Since millions of students worldwide are now forced to stay indoors and receive education online, it’s no surprise that more and more people are looking for ways to teach their children at home. But, unfortunately, it’s not always easy, and if you don’t know where to start, it can become a bigger challenge than you would have anticipated.
The good news is that if you follow some of the best practices in teaching at home, you’ll surely find that it’s not particularly difficult either. There is a wealth of educational resources available online today that claim to allow you to give your child a classroom-like experience at home. However, beware that these resources are not always adequate when it comes to imparting education effectively.
There’s only so much that online resources can do, though. At the end of the day, it comes down to the kind of approach you take towards teaching your child at home and how much effort you’re willing to take for the same. A few tips and tricks should help you get started on teaching your child at home in a way that allows them to enjoy the learning process.
Therefore, in this article, we’ll discuss some of the best and most effective practices you can employ to teach your child at home.
Establish A Routine
Establishing a routine or schedule is quite possibly the most important tip to keep in mind when teaching your child at home. Even though at-home learning is flexible, it doesn’t make sense to sit your child down for lessons whenever you get time or whenever they feel like it. After all, the chances are that they may never feel like it.
Which child would like it if you interrupted their playtime and asked them to study instead? Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance that you establish a proper schedule for teaching and stick to it as firmly as possible. The idea here is to try and replicate the feeling of attending regular school as closely as possible for the sake of your child.
It’s always best to start in the morning when you’re both awake and refreshed. This a great time for children to absorb and retain what they’re taught. Besides, once your child has grown accustomed to waking up in the morning, they’ll be able to grow comfortable with the schedule you prepared for them.
This will help them adopt a more disciplined approach towards their education. Fixing timings for study, playtime, etc., gives your child a routine to work with. Therefore, they’ll participate in their lessons if they know that they can go about their day if they know they have to stick to a fixed schedule.
If you’ve tried the morning routine and it isn’t working out well, don’t be afraid to mix things up. Not all children find it easy to wake up early and concentrate on their studies. If your child faces this difficulty, you can try teaching them a little later in the day. Let them start their day with their regular activities, then conduct lessons around mid-day or in the afternoon.
Remember that the key here is to ensure your child can learn effectively. Therefore, you need to discover what time of day they’re most active and attentive. If your child manages to wake up early but constantly dozes off during their lessons, you might as wait until they’re well-rested and ready to focus. After all, flexibility with timings is one of the main advantages of teaching children at home.
As long as these timings are reasonable and fit well into your schedule, there’s no reason not to consider having your classes later in the day instead of early morning. You could even ask your child what time they’d like to have their lessons at and ask them to stick with their preference.
Opening up a dialogue with your child and taking their needs and preferences into account here can make them feel more involved with the learning process. This will help them learn better and retain what they learn for longer.
Decide On A Learning Space
To stimulate a classroom-like environment, you should consider establishing a designated learning space for your child. You can have a room in your home rearranged to resemble a makeshift classroom. A desk and chair for your child and a whiteboard and a table for you should be enough. A room with a window that allows for natural light to filter is a good choice for a home classroom.
Make sure that the room you opt for has adequate space for both sitting and for activities. You may need to ask your child to leave their desk and chair to draw, paint, or perform similar tasks. You’ll need enough space on the floor to accommodate all their arts and crafts supplies for such tasks.
Moreover, it’s not just about having enough space for activities, but it’s also about having enough space for your child not to feel confined. Remember, classrooms in schools are large, airy, and bright – particularly classrooms for younger students. The reason behind this is that children shouldn’t feel like they’re being boxed in – they need to have room to move around.
To make your room more interesting, you could even decorate this space with colorful charts, drawings, etc. that you have at home. Alternatively, you can make some charts and drawings with your child then put them up. The idea is to bring your home classroom to life with colors and illustrations that can aid your teaching.
There’s more than one way to teach the same lesson, and when it comes to teaching children who are at the elementary or secondary level, the possibilities are endless. It may take you time to develop lessons for your child in a creative way, but your efforts are sure to help them learn better. On the other hand, if you go by the book every time and expect your child to find their lessons interesting, this won’t work out very well for either of you.
An effective way of making classes interesting for your children is to relate their lessons to real-life examples. Using practical lessons to teach basic concepts can work here too. For instance, you could use small toys or stuffed animals to teach your child how to count. Your child is sure to enjoy a math lesson like this much more than learning numbers off a whiteboard.
This is just a small example of the many methods you can employ to get your child to absorb and retain what you teach them at home. Another way in which you can get creative is to make presentations and charts on the subjects you’re teaching them. Illustrations and diagrams are particularly useful for subjects such as biology and geography.
Use Online Tools
There’s no shortage of tools online to aid learning. A quick search on Google or YouTube will give you loads of videos on different subjects for different schooling levels. These videos are usually made by educators and cover both basic and complex topics. Using such videos to add to your lesson now and again will help your child grasp new information effectively.
And the best part about this? It’s a creative way of teaching without requiring much time and effort on your part. When showing your child such videos, make sure you stay in the room and pay attention to them as well. In case your child doesn’t understand any part of a video, you should be prepared to help them out.
