5 Homeschool Hacks Every Parent Needed to Know Yesterday!
Tips and tricks to keep the kids happy and occupied while at home and keep you (relatively) sane
It’s been a long, cold winter, and finally, a new season is upon us. Oh, wait – did you think we were talking about spring? We’re referring to the season of “social distancing,” and lucky us, our kids are lovingly gifting us a whole heap of unstructured time to commemorate the occasion.
With all the school, day care, and business closures due to the current pandemic, many parents are walking into unfamiliar, nail-biting territory: homeschooling the kids.
And, although we are only a few days in, most parents are realizing one hard fact – not everyone is naturally cut out for the job.
But here we are. Like it or not, parents need to step it up and put on their homeschool pants, while also keeping a close eye on their sanity. Luckily, we have some tips to get you through it.
Here are five homeschool hacks to keep everyone on track and happy:
- Keep a schedule
Let’s be honest; having everyone at home without a plan of attack can lead to a free-for-all, which nobody wants. That is why creating and adhering to a schedule is so important.
In addition to keeping you from pulling your hair out, consistent routines and schedules help to set expectations for the day, while also providing your kids with a sense of stability and security.
And, when kids know what their day looks like ahead of time, boredom and frustration levels are kept to a minimum. To keep everyone engaged and informed, keep your daily schedule in a central place that everyone can see and access.
- Put the kids in charge
Okay, not really, but hear us out. People tend to feel more invested in the things that they have a hand in creating.
So, ask your kids how they’d like to structure their day and then involve them in creating the daily schedule. Create checklists using whiteboards and let your kids check off their tasks as they complete them.
The act of creating “to-do” lists and then physically crossing items off that list will provide your kids with a sense of accomplishment, accountability, and pride.
- Work as a team
What do you get when you take at-home or working parents and stick them in a confined space with a bunch of off-school kids? Stress, and probably lots of it.
To keep stress levels down while staying productive and maintaining a semblance of sanity, it is important that you and your partner work as a team to manage your work, housework, the kids … you get the picture.
Sit down each night – with a glass of wine because you earned it – and run through your respective schedules. Do your best to rearrange your days so that one of you is available to manage the kids or other home-related tasks while the other leads a conference call or gives a presentation.
You’ll also want to make optimal use of your home and carve out a bit of personal workspace for each person, whatever that may look like.
Lastly, you can create a “traffic light” sign to hang outside of your workspace to visually tell the kids or your partner when they can and cannot come in. Green means “come on in,” and red means “stop right there and turn your hiney around.”
- Designate “spaces”
While dealing with a quarantine, it’s important to create designated spaces for your kids to keep them moving and focused on the task at hand. Ask them the following:
- Where do you want your homework space to be?
- Where will your play space be?
- Where do you want your chill space to be?
Once they’ve decided on their spaces, do your best to hold them accountable for their decisions. This will help them adhere to structure and help you keep your house from looking like a tornado just hit it.
Let’s be real; the idea of homeschooling kids for an undetermined amount of time can be equal parts hilarious and terrifying. Schedules and teamwork aside, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to keep your sanity.
That may look like carving out 30 minutes every day to read a book, listen to a podcast, or just sit in total silence to remind yourself how much you love your stir-crazy kids.
Either way, you’ve totally got this, and remember, 1THRIVE totally has your back.