Teaching Inclusive Language

One of the most important aspects of teaching language is understanding how language influences thoughts and perceptions. The words we use can shape the way we think and feel about others. These words can either reinforce stereotypes and biases or promote acceptance and respect. So, it is crucial that we teach our students to use language that is respectful, inclusive, and free from stereotypes and biases.

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One strategy that I use in my classroom to promote inclusive language is to teach my students about the power of words. I often start by asking my students to brainstorm a list of words that are hurtful or offensive to certain groups of people. We then discuss how these words can be harmful and reinforce stereotypes and biases. We also talk about alternative words and phrases that can be used instead, and how these words can promote acceptance and respect.

Another strategy is to model inclusive language in my own speech and writing. I make a conscious effort to use gender-neutral language, avoid stereotypes and biases, and use terms that are respectful and inclusive. For example, instead of using “he” or “she” to refer to a person, I might use “they” or “them”. I also try to use terms that are inclusive of all individuals, such as “partner” instead of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.”

I also emphasize the importance of cultural sensitivity and respect in my language classroom. I encourage my students to learn about and appreciate different cultures, and to use language that is respectful and inclusive of all individuals, regardless of their cultural background. This includes using appropriate titles and greetings, avoiding cultural stereotypes and biases, and recognizing and respecting cultural differences.

I have seen first-hand how teaching inclusive language can change perspectives and promote acceptance and respect. One example that comes to mind is a student I had who initially struggled with using gender-neutral language. She had grown up using language that was often gendered and had never really considered the impact that her words could have on others. However, after several discussions and exercises on inclusive language, she began to understand the importance of using language that was respectful and inclusive. She even started to notice when others used language that was hurtful or offensive and spoke up to correct them.

Another example is a group of students I had who were initially resistant to learning about different cultures and languages. They had grown up in a small, homogenous community and had little exposure to other cultures. However, after concerted effort to expose them to different cultures through documentaries, books, movies, and the occasional museum trip, they began to show more interest and appreciation for different cultures. They even started to use phrases and words from other languages in their own speech and writing, which showed me that they were truly internalizing the lessons we had been discussing.

There are several ways we can incorporate teaching inclusive language in our classrooms. It is an essential aspect of promoting acceptance, respect, and diversity. Only by understanding the power of words and using creative language teaching strategies can we help our students to develop a more inclusive and empathetic mindset.

Modeling writing for students

Writing has always been a challenging skill for many students to master. It also continues to be an essential skill in almost every profession and even for many personal pursuits. Teachers routinely struggle with imparting good writing skills to their students because the writing process begins way before a pen is put to a paper, or to modernize the quip, before we type into writing applets.

Teachers break down the writing process with writing guides, outline creation exercises, working on drafts, etc. However, these techniques sometimes still manage to fall short in transferring the necessary steps on the path to good writing to students. This is when teachers should employ modeled writing

What is modeled writing?

Modeled writing is very much what its name suggests. Modeling writing is a powerful tool that teachers can use to help students develop their writing skills. It involves breaking down the writing process into smaller, more manageable pieces, and demonstrating each step for students to follow. By modeling writing, teachers can help students see how a piece of writing is constructed, and provide them with a framework for their own writing.

The teacher takes a more hands-on, active approach and verbalizes her internal thought processes as she researches and writes. This way, the teacher can demonstrate directly to her students all the steps she takes to arrive at her ideas, including the reason for writing, the organization of ideas, gathering supporting materials/evidence, the format chosen to present the idea based on the reason for writing, etc.

Modeling effective writing

When modeling writing, it’s important to start with a clear objective. What do you want your students to learn from this exercise? Do you want them to learn how to write an introduction, a thesis statement, or a conclusion? Once you have a clear objective in mind, you can start to break down the writing process into smaller steps.

The first step in modeling writing is to provide students with a prompt or a topic. This will give them a starting point for their writing. For example, you could provide a prompt such as “Describe your favorite place to visit.” This will give students a clear idea of what they should be writing about.

Once you have provided a prompt, it’s time to model the writing process. Start by brainstorming ideas with your students. Ask them to think of words or phrases that relate to the prompt. This will help them generate ideas and get their creative juices flowing.

Next, show your students how to organize their ideas into a plan or an outline. This will help them see how their ideas fit together and give them a structure for their writing. You can use a graphic organizer or a mind map to help students organize their thoughts.

