Homeschooling for children is a good idea

10 tips for homeschooling | Parents & children

For almost a year now, we have largely been doing homeschooling with our children ourselves. Meanwhile, two school children and one daycare child are looked after here while we work in the home office ourselves. Of course, that doesn't work on the side. I have ours Homeschooling organization with children and the 10 most important tips written down.

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Homeschooling: what is important?

By definition, homeschooling is

Lessons taken by parents or private tutors outside of school.

Home schooling, Wikipedia

Some have said that our homeschooling does not correspond to this description, because that curriculum we don't set up ourselves (luckily!). We now get tasks from the teachers that have to be completed at home.

This is important in homeschooling Contact with the lecturers and of course the other way round to the learners. At least for us, that didn't work out during our first homeschooling days. The children and parents were left alone.

This year home schooling started with a new app - not a learning space platform for our Berlin schoolchildren. In addition, there were explanatory emails from various teachers. It was very clear and structured.

What do I need for homeschooling?

The school wrote very clearly: It should Video lessons occur. The children need a device with a microphone and camera and it should no smartphone please be. The content of the conference should be easy to read.

At this point there is certainly a problem with some parents: Where do you get a device that the pupils can use - while the parents, among other things. work from home?

Homeschooling got me down

The beginning in particular wore me down endlessly. I was honestly afraid that my child (then 4th grade) would lose touch. After all, the work should also be graded! School pressure that was passed on to parents and children. The fact that there's a pandemic out there doesn't help either.

It wasn't nice for either of us - after all, I worked “on the side”, as did my husband. There were two siblings whose daycare was closed.

How do you accompany homeschooling with several children?

Homeschooling with Multiple Children?

in the second lockdown we not only have other teachers, but also a second school child. So we're supposed to be with one Fifth graders and one First grader homeschooling do, the latter first learned to read and write.

We got lucky Weekly plans - even before the holidays. That helped to bring structure into our everyday life. E-mails no longer came in daily with new tasks, at most appointments for video conferences for the older child.

Homeschooling with young children

If you also have a toddler, you might get the idea that the whole idea of ​​homeschooling is insane. How should parents do lessons with children - and that is definitely the processing of tasks.

Nothing helps, even the small child, who is already 3 years old with us, wants to be looked after. It is not enough to admire the pretty painted picture every now and then.

Activity tips for children:

My 3-year-old daughter always sits at the table in the mornings when her brothers do their chores. She needs a little guidance, tinkers, paints, glues, kneads and then happily puzzles next to me. She currently prefers to stick with DIY craft glue, Cutting books and Sticker books.

Of course, my daughter needs help from time to time. But that usually works pretty well for a short time.

I tried to paint myself on the side - while the boys were working and she was gluing. But that is absolutely not possible: I keep getting questions and I am asked for help. Sigh.

How should you do a home office "on the side"?

Pst: Please pin on Pinterest! :)

10 tips for homeschooling

Anyone who has children will assume that two elementary school students do not tick off tasks on a list alone. They need care, support and help. And yes, they also need motivation. After all, they no longer see their teachers and classmates - at most via video chat.

Stress-free homeschooling tips:

  1. Fixed times & workplace
  2. Weekly planning & participation
  3. Prioritize daily tasks
  4. Tricks are allowed!
  5. Take breaks
  6. Snacks for a good mood
  7. Limit times for tasks
  8. Social contacts - video chat with friends
  9. Reduce claims
  10. Keep talking to the children

How to organize homeschooling - 10 tips

Organization with children

With us, the processing of the tasks works with one Time schedule. We sit fully dressed at the breakfast table around 8 a.m. and then start planning our homework - always at the large dining table. So I can accompany and look after all children. A solid one Workplace also creates structure.

Thanks to the careful teachers, both children now have one Weekly schedule to get. If this is not available, it is a good idea to structure the days with the children. Very important: participation! Children are usually more committed when they have a say themselves.

Daily schedule: Every morning I discuss with the children which tasks they want to solve. Then we stick small notes on the pages of the corresponding workbooks and worksheets. How satisfying it is to remove a note!

Tricks & Breaks

Tricks are allowed! Sometimes I help with really dreary homework. For example, if the umpteenth picture should be painted in bright colors. My first grader sighs and I jump in. Then I'll just paint in the colors he tells me.

In between we do Breaks. We drink tea, eat some healthy ones Snacks - or even sweets - open the window, shake hands. And that alone sometimes helps the motivation to keep going. Not always of course. Then we stop.

