Classroom set-up

If you have the space, try and dedicate a spot in your home to schoolwork. If your child is young. you should have them close by to make supervising easier; if they're older, make sure the space is away from other temptations like video game consoles or TVs.

Be prepped

Try to have all the materials needed at the beginning of the day, especially for kids who find it hard to focus. For younger kids, take a few minutes at night to sharpen pencils and set up art supplies, and get books ready. For older kids, give them an allotted amount of time to have everything ready for the subjects they're studying.

Keep distractions to a minimum

It may sound obvious but barking dogs, background television, or a constant stream of people going in and out of a workspace will definitely shift your child's focus. Where possible, keep things calm as your child works away. Some scientists recommend playing classical music in the background for ultimate performance.

Time sessions

Make sure you give your kids enough time to work, coupled with breaks. For younger kids, keep school activity between 15 and 20 minutes at a time. Older ones can keep going for at least 30 minutes.

Have a routine

Plan out the day as they would have it at school (although you might need to be more flexible if you're juggling your own work, etc). Older children can keep to a routine more easily, but it's important to have physical changes in the day to differentiate home and school activities. You can make a chart to make this easier, and don't forget to keep cellphones far from prying eyes during study time.

Help them to be independent

The best way to encourage independence is not to do the work for your children. Even if it's tempting to get an exercise finished off quickly, you will not be doing them any favors in the long run. If you feel they're not doing enough or going into sufficient detail, ask them questions about the topic. In finding the responses they'll learn more.

Keep active

It's important to encourage your kids to move around throughout the day as they would do at school. Have little breaks for dance routines in the kitchen, take the dog for a walk, or if you have a backyard get your kids outside to run around for a while. This is particularly useful if you sense your child is no longer focusing.

Encourage, encourage, encourage

This can be really tiring, especially if your child is not doing the best of jobs. Remain positive and point out the things that are going well. If they keep getting something wrong or not understanding a topic, make sure you contact the teacher. Remember your job is to guide, but they may still need additional help.

Keep in contact

Make sure you keep reasonable contact with your child's teacher. Let them know how much time you're able to devote to supervising your child, and see how you can adapt expectations.

Don't try and create mini-Einsteins

You might think this time at home will give you the opportunity to get your child ahead. It's better that they master what they are meant to, and if you have any extra time, use it to teach important life skills.


If you are stressed, your child will pick up on it. You can only do your best, and if your child has some difficulties here and there, they will be able to remedy the issues sooner or later with educational professionals. Remember: you are first and foremost their parent!


Yes, your patience may be tried and you might need a little heavenly intervention. Reach out to patron saints to help you through this challenging time. It's also a nice way to punctuate the day with prayer with your child. You could take breaks and light a candle and pray together. Even if your child can't master their algebra, they'll at least be learning to turn to God for help in all things.