Homeschooling Hopes!!

Tips for parents/caregivers to assist with one of our new normals... Homeschooling!!!

Hey y’all heyyyyyy!! 

This week’s BLOG features HOMESCHOOLING!! Duh-duh-duuuuhhhhh!!

For those of us who have been knee deep in homeschool hype, we may be really feeling it in ways we never imagined! I’m offering tips in three areas that have seriously helped my family! You can modify these based on your child’s grade level and still apply it! Let’s gooooo!


SITUATION- Getting work done on time/Completing work/Staying on task 

SOLUTION- Set a Timer/Keep a point system

Let’s say your student(s) have a certain amount of work to do. You know it should take about an hour to complete. Set a timer (you can use anything from your cell, to an Alexa device, to the timer on your kitchen stove! You can also purchase one for $1.00!) Set the timer for 22 minutes (off minutes or nontraditional minutes work best for some reason- so say 22 minutes instead of 20) Let your student know they have 22 minutes to complete a third of the assignment. For instance “you have 22 minutes to complete 15 math problems, something like that. Your student will feel like it’s a game and that they are racing against the clock to finish.

That’s where the point system kicks in. Maybe they get 2 points if they complete a small task, 5 if they do a bunch of work and stay on it. BUT they lose 1 point each time they miss the buzzer. They won’t make the buzzer each time so they get 3 freebies where they won’t lose a point if they miss the timer.

BUT you don’t tell them about the freebies until they miss a timer. Sooooo the timer buzzes, they aren’t done with their work, melt down freak out ACTIVATED…that’s when you say PLOT TWIST!! You get 3 freebies to use at your discretion. This should reverse the melt when you ask THEM would you like to use their freebie?

It makes them feel in control and they will exhibit more self control because they will own their responsibility. It’s up to you if they get some type of incentive if they hit so many points- like you can have envelopes with prizes in them- simple stuff- they get to choose family game night games, or maybe they get extra time on their timer tomorrow because they reached their points!

Depending on the age- mine loved this when they were younger- you could print out a certificate and have a whole ceremony where the whole family comes to honor him for his buzzer beating skills! You repeat the timer steps for the remainder of the hour, setting off times- maybe 13 minutes to do a little more of the work, then 29 more minutes to bring it home and complete it all! 

SCIENCE behind why it works- *They feel in control, * It creates a bit of excitement, *Acknowledgment and rightful praise are serious motivators to keep doing well, because they build self confidence and increase self awareness! 


SITUATION- FOCUS/staying locked in with work 

SOLUTION- Unfamiliar territory/Break it up bonuses

Having a designated spot for work is key. Maybe it’s the kitchen table, or a room they don’t really associate with fun or relaxing. 

If this isn’t possible, their bedroom is just fine, as long as it’s a designated “work area” in the bedroom. Not lounging on their bed. Maybe at a desk, even on a spot on the floor. If they do have to use the bed, maybe just sitting at the foot of it, but remaining upright. 

That’s also where break times come in. Breaks work best when they are viewed as bonuses. This makes them enjoyable and allows the student to once again, feel like they are getting rewarded for their work. Breaks are typically no longer than 15 minutes, unless it’s lunch time which is about 30 minutes. These 15 minute “bonus breaks” can be split however you like with as many as you like. That depends on you and your student. During those breaks it’s important for the student to relax, maybe grab a snack, something that requires little thinking and just allows them to decompress a bit. TV during the breaks isn’t a great idea because just as they are getting into it… break time is OVER! This may cause unnecessary drama!

SCIENCE behind why it works- Our surroundings play a role in how we focus. It’s likened to someone going to the gym and being productive but not working out at all at home. The gym space is only for one thing…working out! In the same way, our students have to feel like their school space at home serves one purpose…to WORK!!☺️ They are less likely to suffer from brain muscle confusion, they will associate work with a certain spot and maintain more focus. Breaks are HUGE for any of us. So our young ones need a minute to breathe. No sitting up straight,no timer, no deep thoughts, just a moment of relaxation. It’s literally like pushing the reset button and allows a quick recharge in their focus! 


SITUATION- Are they even learning anything?

SOLUTION- Comprehension Corner

This is the time where they get to tell you what they got, or didn’t get from the lesson. One of the best ways to know our comprehension level is if we can call the information back. If they are not able to repeat and complete with you, about what they have learned, they have to write a paper about it over the weekend as homework… repeat and complete meaning- you start a sentence about something in the lesson and they have to complete it, elaborating on what they have learned. Two things will typically happen. Either they will express what they do not quite comprehend, or they will say they got it, repeat and complete and call it back to you. No student wants extra work, so the idea of extra homework is NOT an option in their minds! This MUST be done in a fun way – otherwise it will feel like extra pressure pushing on their already loaded tiny plates!

Turn on your best GameShow Host voice and say OooooKkkkkk!!!! Are you ready for your Q&A!!! And ask them a FEW random facts about the lesson- and remind them, either tell me about it now or write about it later!!  Most of the time they will talk!! 😁 Then you can be sure they are understanding the material and it’s sticking in their mind, or you’ll know which pain points to work on with them!

SCIENCE behind why it works- One of the major keys to “getting” any form of information is comprehension. As they recall what they’ve learned, the repetitiveness actually sounds it down in their minds even more. They boost their desire to learn more when we as parents rightfully praise them for what they know. The homework piece is not a threat but a passive incentive. The student thinks…so wait, all I have to do is “get it” the first time, call it back, and I won’t have extra homework over the weekend?!? Ok!! Immediately it peaks the will to focus and offer their whole effort to focusing on the lesson NOW, therefore retaining even more information! 



SITUATION- you’ve never done this before, you’re questioning your ability to do it well. 

SOLUTION-Give yourself time.

This is new for you. In just about everything that is kind, there is a learning curve. We are given time to figure out systems and nuances when we start a new job. There are vehicles that say Student Driver to let us know that person is just starting out on the road. Even in training for an event or starting a new exercise regimen, those instructing us will advise us to start out slow and work our way up. The same is true with homeschooling. Give yourself time to learn how your student learns. What motivates them. What time of day they peak. How certain subjects make them feel. All of these things take a bit of time to learn. You have time. You do not have to ever master Homeschooling. That’s truly not even the goal. Your role is to be the best guide you can for your student as you all navigate this new terrain. Please allow yourself to go with the curve as you try your best to drive your student to success!!

Positive perspective is a game changer, and as your outlook brightens, so will theirs! 

It is my sincerest hope that these points will enhance your homeschooling experience and you’ll benefit greatly from implementing them for your family. I am here to help! Please reach to me with any questions or just to chat!

💚Take good care and take good care of each other!!💚

Coach Teena Marie

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