Take advantage of “supplemental” time. This is time built into your schedule each week when you are allowed to complete whatever lessons you think your child needs—lessons that are not already designed for you by the system. This could be an educational video (and before you turn your nose up, remember that they probably watch one a week in a brick and mortar school). You could take a field trip. Is there a nice museum near you? How about a dairy farm? Think about where your child has previously been on educational field trips, and consider what else is in your area.
Supplemental time can also be ordinary time spent with your child. Remember, children are learning all the time. Your supplemental time one day might be sitting down and reading a book together. It could be time spent exploring your local park to see what kinds of trees or animals you can find. It could even be a trip to the grocery store, where you teach your child how to compare costs and how to make a healthy meal. This is your “fun” time, and you and your child both need—and deserve—a break.
Use your PE time. Take a little bit of time every week—or even every day—to go outside and run around like crazy. To go to the park and swing, or climb, or take a long walk. If you’re stuck inside, turn on music and have a dance party! If you use this time constructively, you’ll be able to banish the “I’m tired of this” blues—for both of you!
Try to stay organized. Remember, the more organized you are, the less time you will spend fumbling for a particular workbook or set of materials. Also, the more organized you are, the less stressed you will be. Find a system that works for you, and try to stick with it!
Recognize that there is a learning curve…in a lot of different areas. You’re learning a new system for teaching. Your child is learning a new way to learn. Both of you are learning to adapt to a new schedule. Previously, home time was fun time, and your child is used to that. Transitioning to school at home can take some time and effort on both your parts. It will get there—but it will take time. Don’t be intimidated by those first few weeks when you feel as though you spend more time saying, “Please get back to work!” than you do anything else.
Monitor the computer time. If there’s not a way to sit where you can see the screen—and often, there isn’t—make sure you check your child’s history regularly. If your child is incredibly honest and would never dream of visiting a game site when they are supposed to be doing schoolwork: good for you! If you have an ordinary child…check every once in a while. Clearly express your expectations concerning what is school time and what is play time, and make sure they know what the consequences will be ahead of time—because it probably will happen.