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Homeschooling – when learning at home is difficult

3 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Foto: photothek.de

The Corona pandemic has shown that learning at a distance and over the Internet is more difficult for some children than others. There are various reasons for this: Some students are more easily distracted at home or lack guidance from the teacher. In some families there is no quiet place to study or the necessary technical equipment is lacking. Read more in our article “Homeschooling – when the technology is missing“.

Problems with learning at home

Some parents work from home, others have to go to work. Not everywhere does every child have their own room. Younger siblings can’t go to daycare and interfere with learning. Teachers are not always available, so your child will have to rely on themselves, parents or siblings…. There are many different situations where children may need to learn from home during the pandemic.

Many schools and teachers have now adapted to this, making distance learning work better. Nevertheless, there are students who are less able to concentrate at home. This doesn’t always have to do with interference from others. You may miss the walk to school in the morning and the change of location while learning. Home was previously more of a place where you could play and switch off.

Some parents are not able to provide sufficient support, for example because

  • they don’t have time and have to work in the home office themselves.
  • they lack expertise in most subjects.
  • their German language skills are not sufficient to help their child with the tasks

Remember, you are a parent, not your child’s teacher. That’s why your son or daughter behaves differently when learning at home than at school. However, there are still ways you can support your child.

Strategies for learning at home

  1. It is important that there are rules and set times for homeschooling. Sometimes the times are dictated by the school. If this is not the case for your child, you should make a schedule together.
  2. Even if you can’t help your child with specific tasks, be approachable at specific times. So your child does not feel alone.
  3. Help your child by going over assignments at the beginning of the week, clarifying any unanswered questions, and making a plan for when what will be done. For example, it may be easier to start with an easy task or a popular subject and then move on to a hard task. This is different for every child.
  4. Set class times on the (cell phone) alarm clock so your child knows when a study period is over.
  5. There should be active breaks in between – if possible even in the fresh air. Our article “Sports in the children’s room” gives some ideas.
  6. Check with the school about how and when your child can seek help from the teacher.
  7. Having your own and quiet workspace is important for learning. If your child doesn’t have his or her own desk, it can sometimes be the kitchen table – at least if no one else is causing a ruckus in the kitchen during certain learning times.
  8. Also consider how homeschooling and home office, caring for younger children, and other jobs work side by side. If you live in a small apartment, family members may distract or interfere with each other. Here, too, a plan helps to find times when the schoolchild can study in peace.

Further support for distance learning

Some schools offer children the opportunity to retreat alone in an empty classroom. Check with your school to see if this is possible.

It may be easier for your child if someone else, rather than you, helps with the learning at home. Perhaps you have a retired teacher or a dedicated student in the neighborhood who can assist. The Corona School places students online to help children and teens learn.

Some states offer special tutoring during the vacations to catch up on learning. The best way to find out is to check the state’s websites and ask at your school.

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