3 Homeschooling Tips & Tricks For Working Parents This School Year

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3 Homeschooling Tips & Tricks For Working Parents This School Year
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Many working parents never expected to become responsible for homeschooling their children.

But now that COVID-19 has changed our lives, many parents must now figure out new ways to cope and learn some homeschooling tips.

This means added stress and the challenge of keeping children engaged in the process of learning.

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It's only natural for children to choose fun and distraction over discipline when they've been caught in the middle of political arguments about when to open schools.

Many of today's homeschooling parents are doing it out of necessity rather than choice, mainly because they don't want their children to fall behind.

School used to represent a reprieve for working parents who had time carved out for them to do what they had to do to support a family or pursue a career.

For many parents, a career is a way to define themselves apart from their role as parents.

Parenting is rewarding, but it can also stretch the limits of personal sanity. There are more than a few working mothers who will attest that working is easier than raising children, because it is more predictable.

Many working parents today are doing so remotely, which means the entire family is in the home 24/7. Under the best of circumstances, it can stretch their patience very thin.

Dr. Curtis Ivery, a leading educational authority, may have had a feeling beyond the need for literacy and family togetherness when he wrote his newest book, The Wonder of Words: A Parent's Guide to Raising Children Who Read.

His hope was to give parents fun and engaging tools to peel their children's attention from a screen and into the worlds of biography, mystery, adventure, fantasy, and history.

He couldn't have known that families would be sheltering together at home when he created nearly 100 out-of-the-box ideas to make reading fun for the entire family, opening up the greatest tool for children: their imaginations.

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The most important homeschooling tip you need to know is to engage with your children and work for the same purpose.

Rather than impose a false discipline on children who will resist, parents can create an environment where learning is fun. The worst thing for children in any situation is boredom.

If children don't have some creative endeavor to keep their minds, hearts, and hands occupied, they will come up with ways to entertain themselves that will not work well with the household.

Many homeschooling parents will try to dole out reading assignments and enforce them, making sure these demands are met. That means you might have to be the bad guy.

You might have to call a time out on cellphone usage, stop purchasing so many video games, and carefully monitor how often they watch TV.

You might even cancel a few cable channels or threaten to call off something they want to do. (Of course, the parent will likely not do that, but will think the ultimatums are powerful.)

Examine your own feelings about reading. If you show secret disdain of reading, you'll have difficulty creating a love of books in your children.

"Your children are part of Generation Z, and frankly, they're known for being inquisitive, assertive and stubborn," says Dr. Ivery.

"They're precocious and they need lots of stimuli, cajoling, and challenges. If you want them to adopt a new practice, you have to adopt one, as well."

Instead of being at odds with children in trying to help them learn, you need to make reading cool again.

Dr. Ivery says parents need to engage thier children according to their age and interests.

Here are 3 homeschooling tips and tricks to try.

1. Pick an animal of the month and have your children read all about it.

If there's more than one child, you can offer a prize for the one who learns the most.

2. Make reading night pizza night.

This creates a positive association. Everyone, including parents, read for at least an hour, and then celebrate with pizza or something special.

3. Play "teacher for a day." 

Have older children read to younger siblings and be a teacher for a day.

All of the ideas and tips in Dr. Ivery's Wonder of Words can be adapted into a homeschooling curriculum because they create a positive atmosphere for learning in the home.

This is guaranteed to reduce the stress for working parents and will form a core of family cooperation.

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Debora Herman is a soul path guide-animal intuitive.