After the plan is in place, it’s time to model the actual writing process. Start by writing a draft of the introduction or the first paragraph. Talk through your thought process as you write. Explain why you chose certain words or phrases and how they relate to the prompt.

Once you have written the first paragraph, show your students how to revise and edit their work. This is an important step in the writing process, as it helps students refine their ideas and make their writing more clear and concise. You can model this process by going back through your own writing and making changes as needed.

Finally, model the conclusion or the last paragraph. This is where students should summarize their main points and bring their writing to a close. Show your students how to tie their ideas together and provide a satisfying conclusion to their writing.

The benefits of modeled writing

By modeling writing for your students, you are providing them with a roadmap for their own writing. You are breaking down the writing process into manageable steps and showing them how each step fits together. This can be especially helpful for students who struggle with writing, as it gives them a framework for their own writing.

In addition to modeling writing, there are other strategies that teachers can use to help students become better writers. For example, providing feedback and encouraging revision can help students improve their writing skills over time. It’s also important to provide students with a variety of writing opportunities, from creative writing to analytical writing, to help them develop different types of writing skills.

Modeling writing is a powerful tool that teachers can use to help students develop their writing skills. By breaking down the writing process into smaller steps and demonstrating each step for students, teachers can provide students with a framework for their own writing. This can be especially helpful for students who struggle with writing, as it gives them a roadmap to follow. By using modeling and other strategies to teach writing, teachers

Educating kids on colonialism.

What is colonialism?

Colonialism is the extension of a nation’s power by acquisition of other territories through conquest, settlement, or other means. Colonialism typically refers to the era of European colonialism that began in the late 15th century and lasted until the mid-20th century.

European colonialism was often much worse than other forms of colonialism because the Europeans had a sense of racial superiority and believed they were entitled to conquer and rule over others. This mindset led to atrocities such as the Atlantic slave trade, the decimation of indigenous populations, and the forced labor of millions of people.

European colonialism had a devastating effect on many parts of the world. Even though colonialism has ended, its legacy continues to affect many countries: political instability, violence, and economic inequality. In addition, it has also resulted in the displacement of millions of people and the destruction of cultures.

What are the different forms of colonialism?

There are several different forms of colonialism. Settler colonialism: involves the settlement of foreign nationals in a colonized country; exploitative colonialism: involves the exploitation of natural resources, and mercantile colonialism: involves the establishment of trading posts.

Apart from these, there is direct colonialism, which involves the direct rule of a colonized country by a foreign power, and indirect colonialism, which involves the indirect rule of a colonized country through puppet governments.

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As a citizen of a country that has faced colonialism, how do you talk to your kids about it?

If you are a citizen of a country that has faced colonialism, include discussing the violence, exploitation, and oppression that colonialism entailed. Also, explain how colonialism has impacted your country. A wholesome perspective can help kids understand the legacy of colonialism and its continuing effects on the present.

It is also essential to teach kids about the resistance to colonialism and the fight for decolonization. This can help them to understand that colonialism is not inevitable and that people have fought and continue to fight against it.

As a European white parent, how do you teach kids about the cruelty of colonialism perpetrated by your ancestors?

Be honest with kids about the cruelty of colonialism perpetrated by European ancestors. Teach them about the violence, exploitation, and oppression that colonialism entailed. Colonialism also impacted countries and led to the oppression of different people around the world. It has also been responsible for the spread of disease and poverty and destroyed local cultures.

What is decolonization, and why is it important?

Decolonization is the process of ending colonialism and removing all vestiges of colonial rule. This includes economic, political, and cultural decolonization. Decolonization is essential because it helps to restore autonomy to colonized countries and allows them to chart their course. Also, decolonization can help to heal the wounds of colonialism and allow for the revival of local cultures.

Teaching feminism to kids

Since time immemorial, education has been male-dominated, and this domination over education systems has led to the oppression of women. Society-influenced education systems in many forms reinforce boys to become strong and successful men. But what about girls? What about teaching them to be strong, independent women?

This is where feminism comes in. Feminism is the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the genders. It is also the movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. Feminism strives to achieve equality for women in all aspects of life, including education.

A feminist approach and feminist pedagogy is a way of teaching that incorporates feminist principles and values. It recognizes the experiences and perspectives of all students and challenges sexist and misogynistic assumptions and behaviors.

Feminist pedagogy can be used in all areas of education, from early childhood to higher education. It’s about creating an inclusive and equitable learning environment for everyone.

