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Ten top home learning tips for parents of teenagers

23 February 2021

Homeschooling is tough! Not only do we have to ensure our children continue to learn and thrive – we also have to do it in an environment they associate with time off and relaxation. Some of us have to juggle full or part-time employment but nearly all parents whose children find themselves at home currently will have had to learn a host of new skills for an unfamiliar role. To help you get through until the school gates open we asked staff at our Behaviour Outreach Support Service, whose work promotes inclusion in schools, for their top tips for home learning.

As a service, we work with children of all different ages and abilities, who are at different stages in their education, and many of us are parents ourselves. So right now we’re in the same position of trying to home school. There are a number of tips that follow but the most important thing to remember is this golden rule:

None of us can provide home learning in the same way, and there is no right or wrong approach.

We are all just doing our best to support our children. You are a home learning hero, as is your teenager.

That said, however, here are some suggestions that may help make the process a little easier:

  • Do what is right for your family – everyone is doing things slightly differently and it is ok if you are doing things in a different way to other parents.
  • Your teenager is an individual. We all learn differently so support them in a way that works best for them.
  • Ask your teenager if they have had any emails from school/if they have any online lessons today/if they need any help.
  • If you or your teenager do not understand the set work contact the teacher and ask for help – it is their job to provide work that is set at an appropriate level for your child.
  • It is ok to ask the school for help, advice and support. Be honest about your concerns and let them know if they are suggesting things that might be unrealistic. You know your situation and your teenager best.

“You know your situation and your teenager best.”

  • Keep in regular contact with the school and let them know about any concerns you may have about your child’s work or workload and discuss any IT issues or concerns that may impact your teen’s learning.
  • Remember that some days are more difficult than others. If your teenager is having a bad morning or afternoon, it is ok to take some time off. Let the school know so that they are aware of what lessons or work have been missed, and when your teenager will be back. Looking after both your and their mental health is important.
  • Breaks are necessary – nobody can sit in front of a screen all day. Encourage them to go out for a walk or contact their friends.
  • Set an end to learning tasks and learning time. At school, they would stop working at the end of a lesson.
  • Pack away learning equipment at the end of the learning day – out of sight out, out of mind. This is also not a bad idea for parents if you can manage it too!

Find out more about our BOSS service and the support it provides to promote inclusion in schools or, if you feel overwhelmed with the pressures of providing home learning you can contact our FamilyLine service for emotional support and guidance.

Family Action