Want to start the year off with a successful home learning environment? Here’s what I’ve learned, not every parent went to school to learn teaching methods. Today, I’m going to share some helpful strategies to create a successful home learning environment!
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my kids at home. They keep me entertained, make big messes, and make me giggle. I know it’s not like that for every home. Fortunately for us, I’ve been studying teaching methodology for quite a long time. I’ve been able to apply some of the practices into our home learning, and I want to share these 5 tips with you!
Successful Home Learning Tip #1: Be clear!
It’s sometimes an odd feeling when we have to make “new normals” in our home. Change isn’t always fun and, like or not, things have changed. It’s time to create a family meeting.
This family meeting should be in a space where everyone is present and there are no other distractions. Discuss with your children and partner the following topics:
- Where will home learning occur?
- What are the times for home learning?
- What are the rules for home learning?
- What will happen if expectations are or are not met?
If it helps, create a contract with your children and display it in a place where they will conduct their learning.
Home Learning Tip #2: Teach the importance of completing assignments.
Kids are so funny. They’re like little Pinocchios. They like to think they can sweet-talk us into anything. My kids like to try to convince me that they don’t need to complete assignments because their teacher “said so”.
<insert eye roll>
Those precious, little children of mine are still working on building GRIT. Let’s face it – school is hard! It’s meant to be hard. If it were easy, then we wouldn’t need it!
Think of school like an enormous gym and it is a total body exercise every single day. Some days are strength training while other days are cardio. Eventually, your body will wear out and you’ll get tired.
The same thing happens with our little ones. The consequence of leaving the gym early, is that you’ll miss out on that exercise and the next exercise will be even more difficult.
It’s the same way with school. If you don’t complete an assignment, then you’ll have a more difficult time learning something new.
Teach kids that freedom lies within the consequences of the choices we make. If they decide to quit the work early, then they’re bonded to the consequence of trying to catch up, and they’ll find it more difficult to learn new concepts.
Successful Tip #3: Notice when your child struggles.
Teaching my own child is unlike any other teaching experience I’ve ever had. I thought I knew my kids, but then, I really got to know my kids.
It didn’t take long before I discovered that my son dislikes cutting activities and my daughter dislikes collaborative activities. My son growls. Yes.
And to think I thought his preschool teacher was crazy when she told me he growled at her.
On the other hand, my daughter becomes a charisma vacuum. She is a sourpuss about doing anything with other people on the computer. It takes a lot to motivate her.
I share these examples with you because life isn’t easy. Rather than getting upset about their responses, which is easy to do, I find it better to help my kids by teaching them coping skills and modifying their work.
For Logan, I highlight the lines he’s supposed to cut. I let him use bigger scissors at home because they’re more comfortable in his hand. Sophia gets some encouragement and praise when she’s being brave online.
Super Important Tip: Take notice of the trigger, but don’t give it life by announcing it to your kid. Instead, praise their behavior when it’s what you want to see and ignore the behavior that’s not necessary.
Teachers, do you need a little inspiration? Click HERE for a great Back to School Pep Talk!
Home Learning Tip #4: Work first, then play.
Another thing I noticed teaching my children is what subjects were most difficult for them. My son enjoys reading, but math is hard. My daughter enjoys reading, but spelling is her kryptonite.
Every Sunday night, we take a look at the workload and schedule it on a weekly calendar. We are intentional about what we schedule first. The harder things go first.
That’s because as the day progresses, our will-power, stamina, and endurance dwindles down like a used up eraser.
When our kids complete the harder assignments first, it gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride. It also makes the other stuff feel a little less daunting.
Then of course, once all of the work is complete, they can watch tv, play outside, or play in their rooms.
Successful Home Learning Tip #5: Keep a business approach.
This is one of the most difficult things for me to do because I love kids, but in order to love them, I have to maintain a business approach. Before you start shooting arrows at me, consider this scenario…
A child is doing his work. He writes all the letters correctly, then he writes the letter ‘S’ that takes up half the page. He giggles and looks up to tell you it looks like a tail. He waits for the adults reaction.
If the adult giggles and agrees, what do you think the child will do?
If the adult keeps a straight face and asks them to rewrite the letter because it doesn’t look as nice as the other letters, what do you think the child will do?
Loving your child doesn’t mean you have to cuddle them and tell them how amazing they are – it means you teach them right from wrong. Right now, we’ve been given this gift to teach them from home. If you implement these five strategies, you will unlock the potential of this gift.