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Homeschooling advice from the United Way of Tarrant County

Posted April 24, 2020

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child doing school work
For the optimum homeschool experience, choose an area in your home that is distraction-free.

Parents everywhere are taking on the role of their kids’ teachers due to COVID-19 forcing schools to shut down. There has been a spike in teacher appreciation (evident by trending social media topics) because – let’s face it – being an educator is hard. A lot goes into teaching our youth, and it can even prove to be stressful at times.

Do not panic, though; you are not alone. Below are some tips on how to homeschool your children, provided by the United Way of Tarrant County.

The adjustment period. The first couple of weeks are always the most difficult. When you have to change your role from a comforting mother or father to a challenging teacher, your kids may need some time to adjust. Don’t give up; this phase will soon pass.

Provide structure. Having structure and a routine for your child’s school-related activities is critical for homeschooling. Pick an area in your home that is distraction-free, and be sure to choose a time to carry out schooling that makes sense for your child and yourself. It is important to note that you should not feel bound by typical school hours, as chances are your kid will complete their schoolwork in a lot less time.

Plan your days. Lesson plans exist for a reason. Kids pick up on whether or not you are ill-prepared, so stay ahead of the game by carefully planning each day’s activities.

Make time for play. Learning can be exhausting, and emotions can run wild when frustration gets thrown into the mix. To fight the hysteria and fatigue, take a break. Try doing some stretches, non-school-related chores, take a walk, or eat a snack to clear your mind so that you can sit back down with your child refreshed and ready to tackle the next lesson.

Explore. Every child has his or her own interests and hobbies. Communicating with your kid to find out what they are into at the moment can help you plan educational activities that will keep your child engaged. Keep in mind that it is OK if their interests do not feel academic, as many things can become educational if you look at them from a different angle. For example, if your child likes baking, bake a cake with them. You can teach them about fractions when you measure out the ingredients or talk about the chemical reactions that happen in the oven.

Use available resources. There is a plethora of resources available to parents who are homeschooling for the first time. These resources range from educational online videos to child care. Nonprofit organizations, like the YMCA of Metro Fort Worth and the Center for Transforming Lives, provide various resources to parents to ease the transition.

United Way of Tarrant County has compiled a list of educational and child care resources to use during the COVID-19 outbreak to keep your family stay safe, sanitized and sane.

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