9 Homeschooling Tips for Working Parents
We’ve heard from lots of families in the Banjo community that balancing work and homeschooling has been a challenge, so here are our 9 top homeschooling tips for working parents and carers:
Create a structure that works for your household. It’s helpful to divide your day into manageable chunks, and be realistic about what you’re trying to achieve. Aim to start and finish your work/school days at particular times.
2. Set up your school
Choosing a corner of the room where homeschool takes place can help with focus. Work with your child to decorate the space so it feels special. Adding a desk lamp, a colourful day planner and a jar of nice pens can make them feel like they have an important job to do.
3. Independent learning
Decide with your child what things they’d be happy to do by themselves. You could write down a list of short activities together and ask them to pick a few to get on with each day.
4. Ask them to teach you (and each other!)
Ask your kid to teach you what they know. It’s a great opportunity to work out how they learn. If you have more than one child, ask them to teach each other something they’re excited about. Older kids can research a subject and present it to you at the end of the week.
5. Accept help and advice from others
Do you have family or friends who’d be happy to do an online session with your kids? One of our Banjitos is learning French from his uncle via Zoom, allowing his mum to squeeze in another hour of work. You could share the online teaching with the parent of another child, too. There are also some great resources online, from seasoned homeschoolers, teachers and psychologists. Check out one of our heroes Philippa Perry here.
6. Make learning fun
If you’re not already receiving Banjo’s letters, penned by the amazing children’s author, Anna Kemp, now is the perfect time to start! Banjo Robinson sends letters and creative activities to 5-8 year olds, twice a month, throughout the year. Each delivery comes from an exciting new destination, like the Taj Majal or the Great Wall of China, and children are encouraged to write a reply and leave it under the sofa before they go to bed. Sign up to their newsletter here for a whole bunch of free resources or check out their Ultimate Guide to keeping kids entertained during lockdown.
A film or documentary can work as a great bookmark to the end of the school day, and will allow you to get a chunk of work done before bath time, dinner and bed. This will help you claw back some time to relax once they’re tucked up for the night.
8. Be kind to yourself!
School teachers are AMAZING and the activities they’re sending through are a huge help. The most important thing is to keep your kids happy and engaged, and school activities can support this. But if they don’t learn all their times tables or become master spellers during lockdown, that’s okay.
9. For those days when it’s all a bit much, implement a surprise Weekday Weekend
If someone’s having an off-day, why not announce an unofficial weekend? Take your time over breakfast, let your child stay in their PJs, watch extra TV and make a big mess of the house. You’ll be able to catch up on work while they’re left to their own devices. We think there shouldn’t be too many rules at this weird time. Just hang in there and do your best!