Ways to incorporate feminist pedagogy into your teaching practice – a few ideas:

  • Use diverse materials that reflect the experiences of all students, including books, articles, and other resources, written by or about people from varied backgrounds.
  • Be aware of the language you use in the classroom. Avoid using gendered terms such as “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentlemen.” Instead, use more inclusive terms such as “students” or “everyone.”
  • Encourage open and respectful discussion about feminism and gender equality. Create a safe space for students to share their thoughts and experiences.
  • Be a role model for your students. Show them that you believe in gender equality as an active supporter of feminism.

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So, how do we teach feminism to kids?

There are a few different approaches. One is to introduce them to feminist role models – whether that’s through books, movies, or real-life examples. It’s essential for kids to see that women can be strong, independent, and successful in multiple fields.

Another approach is to teach kids about gender equality and feminism as part of a larger conversation about social justice. This conversation can help them understand the issue in a broader context and see how it intersects with other forms of oppression.

Include content discussing how the education system has been male-centric and how it can be changed. How feminism can be taught in a fun and engaging manner for kids, and the importance of feminism in relation to social justice.

There are a number of ways to incorporate feminism into your child’s education, whether you’re a teacher or a parent. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Use children’s literature that features strong female protagonists and diverse characters.
  • Teach about women who have made history, including women of color and LGBTQIA+ women.
  • Encourage kids to question gender roles and stereotypes. Help them understand that everyone can do and be anything they want, regardless of their gender.
  • Promote kindness, cooperation, and respect in your classroom or home. Work to create a safe and supportive environment where everyone feels included and valued.

Feminism is about equality for all people, regardless of gender. By teaching feminism to kids, we can help create a more just and equitable world for everyone.

It’s important to remember that feminism is for everyone – not just women. Men can be feminists too, and feminism is about working toward a more just and equal society for everyone.

There are lots of different ways to get involved in feminism, and it’s never too early to start learning about and supporting the cause. So why not introduce your kids to feminism today? They’ll be the ones leading the way to a better tomorrow.

Teaching Genders to Children

Most kids learn about the traditional genders of male and female from a very young age. But there are many different genders, and some people don’t identify as either male or female. This can be confusing for kids, so it’s essential to explain that everyone is different and that there is no right or wrong way to identify.

What are the different genders?

There are many different genders, and it’s important to remember that everyone is different. Here are some of the most common genders:

– Male

– Female

– Non-binary

– Transgender

– Genderqueer

– Agender

– Androgynous

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What does it mean to be queer?

Queer is an umbrella term that can be used to describe anyone who doesn’t identify as heterosexual or cisgender. This includes people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, and more.

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What are some ways to teach kids about the queer community?

It’s important to teach kids about the queer community because they often face discrimination and exclusion – teaching kids about queer issues can help create a more inclusive world for everyone. There are many ways to teach kids about genders, but it’s essential to tailor the approach to the age and developmental level of the child. Here are some ideas:

– Read queer-inclusive books together.

– Watch queer-inclusive movies and TV shows together.

– Discuss queer issues in the news together.

– Attend queer events together, like Pride parades or drag shows.

– Talk about your own queer identity with your child, if you feel comfortable doing so.

Challenges in teaching kids about genders and queer

One of the challenges in teaching kids about genders and queer is the common misinformation. It’s important to be careful about the sources you use to ensure that your child is getting accurate information.

Another challenge is that these topics can be tough for some people, so approach them with sensitivity and respect.

What if my child is queer? How do I deal with it? 

There is no one way to know if your child is queer. Many people don’t realize they’re queer until they’re older, but some people know from a young age. If you think your child might be queer, the most important thing you can do is to love and support them. It’s also important to provide them with accurate information about queer issues so they can understand their identity and feel proud of who they are. It’s also important to create a safe and inclusive environment for them to express their identity.

You can also talk to a queer-inclusive counselor or therapist for guidance on how best to support your child.

Race-based and inclusive education: When to start teaching children?

In race-based education, students learn about the histories, experiences, and perspectives of people from different racial groups. Inclusive education, on the other hand, is about ensuring that all students feel welcome and included in the classroom, regardless of their race or background.

So, how early should kids be taught about race and racism? And what is the best way to approach these topics?

