Now is your chance to start from the beginning, or the bottom, or whatever you want to call it. When I decided to home school my son last year, it was crisis time. So, being the psychologist that I am, I removed every bit of removable stress or stimulation from his life. Picture moving from an apartment in Manhattan to a cabin in the Vermont woods.

Kids are schooling at home now. You might notice that they have some extra free time on their hands. That their schoolwork takes a lot less time than you think it should.

That’s fine.

Home schooling removes all the “noise” of the regular school day. I’m talking about stress and stimulation. For kids who need less stress, it’s a great thing.

Don’t look for “extra” or “more,” and don’t limit things like screen time that help your child decompress, until they show signs of having a low level of stress / stimulation level.

Here are some of those signs:

  1. Getting out of bed independently.
  2. Doing boring morning activities easily (tooth brushing, dressing).
  3. Happy mood, high energy level.
  4. Helping out voluntarily, in any way.
  5. Remembering to do chores usually forgotten.
  6. Creativity: drawing, singing, telling stories.

Give your child a chance to show you these signs! See if you can hang back where you’d normally jump in. For instance, give them some time to get out of bed before you go and check on them. Or shout from another room rather than going in and shaking them.

Home schooling changed James dramatically.

Before: fearing and dreading school, refusing every step of his morning routine, needing my maximum help getting ready, and needing to be walked to his locker every day.

After: even if I’m not home, he can wake up with an alarm, eat breakfast, take medicine, get himself totally ready, and be waiting on the front porch for his teacher.

Once I figure out how to add a comment section, I’d love to hear further signs of your child’s stress level lowering.

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2 years ago

During the school closings, should you encourage your child to interact socially via FaceTime, etc. when he or she is uncertain or uninterested in that activity?

2 years ago

I am particularly thankful for the sentence “schoolwork takes a lot less time than you think it should.” As this has been a major source of disagreement in our house. My son agrees with you! 🙂

Juli Burger
Juli Burger
2 years ago

Should they still maintain their morning school routine while in this transition phase? Get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, etc.? Mine doesn’t understand why it’s necessary so he’s fighting it.