This content derived from https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/programs-surveys/sis/resources/2020/es-parent-toolkit.pdf - page 5.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or brand new to teaching children at home, the following strategies can help set up you and the children in your home for success. These tips are provided by educators and parents who home-school their children.
Find a Good Learning Spot
Just as you may have a specific area of the home in which you work, it’s important to create a similar space for your child. Find a quiet, comfortable, and dedicated space that is strictly for learning. If possible, this space should be different from where your child normally plays and should be free of distractions like television. If a dedicated space is not possible, consider making a common space special. Maybe a learning fort that is only set up for academic time? You might also find ways to help children focus like clearing away toys and turning off the television to prevent distractions.
Make a Schedule
Most kids thrive on routine. A schedule helps children know what to expect. Talking with your child about the schedule each day can be especially helpful for little ones who love to check things off as they go. Click here if you'd like an example of what a schedule may look like if you are home all day with your child. You may also consider spending some time having your student help you create the schedule.
Prepare Your Materials in Advance
Getting kids to stay focused can be challenging. To maximize the time you spend with your child, have all the materials for each activity ready to go before you start. If the learning requires a website, have the website open on the computer ahead of time. If the activity is a worksheet, you can always have your child read the activity and tell you the answers to save on printing.
Be Part of the Fun
Model what it looks like to get excited about learning new things. For younger learners, get ready to exclaim, “I never knew that!” or “I love learning new things!” Your excitement for learning will boost children’s enthusiasm for learning.
Connect With Others
Be creative about connecting with other adults and caregivers and helping your child connect with other children. For example, host a video chat with a group of adults who are also using the same resources and talk through how you have used them at home and what has worked for you. Set up a video call for a group of children who are doing the same activities to talk through their answers on the student worksheet. Have your child use the phone, email, or video chat at the end of each activity with extended family members.