weekend. During the week, plan something that your kids can look forward to on the weekend. This can be a marathon session of their favourite movies along with their favourite snacks, or an online dance workshop.

Related: Managing a child’s financial expenses: A mother’s perspective

In the end, successful homeschooling is all about maintaining the right balance between fun and learning. Remember this is new for both you and your kids, so you will have to learn along the way what works and what doesn’t.  A mother’s guide to raising financially responsible children