How to Get Your Child in the Mood to Learn at Home
As parents across the country face the prospect of Zoom-schooling again, I thought it would be worth putting together some ideas on how we can get our children in the mood to learn and make the ‘no school’ experience easier on us all… Of course, every family and child are different and there’s no one size fits all remedy for how to make unexpected home learning stress-free! But have a read and see if there’s anything new you can try this time around:
Lower your expectations
The atmosphere in your home will have a big impact on how well your child is able to concentrate and engage with their schoolwork. Start by lowering your expectations for learning at home. These are stressful, tiring times (for everyone) and as parents it helps to trust our kids will make up for anything they miss out on during this strange time… If your child refuses to do anything at all or you can see they’re struggling with zoom calls or concentrating on worksheets, acknowledge they’re doing their best and lower your expectations of the outcome.
Recognise your child’s emotions around home school
How does your child feel about learning at home? When you know this, you can find the best ways to support them. Maybe they hate the idea of sitting down in front of a screen and trying to keep still when they’ve got their toys and distractions around them… or maybe they love the fact they can be near you! Listen, learn and try to adapt your day to bring out the things they love about home school (better snacks, more cuddles, more time to play) and see how you can support (or at least empathise with) them as they adapt to the challenges.
Ask your child what they’d like to do
You can also ask your child what they’d like to learn while they’re at home. Is there any project or interest they can explore that might not be on the curriculum but is sure to expand their skill set and keep them occupied?
Read our blog on turning your child’s interests into learning opportunities here.
Connect and play, first!
With the school run out of the picture, early morning can be a time for family connection and fun. Bonding with our kids will help improve their mood and self-confidence so they are better placed to feel good and learn. Whether it’s chatting about a cartoon together, playing a board game, doing a family workout, or just giving each other bear hugs – a little bit of silliness can go a long way.
Get them comfy
Don’t forget to make sure your kids are comfy as they learn. Be creative with how and where they work. Just because they sit at a desk at school doesn’t mean they have to at home. If they work better from their bed, on the floor, on a beanbag, under a table… dressed in a Unicorn onesie, then great!
Keep them active
Hours of Zoom schooling is even more taxing on our little ones’ minds and bodies than hours of fun screentime, so make sure your child is getting a chance to be active in between. When you can, try some outdoor learning play.
Try scheduling snacks
Tired of the ‘I’m hungry’ chimes? Try having set snack times your children can look forward to instead. A morning and afternoon snack should see your children through to their next mealtime.
Switch Zoom for hands-on learning
If your child is really struggling with online lessons, remember it’s not what they’re used to and it’s not the most engaging way for children to learn! Our kids need movement, play, laughter and the possibility for open-ended thinking. Read our blog on how to help your kids learn without workbooks or video calls here.
Give yourself a break and learn through life
If following school set work is optional, why not skip formal learning altogether and explore watching your child learn through play, creativity, and life! Day to day life has plenty of learning opportunities for our children – shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, exploring nature, learning about their environment, using money, reading, dealing with our emotions… there’s plenty.
Our open-ended printable resources are a lovely option to have alongside hands-on activities to extend learning. Sign-up for a FREE Playful Parents membership today to try our print outs today.