Home-school like a pro: Tips and tricks

For families with school-going children, the start of the year is usually a rush to buy books, uniforms and stationery. But with the past few months being anything but normal, living in a pandemic has been a huge learning curve.
The South African Department of Education has set the official start of the school year for 15 February. Whether your child’s school will be offering home-schooling options, or you’re looking for ways to keep them busy until school starts, we have some tips to help you structure your child’s day.

Plan ahead

If your child’s school has a home-school programme, take the time to understand the schedule and set up a timetable to help you and your child plan the day ahead. If you’re looking to keep them busy with meaningful activities, you’ll also need to plan these in advance. For example, here’s a schedule suitable for age 5-8 years: (20-30min per activity)

Mathematics (Addition and Subtraction)
English (Practise writing)
* Break *
Physical exercise (Dance class)
Arts and crafts (Face mask)
Free play (child chooses their own play activity)

Identify resources

Once you’ve established the schedule, identify the tools you’ll need for the lessons. There are plenty of free educational resources, like Smart Kids by which offers learning materials in line with the South African education curriculum for Grade R up to Grade 7 learners. Download and print the worksheets at a print shop, or at home if you have a printer.
YouTube is another online resource that can give parents ideas for activities such as kids’ aerobics and easy and safe crafts using paper.
You might consider repeating or revising some of last year’s lessons and projects if you don’t have good internet access or enough data.

Set aside space and time

Whether you’ll be working from your dining room table or a little corner in the lounge, try to set up a comfortable workspace for your child. This will help them ease into and stick to their new routine. Establish a time frame for each subject that’s convenient for both you and your child.

Keep calm and flexible

Favourite teachers are kind, patient and fun, which isn’t easy when you’re a busy parent trying to be a teacher as well! When you lose patience (we all do), step back and breathe for a minute. Remember that the aim of home-schooling is to facilitate learning, rather than perfection.

Looking for more inspiration? Try these games to keep your kids entertained.

Images: Getty/Gallo