Although most parents occasionally get involved with their children’s schooling, it’s now become more significant than ever. With schools around the globe still switching from traditional to online classes and back, it’s undeniable that children aren’t the only ones who were forced to adjust to the new situation. Helping their children cope also means that the parents themselves are faced with meeting the high demands of the curriculum on a daily level. However, for some, this becomes further complicated, as they have to tutor not one, but two or more children, usually not the same age. Catering to the needs of several learners of different levels, all at the same time, can sometimes feel as challenging as teaching two or more classes simultaneously. Even though this would be difficult even for the most accomplished educators, let alone parents, it’s definitely possible with these helpful tips for parents with school children of different ages.
Set Achievable Goals
Even if your children normally excel at school, you should be realistic about what they can actually do and how much they can accomplish at home. In addition, you have to be reasonable about how much time and energy you yourself can invest in their schoolwork. Expecting your children to spend all day dealing with different school subjects and for you to be there each moment of it might be a little irrational. In such a case, you would have to expect their focus and yours to drop or shift from their curriculum to their surroundings as you get tired. Forcing them to learn more than they can handle would create a counteract, since pushing your children can actually build up resistance in them and they could begin slacking more than they or you can afford. On the other hand, you might also feel overwhelmed and nervous, which your children would certainly pick up on. This is why you need to be mindful of the extent of all of your capabilities and set tasks for your kids accordingly. For instance, you should bear in mind that your younger child probably won’t be able to work for as long as your older one, or that their tasks should be less complex. Also, don’t waste time in despair over what you and your kids can’t do, but focus on what they can do and what you can help them with. Go over their assignments with them and see which parts they can do on their own, and which they need your assistance with. After that, divide the time you have on your hands between helping each of your children with those segments of their work that are more difficult than others.
Utilize Online Resources
It doesn’t matter how much screen time you actually allow your children, the fact is that, for the most part, they enjoy being online. This is something you should take advantage of in their learning process. When it comes to younger children, there are many interactive lessons and exercises online, so use your search engine to find them and let your children have fun while learning. This could give them the enthusiasm they need to stay concentrated on their schoolwork. In case of older children and students, who are also struggling with their school-related obligations, there are also some excellent websites that could make things much easier for them. Those parents whose children were born a decade or more apart might find it especially complicated to juggle between the elementary-school assignments and the technicality of their older child’s ones. That’s why Australian parents encourage their college-attending children to find systematic QUT notes online. These are an excellent source of study materials, created by other students, who have already taken the courses your child is taking now. These notes can allow your child a fresh view on a difficult subject and might help them understand it better, which would give you more room to focus your attention on the younger children for a while.
Customize Activities for Your Children’s Age
There is a lot to be gained from taking a single activity and adjusting it to your children’s interests, no matter what their age is. For instance, while most children will joyfully accept the play-based approach to learning, a twelve-year-old child won’t find it as stimulating or informative if you present them with an activity designed for an eight-year-old one. Knowing what each of your children is curious and excited about will be very useful here, since modifying an activity to the interests of all of your children would provide an opportunity to keep both or all of them busy at the same time. Furthermore, it would mean that they could work together, as your older kids could lead your younger ones through their activity, which could be a powerful motivator for all of them. For instance, something as simple as gardening can help your younger children learn what each plant is called and even develop their numeracy to an extent. They can count plants, petals or leaves, or they can describe what a plant looks like, talking about its color or shape. In the meantime, this kind of a project can help your older kids with biology, teaching them about life cycles, but also types of soil, plants and animals that live in your garden. And while you should provide some positive parenting, structure and guidance for them, you’ll soon find that they can do most of the work and the learning on their own, which is an effective way to teach them responsibility and independence, among other things.
Parenting can be difficult enough without having to assume the role of their children’s teacher as well. Nevertheless, if that’s what your children need right now, you should be there for them and help them to the best of your ability. Hopefully, with these great tips, this particular job can become a little easier and perhaps more enjoyable.