Let’s face it: teaching kids at home is tough. One of the most common comments we’ve heard from parents over these past few weeks is, “How do teachers do it?” Even celebrities like Shonda Rhimes are discovering the wins—and woes—of homeschooling. Rest assured, if you’re struggling with how to keep kids focused, productive, and not fighting, while balancing the demands of your own work situation, you’re not alone. Our tutors and teachers understand the struggle, which is why we asked them for quick tips for your crash course in teaching. Here’s what they said:
- “Find ways to keep your child engaged. For instance, play Flashcard Match whenever they get bored. Have your child design the cards, flip them face down, scatter, and match!” —Justin B.
- “Projects allow kids to put creative effort into a topic that interests them. Offer some guidelines (work on writing, make a slideshow or website, draw a diagram, etc), but let your child take ownership.” —Emily L.
- “Encourage your teenage kids to develop research projects based on their own passions. Whether it’s investing in the stock markets or writing slam poetry, kids can often have a lot of interests outside the framework of the options offered at their school, and this could be an opportunity for them to develop some autonomy and internal motivation.” —Kyra J.
- “Take mini breaks! There are a lot of great yoga and strength-training workouts on YouTube to get the blood flowing and reset your mental energy.” —Max L.
- “Use this time to deepen your relationship with your kids. Teach them something you are passionate about: cook together, hike, do yoga. Maybe start a family conversation routine of sharing the best and worst parts of your day at dinner.” —Jenna P.
- “Now’s the perfect time to introduce your child to a classic—either one you already love or one you’ve been meaning to read. Try reading Anne of Green Gables or Treasure Island to younger kids or reading something more complex alongside older children. Personally, I’m picking up my big Edith Wharton collection, since I haven’t read enough of her!” —Michele O.
- “Recognize that all children have different learning styles and play around to find the one that works best for you and your child. Whether it’s through examples, logical, interactive, visual, or verbal, something is bound to work well for both of you.” —Sean K.
- “Each night, have your child prepare a 5-10 minute presentation for before dinner, such as: “Teach Mom and Dad how integrals work.” —Owen H.
- “Ask your child to start a gratitude journal. In this time where it seems like there is only bad news, we tend to forget about the wonderful things that we have. It only takes a moment and can become something that helps the whole family.” —Robert R.
- “It’s okay to take breaks and do something fun. Learning isn’t entirely hard work!” —Jason P.
For more ideas, and to connect with a tutor, reach out to us. We’re here to help.