The answer to these questions is not always straightforward, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, experts generally agree that it’s important to start talking about race with kids from a young age. This is because children are already starting to form their ideas and beliefs about race and identity from a very early age.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

If you are a white parent teaching racism in the USA, it is important, to be honest about the history of race in America. White children need to understand that they benefit from racism, whether they realize it or not. They also need to learn about the struggles and experiences of people of color throughout history.

If you’re a parent from a historically oppressed race, you may have experienced racism firsthand. You may also have strong feelings about race and racism that you want to share with your children. However, it’s important to remember that not all children will be ready to hear about these topics in the same way.

Some children may be interested in learning more about race and racism, while others may find the topic too difficult or upsetting. It’s important to respect your child’s wishes and to have an open discussion about what they are comfortable talking about.

If you’re unsure where to start, there are many books, articles, and websites that can help you learn more about race-based and inclusive education. One of the best ways to approach race-based education is through children’s literature. Books can be a great way to open up conversations about race and diversity with kids. There are many excellent children’s books that deal with these topics in a sensitive and age-appropriate way. You can also talk to your child’s teacher or school counselor about how to approach these topics in the classroom.

Some tips for talking to kids about race:

  • Start early: As mentioned above, kids are already starting to form their ideas about race from a very early age. So it’s important to start talking about these topics from an early age too.
  •  Be honest: It’s important, to be honest with kids about race and racism. Avoiding the topic or sugar-coating it will not help them understand it better.
  •  Keep the conversation going: Talking about race is not a one-time conversation. It’s important to keep the dialogue going as kids grow and their understanding of these issues evolves.

A good understanding of race and racism can help children in several ways. For example, it can help them – develop empathy for others, challenge stereotypes, understand the experiences of people from different racial groups, and develop a more nuanced understanding of race and identity – all of these things can lead to a more tolerant and inclusive society.

Artificial Intelligence: The game-changer in Education

Artificial intelligence in education uses AI technologies to enhance and improve the learning process. This can be done in a number of ways, such as providing personalized learning experiences, increasing engagement and motivation, or enhancing assessment and feedback.

Machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision are a few applications of AI in education. Machine learning is a particularly powerful tool that can be used to create predictive models of student performance. Natural language processing can be used to help students interact with educational content in a more natural way. Computer vision can be used to track student engagement and attention.

AI technologies are already being used in some schools and universities, but there is still a long way to go before they are widely adopted. There is a general consensus that AI will replace teachers. However, as of right now, AI is incapable of replicating the human educational experience. Teachers bring their own personal experiences and biases to the classroom, which helps students connect with the material on a personal level. Additionally, teachers are able to provide one-on-one attention to students, something that AI cannot do.

Some worry that AI will lead to the standardization of education. However, AI can actually be used to customize instruction for each individual student. By using data from previous students, AI can identify patterns and offer recommendations for how each new student should be taught. This would allow for more personalized education, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

The application of artificial intelligence in education has the potential to revolutionize the field. By automating the more repetitive and time-consuming tasks associated with teaching, AI can free up educators to focus on more critical aspects of their jobs, such as developing relationships with students and providing individualized instruction.

Additionally, AI can help personalize learning experiences for students, providing them with more customized and targeted content that is better suited to their needs. Finally, AI can also be used to assess student progress and identify areas where they may need additional support.

However, a serious disadvantage of AI is the ways in which it can increase inequality. The coronavirus pandemic has already exacerbated existing inequalities – the biggest being the closure of schools that have disproportionately affected low-income and minority students. Schools and districts with more financial resources could use AI to personalize learning experiences for students and likely benefit those from more privileged backgrounds over those from less privileged backgrounds.

Also, AI technologies require significant amounts of data in order to be effective. Another challenge is that AI technologies are still relatively new and expensive, which makes it difficult for many schools and universities to implement them.

But overall, AI seems to have more benefits than drawbacks. However, as with any new technology, there are always some risks involved. It is important to weigh those risks against the potential benefits before deciding whether or not to use AI in classrooms.

4 Top Reading Apps for Children

Technology is an indispensable part of life in the 21st century, and most children under five are comfortable using some gadget, whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet, a kindle, or a laptop computer. While it is natural for parents to be concerned about how much time their child spends on screen-related activities, there are many ways in which they can actually contribute to children’s learning and education.

One of these is helping them acquire literacy skills. There are many apps that teach children to learn to read and that work as literacy tools for kindergarteners as well as older children. When used judiciously and in tandem with their physical counterparts, reading apps are a godsend for parents looking to encourage their children to read.

