From Parent to Learning Coach
The beauty of the K12 curriculum, iCademy Middle East’s home-schooling system is that it is fully supported by our dedicated team of online learning coaches and teachers who can make sure that your children are reaching all the expected academic milestones at a pace that works for them, while also supporting the at-home learning coach in guiding their charges to academic success.
But critically, without a learning coach taking the reins of the education process at home to keep students on track, the K12 system will not be successful in maximising your home-schooler’s potential, even with the best support available.
That is a lot of pressure to put on a parent, who more often than not won’t have any experience as a teacher. The decision to home-school comes with its challenges, but there are a number of things that you as a parent and learning coach can implement and make yourself aware of that can help make the entire process more streamlined and easier to manage.
Build a network
The school community is an important part of teaching and learning. Therefore, as a home-schooler – finding, making contact with, and supporting fellow home-schoolers in a community-based learning environment can pay enormous dividends to you and your children. It can give much-needed space, support, and guidance to implement solid learning techniques, while also providing support to you as a parent.
Building a relationship with other home-schooling families is not only beneficial in terms of having a network of support, but can also help share the load and responsibilities of home-schooling, giving you crucial perspective. For example, should you have a particular strength in a particular subject, you can share your tips and suggestions on lesson planning, field trips, and case studies that may help others in your network. At some stage they may also be able to do the same for you.
This system can also help if you need to step away from coaching duties. Leaning on other members of the home-schooling community – who know and understand the rigours of the home-schooling academic process, and who may be able to supervise your children alongside their own for an afternoon – will give you the ability to conduct some daily business without feeling you are compromising your kids’ academic needs. There are numerous Facebook groups and forums that connect and support home-schooling families. Find one in your area and get to know your fellow coaches. More often than not they are very willing to help and share their experiences.
Be organised and systematic and establish accountability
A positive learning environment starts with a well-organised space in which to learn, a regimented approach to schedule, and the agility to adapt to any issues that may crop up on any given day. Children thrive on routine, so try to maintain that for them, and for yourself – but also be prepared to shake things up a bit should they begin to lose interest, moving them away from their computer to more practical tasks.
Organisation is very important when it comes to home-schooling more than one child at the same time. Preview lessons so you are one step ahead and know what is coming up for your kids. Perhaps also consider creating a calendar and treat it like a masterplan for your day-to-day teaching and learning agenda. Also important is to establish expectations and encourage your children to meet them. Your students should know what is expected throughout their education and should understand that they will be held accountable.
Give yourself a break
Being a learning coach can at times be stressful. After all, the typical parent whose children attend public or private school would typically only be responsible for learning after school hours by helping with homework, projects, and exam preparation. Being in the driver’s seat of teaching and learning is a dauntingly big responsibility, even for the most prepared. Perfectionism and the drive to get things 100 percent right all the time can lead to burnout. Home-schooling needs to be fun for you and your children to maintain momentum. Without enjoyment it will feel like a chore and a sacrifice.
As a home-schooler, you may begin to feel you never truly get a break from the process, which is why it’s so important to ensure that you do have a social life of your own and friends and family who can support you in your efforts. Teachers in public schools get days off occasionally, so you can take a day off too. A happy and focused learning coach is vital to the success of the home-schooling family. And remember, if it’s all getting a bit too much, you can always lean on the iCademy Middle East family – who are always on hand to help provide support and guidance in achieving the very best outcomes for your family and your students.