It’s safe to say that I was not made to be a teacher to my kids. Hats off to the homeschooling mums, I hope you are all wearing superhero capes because it’s hard. How to keep your kids focused on schoolwork and on task in the home environment was one of the main problems in my home. So I created a hack to help make homeschooling easier, especially if you’re a mum like me. Someone who wishes she wasn’t her kids teacher.
My home schooling looks like a constant navigation of distractions, food breaks (so many food breaks) and tears. And that’s just me. Ok not just me, but a lot me.
So as we headed into our next lockdown I dived into The Monkey Mind Madness technique and came across a formula that worked in my home.
How to keep your kids focused on schoolwork
Step 1: Be Realistic
This comes first because I think us mums put so much pressure on ourselves to “get” it all right and all done. But we aren’t trained teachers annnd most kids don’t listen to their Mum as they do their teacher.
So set yourself realistic expectations of what will get done. Create a plan and share this plan with your kiddos the night before. A prepared mind had control. And let’s face it that’s what we are all looking for. Whether your 8 or 88, we are seeking some sense of autonomy.
So pick 3 topics for the day. Maths, English…Arts and Crafts…. Choose only three.
Step two: Set a time for each subject
So maybe you set a time of 30 minutes per subject. Let’s pause here for a moment because maybe you’re thinking that’s not much. Remember kids get more done in 30 minutes at home than school and this isn’t about making life hard. It’s about staying on track and creating confident independent leaders.
Step three: Get your space ready
Get your work space clear of distractions, have what’s needed in front of your kids for their subject. And have a timer set for their “working time” we have a fun timer built into the monkey kind madness app
Step four: Celebrate each interval
This is the MOST important. Our brains love to be rewarded for what they have done. So as your kiddo finishes their 30 minutes of Math they then get to have a set time to do something they enjoy (and the ground rules should be set the night before. In my home our rewards do not include screen time but it can be listening to music, going outside to play. I love creating a reward list ahead of time.
Give this a go. Make it simple on you Mum. Our kids feed off us. Plus you have things in your own list that are important too!
Good luck may the monkeys be with you!