Home schooling tips

Home schooling can be a challenge, for parents and children. It’s often hard to balance learning with work and household jobs.

It’s OK to take it slow and be flexible. Remember to go easy on yourself as well. Take breaks, give yourself treats, and schedule time for your own needs.

Take steps to help them engage

Getting children to engage with schoolwork at home can be a challenge. To help make it easier for both of you, try some different approaches to see what works best for you.

  • It’s OK to stop for a while if your child is getting bored or frustrated. Take a short break until they’re in a better frame of mind.
  • Look for triggers: do certain subjects upset them? Do they feel fed up at certain times of day? Spotting these issues can help you cope with them.
  • Get creative: think of other ways to keep them interested in a subject. Try and use what you have at home to help you.
  • Be firm when you need to. There may be things at school they don’t want to do but that still need to be done.
  • Set a timer so they can see an end to the task. Or challenge them to get as much as they can done against the clock. When they’re finished, let them have a break and do something fun.
  • Consider getting schoolwork done early in the day. Once it’s done, you can all relax.
  • Introduce reward charts. Give incentives like extra screen time, choosing a game or doing something they love.
  • Give plenty of praise and tell them how well they have done after every piece of work.
  • Try to find a quiet place for them to work with as few distractions as possible.
  • Help them with tricky tasks or subjects. Listen to them and help them to find a solution, or phone a friend for help.

Ask questions when you get stuck

Even with lesson plans and a great routine, doing school work at home can still be a challenge. If your child is finding things difficult, talk to them about what the problem might be. You could ask:

  • Is the topic something they aren’t interested in?
  • Is it too hard? Or not hard enough?
  • Are they bored?

See if you can check in on their wellbeing, too, as this may affect how well they engage.  If they’re struggling with their new routine, it can help to change the order of things around.

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This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

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