top of page
  • Writer's pictureAshley

3 Tips for Teaching Your Child at Home

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

Although many students are back in school full-time after the craziness of Covid-19, there are still times when you as the parents will need to teach your child at home. Although the homework debate has been waged for many years, I believe that parents and kids should practice skills at home even if there is no official homework.

Here are my top tips for teaching your child at home, whether during the day or after school.

Dedicate time and space daily

Choose a time and place each day for your child(ren) to empty backpacks and folders, check any homework, and communicate with parents about what is coming home. Teach your child(ren) how to do this so that as the school year progresses, they become more independent.

Help your child to set time limits and build up their stamina for working. This is a great time to teach working for a set time, taking a break, and then coming back to finish learning (the Pomodoro technique).

If there are skills you need to work on with your child, this is the place to schedule them. This can be before, after, or in place of homework. Make sure that you are adding fun and engaging activities, not just worksheets and flashcards. Although worksheets and flashcards have a place in our learning, they are not the end-all-be-all.

Add in fun and games

We know that teaching your child at home in fun and engaging ways is critical in helping them learn the things they need to. But, how do you make it fun at home while not spending a lot of time prepping? Here are three of the ways that I include fun and games for my students and I think it will work nicely for parents, too.

Choice Boards

Create a simple grid on your computer, choose enough activities to fill all of the boxes and make this board available during work times. Your child gets to choose which activities they complete. You can incentivize the board - when you cross out 5 activities, you earn a prize, or when you have 4 in a row, we will move to a new board and new activities. This gives your child choice in their learning and gives them a goal to work towards.

Pull a stick

Again, choose several activities that materials are prepared for and you are willing to help with if needed. Put those choices on popsicle sticks, place them in a container, and let children “pick” their job. When it’s time to work, they can pick one stick or they can pick two and choose which they would rather do.

List of available games/activities

Make a list of everything that is available and your child can pick whatever they want off the list. Make sure that everything you add to this list is ready to go! You don’t want them to choose something that you need to prepare for or need to stop making dinner to assist with.

A few tips

The whole point of the above ways of choosing is meant to make parent’s lives easier. If you put a little bit of thought and planning into these choices weekly or monthly, you will save yourself a lot of time. Make sure that you rotate things so it doesn’t become stale and boring. You can play the same game for multiple skills so don’t reinvent the wheel every week.

I suggest when you choose what you will make available to your child, that you make sure everything is prepped, children know where to find the materials and how to clean up, and that they know how to do the activity. This means they can do it without your assistance, if necessary.

If your child is going to be playing a game and you will be playing with them, make sure that you are present and engaged. This helps with the transfer of skills, relationship building, and gives you valuable information about how they are doing with skills.

Ask for help if needed

You are the parent. You have so many things on your plate between children, the household, relationships, extracurricular activities, etc. If helping your child with school work isn’t something you can handle or struggle to do, then ask for help.

There is no shame in that.

Teaching your child at home should not be the thing that pushes you over the edge or breaks the camel’s back.

There are options, support, and help for your family.

Reach out to a tutor or a homeschool co-op. These people are skilled and experienced and can do more with your child than you may be able to.

Again, I repeat, there is no shame in needing and asking for help!

Do you use any of these tips at home? Which do you recommend the most?

Are you looking for specific activities that are fun and engaging? Download my FREE guide that includes 9 examples of practicing skills in ways that children will love! You don't want to miss it.


bottom of page