When homeschooling your children, it’s easy to feel out of your depth. On top of your usual parental duties, and perhaps even your own job, you also have your child’s education to worry about. You may even be juggling multiple children of different ages.

But there’s no need to stay totally overwhelmed. Whether you’re new to the experience or are a seasoned homeschooler, support is out there; here are 5 homeschooling tips to help your child thrive.

  1. Be organised

Attempting homeschooling without a plan will likely end in slow progress and frustration on both sides. Start by creating a timetable for your child that defines set lesson times and spreads different subjects out throughout the week. Not only will this provide you with a structure to stick to, but it creates healthy boundaries between ‘work’ and play. 

Always have a lesson plan. Don’t just give your child a workbook to go through, as this could result in a lack of focus and meaningful learning. Try to plan an engaging lesson with a clear start, middle and end.  For example, the start could be a game or exercise that introduces the lesson’s topic. The middle of the lesson is where the key learning should take place, for example, studying and practising maths equations. Then the end of the lesson could be a summary, where your child has to explain what they have learned.

  1. Be flexible

While being organised is crucial, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow the rigid timetable of a ‘normal’ school day from 9am-3pm. The beauty of homeschooling is that it can fit around your family’s needs.

Try to adapt to your child. For example, if their concentration levels are usually great in the morning, that’s when you should focus on more challenging ‘book’ learning like maths, while the afternoon can cover more practical subjects. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and occasionally take a non-traditional approach to teaching. For example, why not take your child to the garden or local park to do their science lesson amongst nature? This not only acts as a treat for your child, but it breaks up the day for you too.

  1. Find a good school/life balance

This is easier said than done, especially as schoolwork often takes place in the same room as relaxing. Scheduling proper breaks throughout your timetable where your child can go outside, get some fresh air and have a drink and a snack will ensure that they aren’t getting burned out. When they return to their schoolwork, they will be refreshed and ready to continue.

It’s also crucial that children do not miss out on socialising with peers, despite them not attending school. However, this is particularly difficult to achieve during the ongoing pandemic. While you could previously arrange meet-ups with friends on weekends and after school, Covid-19 restrictions have completely wiped out socialising for many homeschooled children. Some online homeschooling programs, like Mivernva’s new Virtual Academy for years 9 and 10, include online group lessons so that your child can interact with peers while getting a quality homeschool education.

  1. Get support

There’s no need to feel alone in your homeschooling journey. Due to Covid-19, more parents than ever have turned to homeschooling, and there are plenty of Facebook groups out there for like-minded parents. They provide homeschooling tips, resources and allow you to join a community of families who are experiencing the same challenges. 

You should also confide in your own family and friends so that they know the pressure you are under and can offer their support, whether it’s watching the kids for an afternoon so you can relax, or just being a friendly listener.

Minerva Tutors’ advice centre also has lots of helpful homeschooling tips for those starting out in the world of home education. Remember to go easy on yourself — taking on homeschooling is no easy task. 

  1. Consider a homeschooling program

There are trusted services available for parents who would like extra support with homeschooling. For example, Minerva has taken the whole school experience — from lessons, to extracurricular clubs, and even weekly assemblies — online. Pupils are taught via a mixture of live group lessons and online self-taught modules, taking all the stress away from parents.

The Virtual Academy covers the entire British curriculum and prepares pupils for exams while providing 1-2-1 mentoring and a fantastic community spirit. Some homeschooling programmes cost upwards of £15,000, which is inaccessible to many families. However, Minerva is £1,900 per term, making it an affordable, hassle-free solution to your homeschooling problems.

Find out more about Minerva’s Virtual Academy