Trying to become a teacher at home means making sure that your kids are on schedule, engaged, and learning. This is a somewhat daunting task for many parents, especially for parents of children with special needs. Most children thrive when they have a consistent schedule and daily routine that does not change from week to week. Additionally, at school they receive a myriad of support from their teachers, school psychologists, and behavioral therapists. Finally, parents typically have to balance their full-time work schedules with providing educational support for their children.
Here are some tips to make your homeschooling experience easier:
1.All children benefit from having a consistent schedule as online learning may be challenging. Print out a visual schedule for your child every day to help them understand their routine. Try not to vary the schedule from day to day, or from week to week.
2.Break down school assignments into manageable steps. Offer rewards and incentives for completing assignments efficiently.
3.Children need to have a comfortable and safe space to learn and focus. Create a quiet and clutter free space to reduce distractions. During learning time reduce distractions like music, TV and video games (either through removing them from the environment, taking the cords, or installing parental controls). Let your child personalize their working space.
4.Let your child take breaks between online classes to reduce the anxiety and stress. Make sure to schedule snack and lunchtime. It might be overwhelming at times to learn online, and your child might need some time to self regulate and rebreathe.
5.Set up a reward system for your child. Reassure your child on how well they are doing and encourage them to come to you with questions. Check their assignment completion daily and provide appropriate feedback.
6.Ask your child’s teachers and counselors for teaching advice, and do not hesitate to seek assistance. Talk to other parents, friends, and neighbors on how they are handling schooling their children. There are many resources online that help you to understand the subject your child is learning – remember we are not math or science teachers.
7.Go outside and spend time on fresh air as it reduces stress and anxiety for the whole family. Plan some fun activities and talk to your children how they would like to spend the leisure time.
Pathways Behavioral Health Blog
Dr. Stillerova and Dr. Shriver
Dr. Lucia Stillerova joined Pathways Behavioral Health in 2018. She received her PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology from George Mason University and her Master of the Arts in Clinical Psychology from University of St. Cyril and Methodius. She has presented her research at national conferences, and published in international journals. She also serves as a part-time faulty member at George Mason University. Her research focuses on social–emotional teaching and learning in early childhood development.