One of the greatest advantages of reading on a device is that it can easily adapt to families’ busy schedules, which means children can read anytime, anywhere. And while there are dozens of reading apps available, not all of them are worth downloading or paying for. Here is a quick review of the top 4 reading apps to boost children’s literacy skills.

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1.  BOB Books #1 Reading Magic

The classic phonics book now comes as an equally popular app that gently teaches children to recognize the sounds of each letter and how to put them together to form words. The app replicates the books’ step-by-step phonics lessons with four levels for each sentence.

BOB Books #1 Reading Magic has twelve pages and each page has four levels. Kids drag letters to their proper place below the picture as the app sounds them out and reads the words aloud. Correct answers transform the black-and-white screen to color and animate the drawings. The settings can be customized to suit the user’s reading level and knowledge of phonics.

BOB Books #1 is a great introduction to reading for kindergarteners and an excellent digital companion to those already familiar with the BOB Books system of phonics and reading. Difficulty levels on the app can be customized or set to Automatic so that the reading app keeps pace with the child and retains their interest as they go through the sentences on each page. The animation is great, and the artwork is simple yet compelling. BOB Books #1 Reading Magic is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, with an HD version available on iTunes.

2.  Starfall Learn to Read

The popular learn-to-read website now comes as an app with the same content in its “Learn to Read” section. The app has 15 mini-books, each devoted to a specific vowel, along with related videos and activities that help early readers build their skills. Each mini-book features a song and a simple plot focusing on words incorporating the featured vowel sound. Each vowel sound is accompanied by interactive games, songs, and videos.

Each page has a sentence that readers can read aloud, hear read aloud, and get help with pronunciation. Sometimes, there are animated illustrations or illustrations that invite readers to interact with them by tapping on them. After finishing the reading section, children can spend time on fun activities such as matching and fill-in-the-blanks or watching videos on reading-related topics.

Starfall Learn to Read is a great literacy tool that immerses children in the world of reading. This free reading app encourages children to recognize the relationship between spoken and written language while having lots of fun learning to read with Zac the Rat. Available for Kindle Fire, Apple, and Android devices, Starfall Learn to Read is highly popular among emerging readers as well as older learners.

3.  Homer

Homer is an early literacy app for children aged 2 to 8 that parents can use to tailor lessons to their child’s interests and abilities. The app is divided into two sections – Reading and Stories, which contain more than a thousand stories and games designed by child development, education technology, and curriculum design experts. The app has a 30-day free trial version, after which users can choose between a monthly or an annual subscription. Homer is available on iOS and Android platforms and can be downloaded from Amazon, Google Play Store, and the App Store. Both sections of the app have animations and illustrations that appeal to children of all ages, along with many story options based on the child’s interests. Homer Reading features a friendly monkey that guides and encourages children along their learning path. To make the most of this app, children should be able to drag objects on a screen, touch and hold them, and follow simple directions.

One of the best features of Homer Reading is that it is highly adaptable and responsive to children’s needs. If children are stuck or bored, the engaging games and lessons ensure they continue focusing on the learning process as they follow the customizable My Pathway.

4.     Hooked on Phonics

This is a subscription-based app that starts with simple letter recognition and progresses to reading full words and simple short stories. Readers proceed along a fixed path that offers a step-by-step introduction to letters and letter combinations through games and songs. Hooked on Phonics also offers a library with original stories that get replenished regularly.

New users unfamiliar with uppercase and lowercase letters start their learning journey with Pre-Reader World, where they learn to identify letters and their associated sounds. Each short lesson includes a song and a couple of interactive games. Advanced readers start with the Learn to Read World, where they are introduced to letter combinations, word construction, matching words to sounds, reading simple books, and the like. While the app follows a sequential learning path, a separate section allows users to access any of the games, songs, and books. The app has a free download option that contains limited content but with a subscription, users can get access to everything else.

With a subscription plan, parents can track their child’s progress and create multiple user accounts. For an extra fee, users can sign up for monthly deliveries of hard copy workbooks that match the app’s content. Hooked on Phonics is available on the App Store and Google Play Store.

Most parents worry about their children spending too much time on gadgets, and rightly so. However, learning to read with reading apps is much better than playing mindless games. And if children acquire literacy skills in a fun and engaging manner, it’s a win-win for everyone. 

Homeschooling – Pros and Cons

If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures have taught parents, it is that homeschooling is not for everyone.


