Homeschooling isn’t without its problems. For most parents, the toughest thing is recreating the school atmosphere. Say what you like about schools, they certainly have an atmosphere that children associate with education. By contrast, your home is heavily associated with relaxation and fun times. This is why many parents struggle to keep their kids focused when schooling from home.
How do you address this issue? It’s all about finding ways to recreate the school atmosphere at home. There are a few things you can try, so give them a go and see if you enjoy any success!
Create a timetable
Kids quickly fall into the routine of going to school and having a set timetable. They’re used to the idea of sitting in class for an hour, having breaks, doing more lessons, etc. When they’re at home, this structure can go out of the window. So, it’s your job to reinstate it with a timetable. Draw up a schedule for each day, so your child will follow a routine. Very quickly, they will start associating homeschool with a real school, rather than just a chance to relax at home.
Mimic the school setting
This idea is easier for some than others. Do you have any areas in your home that can be altered? This might be a spare room, an attic, a garage – you name it. If you do, try to create a place where your child will study. Get them a proper desk, a school chair, a whiteboard, and so on. You could even go one step further and turn your garden into a playground with outdoor swing sets and other playground toys! The concept is that you’re making your child think they’re in school. This is a great way of drawing a line between learning at home and having fun. When they’re in their mini classroom, they always have to learn. But, they also don’t go there when school isn’t in session. It creates a mental picture for them where their brain realized that this room/area is for studying.
Make sure they get dressed
A big mistake by some parents is to let their child study in pajamas. Your child rolls out of bed and sits at the kitchen table trying to work. Again, the fact they’re wearing pajamas makes them think they’re not in school. It doesn’t seem real or serious to them, which is why their focus goes after a few seconds. Therefore, you need to make sure they’re up and dressed, just like they’re going to school. You don’t have to make them a school uniform – that would be going a step too far – but they should be dressed and ready. Instantly, it takes them out of that relaxed ‘at-home’ mode.
Homeschooling is one of those things that takes time to implement. The longer you and your child stay at it, the better they respond to it. It’s still worth trying a few things to help recreate the school atmosphere in your home. This helps generate mental cues for your child, getting them in the zone for learning.
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