At first we let the children work too long. That was very exhausting for everyone. Now let's limit the time of homework active. It's over after lunch at the latest - unless a video conference is pending.

Social contacts & conversations

For my big son they are above all social contacts important. Since we don't meet with others, he meets online, sometimes does video chat or meets up in online games.

We have our (sometimes too high) conditionspulled back and are happy when the children get through this crisis in good health. We stay in conversationplay together in the afternoons and go for a walk. The family conference often helps us here.

How can you motivate children?

The structured day is super important for my sons. They have a common thread that they can work their way along. There are fixed guidelines as to how much German texts have to be read, and we jointly determined the where and when. It is crucial for us that the children have a part in determining.

Homeschooling: How Long a Day?

We do the schoolwork in a very reduced time. While the children had way too many tasks in the first lockdown - and new emails kept coming in every day - we see it more relaxed now. Probably also because the magical words “grading of performance” don't hover overhead.

That's how long our first grader works

How many hours we do homeschooling busy is different every day. But there are no more than 2 hours for the first grader. In between there are breaks to ventilate, talk nonsense and shake hands.

For elementary school students, at least at our school, I see a really fair amount of work. In class 1, the tasks are still easy and (mostly) understandable for parents.

Now comes the but: During this time I can fully devote myself to the children. I have arranged my working hours with my husband in such a way that I will go to my job later to accompany my children with their tasks. It's a privilege!

That's how long our fifth grader works

The fifth grader sometimes has a conference with his classmates and teachers. The elementary school pupil does not work many hours either. Usually he does not sit longer than 3 hours on his homework.

He also needs help here and there, but is making good progress with his weekly schedule and his own daily schedule.

Homeschooling Tips for Parents

  • Accompany fixed homeschooling times
  • If necessary, postpone learning time
  • What you can't do is left behind

I know it is not feasible for all parents, but I will show our way. With our Home office jobs we are lucky enough to be able to organize our working hours freely.

And yes, it is very exhausting, but from my point of view the children now urgently need us. Her whole little world is also shaken up: not meeting friends, hanging out at home most of the time.

So we have a "shift work“Considered, keyword division of labor, with which we adults are both satisfied. How you can be when you feel like working all day without a break.

Undivided time for children

Now some people are sure to clap their hands over their heads. For most of them, it will not be possible to encourage children to write happily while doing their job. You cannot take care of childcare 100% while you work.

If that happens on the side, you work and the child asks questions, no one is satisfied. That will be the dreary everyday life of many families.

A possible solution it would be to learn together on the afternoon or that weekend to push. To be honest, we haven't had a real weekend to relax since the corona pandemic.

I think it's important that the Do not blur boundaries. So don't have the study books taken out surprisingly every day, but discuss with everyone in advance when you will learn.

So you can give the children undivided attention, answer questions, actually listen with both ears while reading and just be there. At a time that suits everyone.

Feedback to teachers

If there are far too many tasks for the child, the feedback to the teacher may also help. The class teacher in the first lockdown received a lot of messages from desperate parents because the tasks were simply beyond the time.

Tips for school pupils

Keep up. I can hardly imagine how overwhelming the situation may be for our children. Hardly any social contacts - except for the siblings - but seemingly anonymous work instructions from the app and the email program.

The most important tip for students: start with one work schedule in the day. Over time you learn to plan the available time sensibly.

What do children need to work at home?

The requirements for us are relatively high for the fact that Berlin is digitally positioned in a rather poor way. Technical devices should be available for the older schoolchildren so that they can take part in video conferences and upload tasks.

Homeschooling with a camera

The fifth grader should please take part in the video conference via the school app. But not with the smartphone, otherwise he would not be able to read the presented content on the small screen.

I thought beforehand: do I really want my son to take part with the camera? After all, a sibling could run through the screen, we could show our everyday family life (that which is too private, what one does not want to show) etc.

Ultimately, my son doesn't have his own laptop, “just” a PC without a camera. We also organized an external camera that can be attached to the screen.

The conferences went well - my fear was unfounded here. There were clear agreements that his room was taboo at this time.

My son just happened to receive a glowing headset as a present. With that he was perfectly equipped. But not every family has that lying around at home.

Homeschooling without a PC

If you don't have a computer at home, you also have to make sure that homework can be picked up and submitted the same way. Another problem that is passed on to parents. In my opinion, those who do not own a PC are clearly at a disadvantage.

