Life has done a 180, and most of us are doing things we never expected to do, whether that’s working from home, wearing masks when we go outside, or becoming our children’s teacher. If you’re one of those parents who repeatedly wondered how teachers do it, you may be struggling more than you ever imagined. Not only do teachers instruct multiple, unique children on core curriculum, but they instill them with important life lessons and character values.
Teachers must establish a certain tone in the classroom to maintain control and direction. Complaining, whining, and rebelling are things your child may exhibit at home but are not allowed in the classroom. Since your home is the new classroom, it’s important you learn how to set that “teacher tone” and maintain it throughout the school year. The suggestion below will help.
Keep a routine that is flexible enough to work with your family. Set a routine but be flexible. Instead of making a hard and fast rule about start time, break time, and lunch time, give yourself 15 minutes to adjust. This helps motivate and calm children.
You set the tone. Whatever happened right before you are teaching does not get carried over into the lesson. Just as teachers show up and act professionally regardless of their mood, parents should try to do the same. Kids need to know they are safe and secure while you are teaching.
Learning does not stop after classes end. Actual time spent on lessons may take half the day, but spend the other half going outside if you can. Teaching your children about nature and exercise and engaging in outside games is a vital part of nurturing growth.
Teach your child life skills. Healthy parenting includes teaching your child to be independent. Give them a cooking assignment, encourage them to fix things around the home that are age-appropriate, or teach them to sew a button. When your child learns how to care for themselves, they feel more confident and are willing to try new things.
Schedule quiet time in your school day. No matter how old your child is, they need quiet time for reading, practicing their musical instruments, or working on crafts. Give them time to journal, reflect, and make plans on their personal goals. Remember, parents need quiet time, too!
We have been forced into a new normal in a short period of time. As we take on our new role of homeschooling, what matters most is caring and enjoying each other as much as possible. -Mary Jo Rapini