Friday, August 05, 2022

How to Support Your Kid’s Learning at Home

There are a huge number of reasons why your kid might be learning at home, whether it’s for schoolwork or extra-curricular activities. Thanks to the impact of the global pandemic, many kids in recent years have faced having to take their books home with them and learn from behind a screen. Others, like those who are home-schooled, are more accustomed to this, and flourish in a home-based learning environment. Whatever the reason, all kids deserve the best possible experience for success and development, so in this guide we’ll be bringing you our top tips for supporting your kid’s learning at home, to help you give them the right support. 

Develop a Routine

The first thing to do when supporting your kid’s learning from home is to develop a structured routine that is easy for both of you to stick to. If you’re home-schooling your kid and taking responsibility for all of their learning, then this routine will need to cover a wider range of materials and activities than if you are simply supporting them through an online-learning period of their education. Regardless, the right routine is vital to allow your kid to grow and develop

There are some easy steps that you can take to establish a reliable routine for your kid: 

1) Talk TThem 

Having input from your kid about their day can make a world of difference when it comes to planning their routine. Rather than dictate exactly where they should be and what they should be doing at any time, speaking to them to understand what they enjoy or might need some additional help with is a great way to make sure that you’re meeting their developmental needs. 

2) Prioritize Variation

A good way to create a routine that is easy to stick to is toprioritize variation in the tasks and activities that are included. Kids need lots of different stimuli and activities to keep them engaged, so by varying their routine you can set them up for success. Things that you can plan include regular exercise and extra-curricular activities, which we’ll talk a little more about later in this article. 

3) Set Clear Expectations

Once you’ve created a routine, having a structured timetable that is accessible for the whole family and easy for your kid to follow gives you the best chance of success. You can then set clear expectations around any rules, and how you’d like to see the routine implemented. 

Encourage Extra-Curricular Activities  

While home-schooling presents many positive benefits for kids across the United States, there are some areas in which kids can suffer when not given the correct support. In a 2011 survey, Cardus found that home-schooled individuals were more likely to report feeling helpless, and had less clarity around their goals and direction. However, this is not the case for all kids who learn at home, and there are plenty of ways that you can improve your kid’s outlook towards the future – one of the best ways to do this is to increase their socialization and prioritize extra-curricular activities. 

By taking some time to encourage your kid to take part in activities outside of their home learning, you can help them to make new friends and experience a greater sense of belonging. Speaking to others of a similar age will also encourage your kid to discuss some different paths that they can take as they get older, which could include college admission or employment opportunities that they might not have considered before. 

Research the Curriculum 

Depending on what state you live in, there are different requirements surrounding the testing of home-schooled kids, and those who attend a school but are currently learning from home will still have to sit standardized examinations and tests that determine their future educational progression. Because of this, it’s important that as a parent you work hard to develop an understanding of the curriculum for your kid’s age, and the types of testing that they will face. This means that you’ll be able to provide high-quality, accurate information for your kids and prepare them for their tests in the very best way possible. 

Utilize Free Resources

Once you have an understanding of the curriculum and know how it will be used to test your kid, you can then make the most out of free resources that you can find online to support their learning. For example, there are plenty of resources available for elementary school kids that can help bring them up to speed to a 4th grade writing level. In the 4th grade, writing is a key skill that they will need to master in order to take certain tests or meet their development objectives, so optimizing the free resources available to you is a great way to support them with this. 

Stay Healthy

It goes without saying that kids who are happy and healthy perform better at school, so implementing good habits is crucial to your kid’s development. When planning your kid’s routine, make sure that their meal plans are healthy, and that they are able to get enough daily exercise. Eating nutritious food and staying active brings a whole host of benefits for kids, including better sleep and an improved ability to focus. 

There are some great meal plan templates available online that you can use to plan their weekly food intake, and you can find some fantastic inspiration around the sports and activities available to kids by reaching out to parenting groups within the local community. Enrolling your kid into a sports club outside of school or their learning environment is also a great way to foster their development by offering greater opportunities to socialize. 

If you don’t have the money to support your kid to join a club within the community, then don’t be disheartened, as there are plenty of ways that you can encourage them to exercise at home. If you have a backyard, then you can set up outdoor activities like an obstacle course or mini soccer pitch andencourage them to invite friends over to share the experience. If not, you can find some brilliant videos online for dances or exercise routines that can be done indoors with minimal or no equipment. Exercise not only comes with physical benefits, but mental ones too, so whichever form of activity you choose for your kid, you can be certain that it will boost their development and improve their outlook on life. 

Make Time to Listen

Our last tip is probably the most important when it comes to supporting your kid through home learning, and it’s to make the time to listenGiving your kid the opportunity to discuss how they feel that their learning is going is a brilliant way to understand more about what they enjoy, what they don’t like so much and any areas that they feel could do with some improvement. It’s also a chance for them to raise any concerns around their extra-curricular activities or socialization, and to let you know if there is anything they might be going through that they need some extra support with. Not only will this boost their learning capabilities, but it will also bring you closer to them and let them know that they are respected and listened to. 

Parenting is hard, and if you’re taking on the extra responsibilities that come with home-schooling or supporting your kid through a period of learning at home, then things can feel tough. However, by applying the tactics we’ve laid out in this guide, you can see an immediate change in the receptiveness of your kid to learning new things and feel closer than ever to them. Your kid will have a great learning experience, and you can make sure that they feel ready to achieve whatever they put their mind to!

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