In Berlin there was at least the offer that around 50,000 schoolchildren could get a tablet (source). But in view of the 365,000 pupils in general education schools alone (source), that seems too little to me.

Which laptop for homeschooling?

It would be ideal to buy a small laptop if the acquisition is planned and a school laptop is to be bought. Some homework has been allowed to be done with a computer so far, so I can find one extra computer for school children helpful - if the means are there. And that's the crux of the matter.

A small Windows notebook is available for less than 300 € - which is still a lot of money. Here I would make sure that Windows (instead of Chrome OS) is installed as the operating system. Chrome OS cannot make all Android apps available yet; H. not all apps can be used. Danger: In general, you cannot play fast games with these cheap models!

Which devices can you still use?

Alternatively, there is also a Tablet at. We have the Fire Kids HD Tablets (detailed instructions) that we are happy with. A camera is already integrated there. Thanks to the children's mode, the tablets are also suitable for smaller children and offer the full range of functions in parenting mode - also for using the school app.

A Smartphone most likely have children or parents. A smartphone-less family will not (be able to) buy one for homeschooling. I think a small laptop makes more sense anyway.

However, my older son should already be uploading assignments to the school app. This was possible with his smartphone, which was many years old, but the image quality was so poor that the images were blurry, as the teacher complained. I think you shouldn't blame both children and parents for that!

Problems with homeschooling

  • Technical Equipment
  • Internet !! 11
  • Overwhelming
  • working hours
  • Educational equity

The technical equipment alone can lead to problems in homeschooling. We are technically very well equipped, but there are still problems. This includes the missing camera, which my son has to borrow from his dad (who then doesn't have one).

The internet reception is noticeably worse in his room, and we have not yet been able to solve the problem satisfactorily. In the case of bad lines - while everyone is using them at the same time - this can be very cumbersome. Then suddenly you can't see anything during video chat or the sound is gone.

Overstrained with homework

We addressed this directly in the first lockdown with the class teacher - via the parent spokespersons. It was clearly too many tasks that came in here - sometimes corrections were made, sometimes additional tasks, and then the teachers of the minor subjects also got in touch.

We no longer looked through, my son no longer looked through, we were all annoyed and yes, too Overwhelmed. We felt left alone, the flood of emails was incredibly annoying and exhausting.

The teachers received the feedback from the parents' representatives and soon switched to weekly plans. That was very helpful. This was certainly due to the new situation, but it must have been time-consuming and exhausting for the teachers. And that's it.

Homeschooling and work

Orr, what a thing. That all is unfair, parents now assistant teachers and that everything is unjust - we don't have to talk about that. It is obvious.

If both work full-time - maybe still at the external workplace - how is that supposed to work? At most with company in the afternoon or on the weekend. And honestly? To do this, you first have to have the strength.

We solved it in such a way that we take care of the children in shifts. We also tried a lot: work while the children are working (hahaha) and the toddler is playing ... catching up on work at the weekend (it doesn't last long) and the shift model.

Shorten working hours because of homeschooling

Even the distributed work no longer worked well at some point because we worked a lot. For the benefit of my children and our nerves, I have mine Working time minimized even further: To only 20 hours of additional part-time self-employment. #byebyeRente

A month later I got mine Quit main job. A solution that only suits us as a family and is certainly not recommended for everyone. In the next month I'll start entirely with mine independence. As “completely” as you can do at home with three children. It is a stopgap solution designed to sustain our family.

What about educational equity?

No, it's not fair that some children can get so much support from their parents and others can't. Because the devices are not there, the parents are working on external workstations, they cannot help with the tasks, or whatever.

I can imagine that a lot of children will fall by the wayside. And not just with the first graders who were still practicing reading the first letters a few months ago.

How should parents - even those who have the time - replace teachers who have studied for many years to teach children facts? Even if no new content is imparted in the corona lockdown, what you have learned must be kept at the same level. Many families certainly fail to do that. How is that supposed to work?

Why homeschooling is bad

Not all children can be reached in homeschooling. Maybe a few teachers are not there with the commitment that we are currently experiencing with us. So the teacher of our first grader sent audio files in which she continued to read the Sams aloud. She always did that in class, too.

The children and certainly most teachers lack that. In my opinion, deficits are much more difficult to detect. Even the very good students fall by the wayside. The magical bond with the teacher is missing.