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Tips for homeschooling

How do I teach my child at home?

Homeschooling presents us parents with special challenges, especially if we have to work from home at the same time. Therefore, here are some tips on how homeschooling can be successful and which rules have proven to be effective for the afternoon when school is over. Of course these are individual experiences that vary from family to family. Therefore, these tips are only recommendations, not the final wisdom:

1. Clear structures

Ideally, every day of the week should have the same structure so that there is no need to renegotiate every morning. The clearer home schooling times, breaks and the daily routine are, the easier for everyone. Here is an exemplary daily schedule, which can of course vary from family to family.
Open daily schedule

2. Fixed workplace

If possible, each child should be given a permanent workplace where all the working materials and aids needed for learning are available. If there is a chance, a desktop or laptop with mouse and keyboard is the ideal hardware for a home schooling environment.

3. Parents’ Consultation Hour

The aim of homeschooling should be to enable the child to work on learning material and tasks independently, so that permanent supervision is not necessary. This is not possible with several children and their own home office. Therefore, our recommendation is that at the beginning of a subject or lesson, the task or learning content is discussed with the child, open questions are answered and then the child is allowed to work on the material or solve the tasks for the rest of the lesson. Afterwards the next subject is discussed, etc. At lunchtime, the child is taken through all the subjects and tasks he or she has solved and gives feedback (if this is not done by the teachers anyway). In this way there are no permanent questions and you are not torn away from your own work every minute.

4. Digital playtime

Many parents are wondering how to regulate digital gaming consumption in times of Corona, as all afternoon activities outside the home (such as sports clubs, music schools, etc.) are cancelled and the children are at home more than usual. A proven way is to define a daily play time quota (e.g. 30min or 1h), which is at the free disposal of the child. This play time may take place in the afternoon/early evening and after that the digital devices (smartphone, switch etc.) come back to a defined place.

5. Meet friends digitally

Since social distancing means that children cannot meet their friends, they should be offered digital alternatives. For example, a Google Hangout, a video conference via zoom, a Whatsapp or Facetime Video Call can be an alternative way to stay in touch with friends. In the current exceptional situation, these possibilities can certainly be allowed more generously than usual, as it is especially nice for children to at least see their friends digitally.