Every educational system – public school, private school, charter school, homeschooling, unschooling, etc. – helps children acquire new skills and information, as well as develop their individual interests and qualities. And each system, homeschooling included, has its pros and cons.

There are many reasons why people choose to homeschool; some of the top ones being:

  • Children’s educational needs not being met by the current school system
  • Bullying
  • Parents’ desire to instill a particular worldview
  • The flexibility to enable a child to pursue their passion
  • Concerns over school safety.

The decision to homeschool your child can be a difficult one to make. As a first-time homeschooler, knowing what to expect can make a great difference. Here’s a list of homeschooling pros and cons to help you make your decision.

Homeschooling Pros

  1. Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of homeschooling is that parents can control the curriculum and customize lessons to suit their child’s learning style. Since parents have complete freedom in what to teach and how to teach, the possibilities are endless. You can spend time developing a particular interest, incorporating a specific value system, doing more hands-on activities to supplement regular lessons, or reviewing previous lessons to bolster your child’s understanding. If your child has special needs, you can even design a customized learning approach to meet their needs.

Moreover, a home-based education can incorporate any subject under the sun. Is your child interested in learning how to sew? How about sailing? From chemistry to practical trades, volunteering and artistic pursuits to foreign languages – the broad umbrella of homeschooling covers them all. A typical day in homeschool is full of teaching moments; your child’s “school” isn’t confined to a few school hours.

  • Effective Learning

The average public or private school has 20-30 children per classroom and loads of distractions. Homeschoolers, on the other hand, can go through the material at their own pace in a one-on-one environment where the curriculum matches their learning style. In the absence of busywork, there’s very little to waste their time or hold them back.

Cultivating critical thinking and problem-solving skills in students is an area where regular schools fall short. A comprehensive homeschool education can prepare students to become independent thinkers with strong reasoning skills; lifelong learners who can adapt their knowledge to fit changing circumstances. The beauty of a homeschool education is that children can give free rein to their curiosity and learn how to learn.

  • Building a Parent – Child Relationship

Homeschooling children and their parents naturally form stronger bonds as they learn and spend time together as part of the schooling process. Homeschooling parents witness practically every milestone and crucial moment in their student’s childhood because they are spending it together. If you always wanted to spend more time together as a family, homeschooling is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Homeschooling is filled with positive learning and bonding experiences like field trips, games, and a-ha moments – all of which can build stronger parent-child and sibling relationships. In some cases, the flexibility afforded by a homeschooling schedule allows both parents to spend more time with the children – if work schedules usually limit time spent together as a family.

Homeschooling Cons

  1. Too Much Work

One of the biggest reasons many parents reconsider teaching their kids at home is that it is, simply put, a lot of work. It takes serious time and effort to create, teach, and grade learning material for multiple subjects every day or every week. If you are homeschooling more than one child, tailoring education to suit each child’s learning style can add to your workload. Not only must you parent and teach your child, you also have to do the housework and run a school. Choosing the curriculum, planning lessons, keeping the kids occupied, and grading their academic performance takes a lot of time and effort. And juggling multiple roles – parent, teacher, tutor, curriculum researcher, and principal – is not for everyone.

  • Missing out on Learning Opportunities

Despite the enormous flexibility offered by home-based education, it can close off certain options for your child. A homeschool curriculum for high school, for example, will certainly be unable to offer the same variety of electives as a large public school. If your child chooses subjects which you can’t teach at home, you will have to look for alternatives.

  • Fewer Opportunities for Socialization

One of the biggest myths that exists around homeschooling is that homeschool socialization is nonexistent and that homeschoolers are weird, awkward, and friendless creatures. It is, however, true that homeschoolers have less daily interaction with their peers and spend less time each day participating in organized sports and other activities with kids in their age group.

As a homeschooling parent, you are responsible for providing social interaction your child will be missing out on – partner work in the classroom, school assemblies, dances, etc.

Some amount of soul searching and serious discussion will tell you whether homeschooling is the right choice for your child and your family. With this list of pros and cons and everyone’s opinions on the table, you can determine if homeschooling will work for you.

5 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Elementary School

Success in school is not just about getting good grades. In order to get the most out of the school experience, your child needs to learn how to learn, think independently, retain information, ask questions, and develop a sense of competence. Parents are a child’s first teachers; hence parental support is key to helping kids achieve academic success and enjoy the process of learning.

