Homeschooling in the Corona crisis

homeschooling means that children are homeschooled. First of all, the terms must be defined. Because the homeschooling that we have now got to know under Corona conditions is not to be equated with home schooling. This doesn't just mean learning at home with online help and tasks from the teachers. Home schooling means that the parents are considered educators and educate the children away from public schools. Compulsory schooling in Germany, which has existed since 1919, speaks against home schooling.

Due to the current Covid situation, compulsory schooling in Germany is currently suspended. That's why homeschooling has become commonplace right now. The children are provided with learning material at home and are supposed to work through it independently. Despite modern media, extraordinary commitment from the parents is also required.

In Germany there is not much experience with homeschooling. In the meantime, however, most people have realized that everyday life is changing drastically. The change in daily routine is by no means easy to implement. In order for homeschooling to succeed, a whole range of factors are needed. Of course, our recommendations are not absolute. The conditions in the family between home office, shift work in systemically relevant professions and the threat of a loss in sales are far too great for that. But one tip is always appropriate: don't overwhelm the children and stay calm.

The daily structure

A daily structure is particularly important. With everything new and different right now, having a clear plan will keep your kids safe. The school has a fixed timetable from Monday to Friday that your child must adhere to. The same should also apply to school at home, i.e. homeschooling. The break times are just as important as the learning times, so that your child can always relax appropriately between the strenuous phases. This is the only way to process the knowledge learned in a targeted manner and store it permanently in the brain without sensory overload.

Sit down as a family and create a timetable for each child. For the smaller ones, it is best to put it on a piece of cardboard or a board so that it is clearly visible in the apartment. Learning times are listed on the plan, meals and breaks are planned. The time windows for leisure and exercise are also recorded here. A good load balance should be ensured. It is also very important that the plan is followed. This is the only way to develop a routine and avoid discrepancies. 

It is important to include the child in the planning of the day and to follow their rules. In the worst case, the child otherwise feels misunderstood and sees learning as a drill.

In order to get an overview after a day or week of what the children have learned or where they have problems, it is helpful to discuss the lessons and to follow up on the homeschooling.

Der Arbeitsplatz

Learning at home is more difficult than at school. Distractions are everywhere - be it toys, siblings or parents who are also in the Home Office . work

Therefore, it is important to set up a school place. Where this place is and what it looks like in detail is not important. Depending on the child and the space available, this can be very different. One of the great advantages of homeschooling is that it can be tailored to the individual learner in every situation, in contrast to the large collective of a class community.

While young people can usually take care of the selection and design of their quiet school place themselves, the situation is different for elementary school students. They are often better at studying and concentrating in company. Here it is often helpful to place the child's desk next to one's own workplace and to stand by with advice and action. Alternatively, you can also make the compromise of working together with the child at the dining or kitchen table.

Regardless of age, the workplace should always be the same. Because where you learn is part of the routine and that is now even more important at home than at school.

The motivation

Suddenly school feels very different. Not everything is going smoothly in homeschooling. The learning platform is overloaded, the siblings are too loud, the promised teacher feedback is a long time coming and the children miss their friends. Not so easy to play the motivator here.

Reward systems with stickers or stamps help with younger school children. This no longer works for high school students. It's best to address the problem openly with young people and ask them what would help them to keep going in this situation. Often the answers aren't exactly what you want to hear. "I can learn best if you leave me alone!" or "I learn more easily when I can listen to music". Letting them do it and having confidence in their own learning strategies often motivates teenagers more than sweet rewards.

Good vibes

It gets harder for all of us with every passing week. No meetings with friends and grandparents, siblings and parents are annoying, too much media consumption and house and apartment feel smaller and smaller. Who can blame the children that homeschooling doesn't work out at all on some days. Put a stop to it and don't put any more pressure on your children. Let her know that you realize how exhausting this is for her too.

As much as one likes to be praised by the boss for decent work, it is also balm for the children's souls. Especially in these difficult times. If a child is praised for learning success or a concentrated learning unit, this sometimes motivates them to continue learning the same way the next day. Because one mustn't forget that this is just as stressful a situation for our children as it is for us.

The children must feel comfortable in the work environment. This is the only way to survive this unusual time in a disciplined manner. Parents must exercise patience and composure. If you apply too much pressure, the kids will naturally dust themselves. If it's convenient, close the school books earlier and do something nice instead. Cook together and eat warm or play a game. It also has advantages if the teachers don't see what the children do when they are at school.

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