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How to reduce your work load as a home schooling parent

Busy mum working and home schooling

Readers Question:

“I am over worked, stressed and overwhelmed trying to keep every side going. I work full time and have two young school going children. At present I am homeschooling my children on top of everything else. I do not know how long I can do this for. Is there anything I can do?”

Answer:

This was me too, something had to change. I was tired all the time, irritable and the fun had gone out of my life. There is good news. You can transform your world. You can be the parent enjoying being with your child.  It takes a little shift in thinking and in action but it works. Here is one way to reduce your workload, stress levels, enjoy your child and have time for yourself.

Teach your child to do everything for themselves

Start to think and act like your child’s coach.  Begin to teach your child how to do everything for themselves, safely at their age and stage of  development.  Teach your child how to put on their clothes, tie their shoes, make their sandwich,  get their breakfast and clear away their things.

We as parents do many things for our children that they could do for themselves. With a little help, patience and teaching from us we transform their world and ours. We immediately help our children to be independent, capable, and able. As an added bonus their self-esteem soars. 

Create a list of skills your child could safely do for themselves. Pick one of the skills.

  • Teach the skill to your child. 
  • Let the child carry out the skill themselves.
  • If they do not succeed, re-teach at a different time.
  • Do not correct the child. 
  • Continue to teach the task until the child succeeds. 
  • After that do not carry out this task for the child again. The child can do it for themselves.
  • Remind your child of his new skill and show how much you enjoy and appreciate your child’s new ability.

Pick the next skill to teach and continue until your child is doing many things for themselves. Always remember the age of your child and safety of your child related to each task.

Benefits for the parent of teaching your child to do everything for themselves

  1. You become the teacher.
  2. Your workload decreases gradually over time.
  3. You have time to enjoy your children.
  4. You get to watch your child grow in skill level, independence and self-confidence.

Benefits for the child in doing everything for themselves

mother teaching her child how to cook

  1. The child learns to do everything for themselves, growing in self reliance and independence.
  2. The child gains control over their world.
  3. The child grows in self-confidence, self-esteem and sees themselves as capable and able.
  4. The child feels trusted, loved and respected, gets to know themselves as being able to do for themselves and others.
  5. The child develops an ongoing learning approach to life.
  6. It’s a win win for all.

Examples 

Your five year old wants to tie their shoelaces.

You teach the steps slowly and then let them try. Praise for all effort. Teach again later and as many times as your child needs it until they have mastered the skill.  Give plenty of attention and praise for the learning of the new skill and your child doing the new skill.

Your six year old wants to make their own sandwich. 

You get a suitable safe knife for your child to butter the bread with. Demonstrate the skill slowly so they can see what you are doing. Leave suitable things pre-cut to put in the sandwich in the fridge. Show them how to fold over the bread to make a sandwich. Let them carry out the skill. If they do not succeed with the skill, re-teach the skill again at a later time. Do not correct the skill. 

What can you do to teach your child today?  Make a list of the things you could do to lessen your workload and increase your child’s skills. Please share in the comments below.

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