Helping Children Succeed in Elementary Grades

Here are the top 5 ways you, the parent, can put your child on track to success in elementary school.

  1. Attending Back-to-School Meetings and Parent-Teacher (PT) Conferences

Children do better in school when their parents participate in their academic lives. Back-to-school meetings at the beginning of the school year are a great way to meet your child’s teachers, understand their expectations, and get acquainted with school-wide policies and programs.

Involved parents make it a point to attend every parent-teacher conference. These progress-report conferences usually held a couple of times a year, allow parents and teachers to interact and identify strategies to help children do their best in class. A PT meeting is the right place to let the teacher know you want to help your child learn. It is also a good place to discuss if your child qualifies for the gifted and talented program or set up individualized education plans for children with special learning needs.

Parents or guardians can request a meeting with teachers, principals, counselors, or other school staff any time during the school year.

2. Staying on Top of Homework

Homework in elementary school reinforces classroom learning and helps children build their study skills. Children need to see homework as a priority, not merely because it helps them get good grades but also because it teaches them to become more responsible and develop a work ethic that will stand them in good stead beyond the classroom.

You can help your child by setting aside a special study area, establishing a regular time for homework, and eliminating distractions such as the internet, the television, etc.

An effective study or homework period is roughly 10-15 minutes per grade level. Third graders, for instance, should be doing 30-45 minutes of studying and homework each school night.

Parents should try and be available to answer questions, offer guidance, and interpret instructions, and check the completed assignment. But they should avoid answering questions or completing assignments themselves. Children make mistakes and learn from them as part of the learning process and they should be allowed to do so.

3. Preparing for Tests

To a great extent, your child’s grade is determined by their performance in class tests. They may also take one or more standardized tests during the school year and spend a significant portion of time during the school year preparing for them. This is how you can support your child before and after the test and help them prepare for tests.

  • Stay up-to-date with testing schedules and class prep plans.
  • Help your child in areas that they struggle with by providing extra practice sessions.
  • If you have concerns about the test, discuss them with the teacher and/or school administrator.
  • If the outcome of the discussion is unsatisfactory, you can reach out to the organization that monitors the test.
  • If your child has language or learning difficulties that prevent them from doing well on standardized tests, speak with the teacher to see if they qualify for assessment accommodations.
  • Getting Ready to Learn in School

Studies show that children who have a nutritious breakfast before school have more energy, attend school regularly, and do better in school. A healthy breakfast rich in fiber, protein, and whole grains is also known to boost attention span, concentration, and memory in children.

Grade school kids also need 10-12 hours of sleep each night to be active, alert, and ready to learn all day. Lack of sleep is the leading cause of irritability, hyperactivity, and lower attention spans in the classroom. On school nights, your child needs to have a consistent bedtime routine, limited T.V. and internet stimulation, and enough time to unwind before lights out.

4. Getting Ready to Learn in School

Studies show that children who have a nutritious breakfast before school have more energy, attend school regularly, and do better in school. A healthy breakfast rich in fiber, protein, and whole grains is also known to boost attention span, concentration, and memory in children.

Grade school kids also need 10-12 hours of sleep each night to be active, alert, and ready to learn all day. Lack of sleep is the leading cause of irritability, hyperactivity, and lower attention spans in the classroom. On school nights, your child needs to have a consistent bedtime routine, limited T.V. and internet stimulation, and enough time to unwind before lights out.

5. Taking Attendance Seriously

Children who miss a lot of school or have difficulties arriving at school on time often have trouble catching up with classwork and homework. This, in turn, creates unnecessary stress and can interfere with learning.

While having an occasional ‘sick day’ can be beneficial if your child is unwell, missing a lot of school due to illness can create a backlog that parents need to deal with. In such cases, parents should know the school’s attendance policy and check with the teacher about any work that their child needs to complete.

Sometimes a student may want to skip school because of problems with assignments, grades, classmates, or even teachers. This might even cause physical symptoms such as headaches or tummy pains. If your child is having problems at school, you might want to get to the root of the anxiety by talking to a teacher, the school counselor, or the school psychologist.

Sometimes, tardiness and attendance issues can be linked to late bedtimes, in which case keeping to a consistent sleep schedule will help.

The elementary school years are a time when parents need to stay informed, support their child’s education, and help them on their learning journey. Leave a comment if you’d like to share any tips or strategies you used to help your child succeed in school.