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The Do’s and Dont's of Homeschooling During COVID-19

Parents, you’re almost at the homeschooling finish line. Keep these tips in mind as you approach summertime with your children.
Last Updated
April 22, 2019
posted on
May 16, 2020
Minute Read

In a matter of a few days, parents all over the globe went from sending their child to school every day, to educating their child at home online. Teachers are still teaching and on the heels of teacher appreciation week, thank you, teachers! Your world has also been turned upside-down, and I know you are working extra hard to make sure your students succeed this semester.

Parents, who are not educators, this is probably the toughest semester you’ve ever had with your child. As the school year comes to an end, you may be tempted to throw in the towel, stop logging on, and stop helping your child with an assignment you may not even understand yourself.

You’re not alone. A poll conducted by found that most parents have several concerns about their child’s education right now. While they may not be crazy about homeschooling, 66% are worried about their child being exposed to the coronavirus while in school. 68% are worried their child is missing out on instruction time. And not surprisingly, 75% of parents said their home and family routine has been disrupted.

On the other hand, it seems some not all parents are hating the homeschool life with 52% of parents reporting they now have a more favorable view of homeschooling.

Whichever half you fall in—perhaps you have an even lower view of homeschooling right now—I’m here to encourage you. You’ve made it this far. You only have a few weeks to go. Don’t give up on homeschool just yet. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider as you power through the rest of the semester.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Homeschooling During COVID

Don’t…try to cover more than one subject a day, if possible.

Although your child is taking several subjects, consider just covering one subject per day or similar subjects, such as English and history in one day and math and science on the other. This will help your child settle into one side of his brain and develop just one skill at a time, rather than growing frustrated with trying to work on every skill at once.

Do…get help from other parents.

Reach out to other parents in your child’s class. Ask them how they’re handling different subjects and tasks. Most likely, they and their child are having the same struggles you are. During a time like this, support is crucial. You could even form a mini parents’ co-op where you can chat once a week, bounce ideas off each other, and simply remember you are not alone.

Don’t…expect your child to listen to you in the same way she does her teacher.

Children listen to their teachers better than their parents. This is simply how it is with kids. Teachers and parents play different roles in a child’s life, so don’t expect your child to listen to you and follow your instructions the same way she would her teacher at school. She doesn’t see you as her teacher. You are still just mom and dad. Resetting your expectations in this area will save you from a lot of unnecessary frustration.

Do…remember there is an end in sight.

Summer is just around the corner. This has probably been one of the most tumultuous times in your family’s life, but it won’t last forever. Your child will be relieved when school assignments are over, and you’ll be relieved too. Do what you can for the next few weeks, give yourself and your child plenty of grace, and congratulate yourselves for not only completing the semester but doing so during a pandemic. You can now add a school teacher to your parenting resume!

You’ve bravely navigated this experience and you should be proud of both your efforts and your child’s.

Dr. Meg Meeker, MD

Practicing pediatrician, parent, grandparent, coach, speaker, and author. Say hello @MegMeekerMD

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