This year, back to school is a particularly special event. Many parents will have to homeschool their children in order to protect an immunosuppressed child or parent, or simply by choice. There is a big difference between helping your child with homework and lessons and actually teaching them, so it will be quite the challenge. Here are 6 tips for a school year that’s both educational and pleasant.
Tip #1: Set a routine and stick to it
As much as possible, follow a routine as though your child were physically in school. Summer vacation is over: it’s time to go to bed and wake up at a "normal" time. Spending all day in your pyjamas is not an option. Once every now and then is fine, but not all the time!
Set a schedule for the day or the week as well. This way, your child will know when it’s time to do French, math, English, physical education, etc.
Tip #2: Learn through play
Vary your teaching methods: this is a great way to learn while having fun. To help you do this, a wide selection of websites and applications are available to you. Among them are:
- Alloprof, which offers a number of games and exercises in all subjects, from primary to secondary school levels;
- Nethmath, THE best site for learning math, designed by Quebec teachers, for primary and secondary school levels.
Many board games are excellent for learning: Scrabble (spelling), Vocabulon (vocabulary), Bescherelle le jeu (conjugation), Le trésor du pirate Boom (mathematical operations), Equilibrio (spatial visualization), and more.
Don’t forget that our tablecloths, including Alphabet, Numbers, Emotions, Professions and more, are perfect for combining learning and fun!
Tip #3: Get moving several times a day
Children need to move. And at home, you have a lot more flexibility than at school. Planning recreation time and physical activity every day is essential.
But you can also take it one step further. Who said that learning must be done while sitting quietly in a chair? What’s keeping you from working on addition or multiplication tables while playing ball, or spelling out vocabulary words while doing jumping jacks? Or even tossing sandbags at one of our tablecloths and then spelling out the word you hit? Nothing at all!
Tip #4: Make the most of Alloprof's free service
A teacher just a phone call away? How wonderful! Unable to answer one of your child’s questions, or to properly explain a concept? No problem. Alloprof is here to help.
Starting September 8, your child can chat with a teacher who will answer all their questions. Simply call 514-527-3726 or 1-888-776-4455, from Monday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Your child can also text their question (and even send a photo of an exercise they don't understand) to the following numbers:
- Mathematics: 514-700-1971
- French: 514-700-1972
- Science, chemistry and physics: 514-700-1973
- English, history and other subjects: 514-700-1974
Tip #5: Be kind to yourself
You haven't studied in education. Plus, you may need to work from home and homeschool at the same time. So please don't feel guilty if some days don’t go as well as others.
Give yourself time to get used to your new role and routine. Do some testing; you'll see what works and what doesn't, which will allow you to make changes as needed.
Tip #6: Hire a tutor if necessary
Has French always been your pet peeve? Don’t speak a word of English? Has math always given you a headache? Don’t have enough time to support your child much as they need?
Hiring a tutor for one or several hours per week is a good option to consider. Many tutoring companies offer both face-to-face services (the tutor comes to your home) and virtual services. Long live Zoom, Teams and other video conferencing platforms of today’s world!
Homeschooling is quite the challenge. Fortunately, you are not alone. A number of resources are available to you, including information and support groups on Facebook, such as Éducation à domicile 101 and Association québécoise pour l’éducation à domicile.
The entire BiMoo team wishes you a happy school year!