Not sure about homeschooling your child? These 7 tips by parents and pupils will help you decide

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Not sure how to wear your teacher hat? (Supplied/Fox Street Communications)
Not sure how to wear your teacher hat? (Supplied/Fox Street Communications)

The 2020 school year has gone through so many ups and downs and with Covid-19 safety measures now cutting the school week short, you may be reconsidering continuing your child’s education via mainstream schooling. 

Still, as appealing as it may sound, is homeschooling really right for you and your family? If you’re battling with this decision, Parent24 has got you covered

Here are seven tips by local homeschooling parents and pupils who share what has proven to be most helpful for them.

‘Learning should be made fun’ 

Homeschooling parents Paul and Alicia Jordaan say the keyfor them has been to "make activities fun," and to work with your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

While this might be easier said than done, it isn’t impossible. Appealing to your child’s interests is also essential says the mom and dad duo. 

Tutor and teacher, Ntando Mayo, agrees: "Learning should be made fun and the best way to explain concepts is to relate them to your day-to-day activities." 

Leading South African home education provider, Impaq advises parents to look to online videos relating to subjects as a good way of making learning more interesting for their kids.  

Supplementing reading with educational videos will help your child absorb more information.   

Choose a study time that suits your child  

Is your child an early bird or night owl? According to homeschoolers, knowing the time of the day your child is at peak productivity will go a long way, especially for teenagers.  

Teen homeschooler, Molopo Abram personally finds it easier to study late at night: "I study at midnight because there’s no one moving around in the house and there’s no noise." 

While this advice might not be as applicable to younger learners, the takeaway here is that homeschooling does allow for the flexibility to choose the study time that suits your child best.  

Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique?  

The Pomodoro technique comes highly recommended by homeschooling parents.  

Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, this time-management technique consists of working for relatively short intervals of 25 minutes each, separated by brief 5-minute breaks.

After the first 3 breaks or 3 'Pomodoros', you extend breaks to 10 or 15 minutes. 

Fun fact: The intervals are called Pomodoro (Italian for tomato), after Cirillo’s kitchen timer that was shaped like a tomato.  

Get organised  

Searching through stacks of notes or digital documents wastes precious learning time.  

There are many ways your child can organise their notes, whether by subject type or difficulty, with colours or patterns, anything that works for them – if it means their learning material is ready and waiting when needed.  

Make the curriculum work for you  

Homeschooling mom, Charmaine de Wet says that for her curriculum is key and selecting one that works for you and your child is vital.  

"Don't be a slave to curriculums or tons of worksheets. It must work for you and your child and not you work for it. If it becomes overwhelming, slow down." 

Focus on quality, not quantity 

When it comes to educating your child, the workload needs to be manageable for both parent and child.  

Maintaining quality while feeling overwhelmed will be exhausting, so do regular check-ins to see how both of you are coping with the lesson material. 

Wear your teacher hat 

Mayo reminds us that "homeschooling/teaching your own child can be challenging but if you want to do a great job the trick is don’t treat them like your own child, instead, treat them like you would treat a student."  

Submitted to Parent24 by Impaq.co.za.

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