Have Adequate Supplies
Just because you’re teaching your child at home doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use the right resources to help you with the same. Firstly, consider purchasing a whiteboard or a small smartboard (if you want to use a projector) and set it up in the room designated for learning.
Then, make sure you have a stock of markers, pens, pencils, erasers, sheets, notebooks, and more. Using brightly colored stationery can often get your child excited to use such stationery and can make learning more fun for them, so don’t underestimate the importance of the same.
Also, it’s always handy to have some tools for arts and crafts activities ready such as chart paper, glue, glitter, stickers, paper scissors, and more. Having a fun activity such as arts and crafts every day or as often as you can help your child look forward to their learning sessions at home.
You could even purchase educational puzzles, activity books, coloring books, etc. to keep your child on their toys and enhance their extra-curricular skills. None of these resources are particularly costly or hard to find, so it can’t hurt to keep a supply of them at home. After all, you don’t want to interrupt your lessons and run down to the store every time you need teaching supplies.
Supplies For Teaching Kids At Home
If you’re ready to get started and teach your child at home, you’ll need a few supplies. These supplies are sure to prove useful to help your child get creative and enjoy the learning process.
1. Hadley Designs Educational Posters
These laminated posters are brightly colored and full of fun shapes, colors, and more. Everything from the days of the week and months of the year to alphabets and numbers is featured in these posters. Interestingly, these 11X17 posters even include emotions and money charts, something not every educational poster set contains.
Your child is sure to pick up various skills, including speaking, reading, and jogging their memory with the help of these posters. What’s more – your child can also write on these posters, making them perfect for learning at home. Besides, since these posters are laminated, they’re resistant to damage from water, tearing, and more. Therefore, if you have a younger child as well, you can save up these posters for when it’s time for them to start schooling.
These posters are perfect for pre-schoolers as it covers the main concepts they need to study before they start formal schooling. However, they’re perfect not just because they cover various topics, but also because they contain so many fun shapes and images that children enjoy looking at. You can hang these posters upon a wall with glue or stick them to a whiteboard using magnets.
- They’re brightly colored and contain various shapes and images
- There’s a poster covering every basic concept young kids need to be aware of
- They’re laminated and are very durable
- They make for interactive learning as they can be written on
- They’re very easy to put up anywhere around the house
- The back of the posters aren’t laminated like the front
2. Learning Resources Time Activity Set
This affordable, fun activity set is meant to help your child develop some vital skills. The skills that this set focuses on the most are time matching and time-telling. Being able to read the time on a clock is one of the most fundamental skills a child should learn, which is why we’ve included this product in our list. This set is especially useful for young children because it helps them tell time and helps them improve their coordination and motor skills.
With the help of this set, your child will be able to learn how to identify different hands on the clock and tell the difference between the time on a digital clock and an analog clock. This kit includes no less than 41 pieces of plastic clocks, puzzle cards, dice, activity cards, an activity guide, and much more. For the price it retails at, we’d say this set is one of the most useful learning resources we’ve come across online.
Your child will enjoy learning the basics of reading time quickly enough with this set. Teaching them these basic skills while including school-like coursework at home is sure to mix things up and help your child enjoy a wholesome learning experience.
- It helps children learn basic skills like how to read time
- It’s very reasonably priced
- It includes many different pieces
- It’s very easy to use for young children
- It helps improve motor skills as well
- It’s only suitable for children aged 5 and above
3. Learning Resources Calendar And Weather Pocket Chart
This is an especially useful supply to have around when teaching children at home mainly because it allows them to learn about different days, months, seasons, and more. Since this chart contains bright, colorful illustrations, it’s no surprise that it’s very popular among children around elementary school who find these attractive.
This chart includes no less than 136 cards that are double-sided and can be used to help kids retain what they learn about the weather, seasons, and times of the year. This is the kind of basic knowledge you can expect to impart to your child while teaching them at home with the help of simple supplies.
You’ll find that this chart is very durable as well, considering it’s resistant to damage from flames. It owes its durability to the fact that it’s made out of vinyl, which is known to show signs of damage with great difficulty.
- It’s an easy to use chart that children will enjoy learning with
- It contains brightly colored illustrations of different seasons and more
- It’s made of vinyl and can last for years together
- It’s perfect for children aged 3 and above
- The set contains 136 double-sided cards
- It’s a little on the pricier side of home learning supplies
Teaching children at home is not always easy, and it’s not uncommon for parents to look for additional resources to help them with it. There are several popular learning resources out there for young kids, but not all of these are very effective. Therefore, we did the legwork for you and looked for some of the best learning resources online.
One of these resources is the Children Learning Reading program which helps children learn reading in a fun and effective way. The program includes a guide, miniseries, and a free subscription to a newsletter that gives you additional tips on teaching your child to read at home.
To conclude, teaching at home is not as difficult as you may think if you follow the right tips and tricks and have a few basic supplies and resources at hand. The key here is to be patient and understand what works with your child to help them learn better at home.
After all, the learning process should be fun for them and engage them completely if you want them to retain what they learn.
Teaching your child at home gives you flexibility and allows you to take both your child’s and your needs and preferences into account. Therefore, with adequate patience and trial and error, you’ll soon find that you’re able to help your child learn something new while allowing them the comforts of their home.