Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to (Home)School Tips for Parents

The following tips for parents were created by cyber school teachers at Commonwealth Connections Academy. I feel that they apply quire well to homeschooling parents as well.

1.  Reduce clutter and get organized

Stacks of workbooks and papers make studying appear as a daunting task.  Help your child organize his or her learning materials and store them in a dedicated place such as a filing cabinet or paper folders – one for each subject.  Consider pasting a chart on the inside front cover of the folders to (1) track the amount of time spent studying for each subject, and (2) note what chapters and assignments have been completed. This will organize your student’s educational materials within your home and document his or her learning accomplishments for the school year.

2.  Monitor noise levels

Whether your child is working independently or together with you, phones, televisions and outside noises distract children and pull them out of their studies – even if it is coming from another room.  Be aware of when your child is studying and encourage family and visitors to avoid unnecessary interruptions, such as loud video games or conversations.  Consider turning off or silencing electronic devices that can interfere with students’ concentration during study time.

3.  Designate an “education space”

Designate a room, or even a table, as your student’s learning space.  Setting aside a specific area of your home where studying takes place creates an environment conducive to learning, much like a working classroom atmosphere.  You and your child will come to associate that space with productive study habits. 

4.  Create a routine

Having a set time scheduled each day when learning or homework occurs creates good habits for you and your child.  This also is important for other members of your family, so they can avoid creating distractions during study time.  Do not allow yourself or your child to occasionally watch a favorite television show or go over to a friend’s house during this scheduled time.  You must treat it as “study-only” time to reinforce the importance of the learning process.

5.  Make learning enjoyable

Showing interest in your child’s ideas and progress makes learning a positive process.  Ask your child what materials or environment he or she needs to effectively learn and study within the home.  Remember, learning at home doesn’t always have to be restricted to your residence – visiting a local science museum or taking in a play may be related to your child’s school work. 

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