The coronavirus pandemic dramatically shifted schooling across the world. Even after the reopening of schools, many parents have chosen to homeschool their children out of safety concerns, or as a personal choice.
However, homeschooling can be a challenge for children with low concentration levels, or who are afflicted with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. If this is true for your child, then we’ve gathered 10 ways to make homeschooling smoother and easier for you and your child.
- Listen to your child
The first thing you should do is sit down with your child and ask them how they feel about homeschooling. Get their honest feedback, what they like, and most importantly, what they don’t like.
By getting your child involved, you can see their perspective and make adjustments that are actually effective for them.
- Create a checklist
Once you have their unfiltered feedback, draw up a checklist of do’s and don’ts to aid homeschooling.
A sample checklist could go like this:
Too noisy, unable to concentrate
|? Have a dedicated quiet room for homeschool time|
X Don’t vacuum during school hours
- Set up a routine
A daily routine helps your child adjust to homeschooling and makes it part of their everyday life. Rather than having lessons at your convenience, make an effort to have a regular schedule for when homeschooling starts and ends, and stick to it. A routine establishes norms and makes it easier to concentrate.
Of course, unlike a traditional school, being a homeschool mom, you have the freedom to “suspend” classes during special occasions. Just make sure such suspensions are exceptions, so that your child gets used to the daily rhythm.
- Remove distractions
The key to enhancing concentration is to take out things that detract from it. These can include:
- Sudden interruptions
- Unnecessary items like toys and gadgets
- But don’t turn it into a vacuum
On the other hand, you don’t want living in a sterile environment either during class time. Some children may learn better when they have ambient noise, such as the background chatter of a traditional classroom, or soothing music. Such learners find it difficult to concentrate when faced with sensory deprivation.
You can determine this when you talk with your child, as discussed in the first tip.
- Plan multiple breaks
Children with low concentration levels benefit from frequent breaks.Instead of following an elementary school routine, follow the university model: divide the school hours into short blocks, and plan breaks of up to 20 minutes in between. Let them take snacks, step outside, or play with toys to break the monotony and allow them to feel refreshed for the next lesson.
- Adjust the schedule or curriculum as necessary
Perhaps the best thing about homeschooling is the total freedom it provides to tailor it to your child’s pace.
If an everyday routine doesn’t work out, feel free to compress it to a 3 or 4 day stretch. If he or she finds it difficult to concentrate on certain subjects, you can devote more time to those problem areas. Instead of being a fixed curriculum, homeschooling can be adjusted to match your child’s learning pace and challenges.
Homeschooling provides an alternative learning system that is safe for anxious parents, and which can be tailored for low-concentration students. With these tips, you can boost your child’s concentration and allow them to thrive in a homeschooled environment.