Ask The Therapist: Can Anxious Teens Benefit From Homeschooling?

 

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Undoubtedly, high school can be really stressful. If you think about your own experiences in high school, you might recall several stressors regarding tasks such as passing examinations, dealing with classmates and peers, and selecting a college. These days, however, school could be a much more challenging journey for kids and teenagers of all ages. Parents of teenagers who suffer from anxiety might be having second thoughts about homeschooling being a potential solution.

It is a fact that numerous teens have been productive with homeschooling and that many stressors related to public school are eradicated when families homeschool. But some concerns could do homeschooling wrong for a family.

When School Causes Anxiety

Being a parent, you might be wondering why your teenager is looking for a school to be so stressed. After all, you, too, were in your teen’s shoes and were capable of getting through without overwhelming stress. Remember that today’s educators suffer from a lot of tension to make certain that students are making it in the exams, and several teachers transmit that tension onto their students. For other students, the speed necessary can incite anxiety. A lot of teenagers commit hours of projects and home works. When blended with part-time jobs, family responsibilities, and extracurricular activities, the amount of work needed to pass their tests and classes can provoke anxiety in most teenagers.

When Anxiety Affects School Productivity

Occasionally, the concern is not that a student gets anxious because of school, but that anxiety causes a student not to be productive in school; for a teen with difficulty managing his anxiety, having failing test scores and poor grades can induce more anxiety. For these types of teenagers, homeschooling permits them the time to concentrate on dealing with their mental health and keeping a balanced academic routine.

Homeschooling For Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorder

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Homeschooling enables teens with SAD the space and time to manage the issue and find treatment. On the other hand, it is vital not to permit teens who suffer from social anxiety to seclude themselves entirely, which can occur with homeschooling. Talk to your teen’s mental health provider so that you can urge your teen to improve his social abilities through interactions at homeschool or in your community.

Making It Work For Your Teen With Anxiety

You must work intimately with your teen to develop an efficient homeschooling regimen that will allow your teen to manage his anxiety capably. A plan certainly curbs some doubt that could accompany homeschooling, especially if you and your teen have not tried doing it before. Try to know if a homeschool contact at your teen’s school or school district that can assist by explaining your homeschool guidelines to you and providing you with the proper forms to fill out.

In addition, study the different homeschooling techniques. Your teenager might require some time to decompress from his present circumstances. Eventually, you might utilize an online homeschool program, strategies for ‘un-schooling,’ textbooks, or a homeschool co-op.

What If Homeschooling Is Not The Answer?

If, for some reason, homeschooling is not the appropriate solution for your teen with anxiety, you must remember that homeschooling is not an alternative for therapy when you consider dealing with your teen’s anxiety. Getting rid of the stress of attending public school might decrease his anxiety. However, your teen still has to learn coping strategies to manage anxiety as it emerges throughout your teen’s life.

If the concept of homeschooling worsens your teen’s anxiety, then it probably isn’t the correct solution. It is only appropriate to tackle common issues. Your teen might be worried that he won’t have friends, for instance, and that is simply false of homeschooled kids in general. You and your teen can make homeschooling whatever you wish it to be.

A child or teen that is not driven can find homeschooling to be mundane and unproductive. This is especially true if there is no parent with him at home during his classes who can monitor his activities. If your teen does not get his work done or if nobody’s home, then homeschooling is most likely not the best choice for your teen. Employing a tutor or homeschooling teacher can be good choices that would hopefully work.

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Final Thoughts

Deciding to homeschool your child or teenager who is suffering from anxiety must not be taken casually. Still, it is also not the only decision you will ever be making – it is not the end-all-be-all choice. Do not forget that you can always go back to enrolling your teen in public school if necessary in most scenarios. Have a one-on-one conversation with your teen about it. Also, you must reach out to your teen’s guidance counselor and your mental health provider so that you can come up with an efficient plan that is appropriate for your teen and your entire family.

 

Homeschooling And Speech Therapy

 

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Parents prefer homeschooling for their kids for several reasons. Perhaps they have a rigid religious attachment, you emphasize personal education, or you prioritize family togetherness. Nevertheless, a lot of these reasons come that most parents really desire personal involvement in terms of their child’s education and development.

Luckily, having a robust role in your child’s education is also vital to assisting them in developing communication skills and improved speech. From chattering as a two-year-old to your kid’s first words, down to the more complicated language abilities, kids learn to talk from the people surrounding them, such as parents, caregivers, or guardians. As a home teacher, you are suitably positioned to supervise their improvement as they become an efficient communicator.

On the other hand, communication skills are not very easy for many kids, as almost 10% of them experience communication struggles growing up. In several circumstances, speech therapy is needed to help them get through these struggles. Homeschooling can have numerous advantages, but this might also yield more challenges (or opportunities) for kids with language and speech disorders. Where do you seek help, what are your choices, and how will you manage the complications of finding assistance?

Before we go into these questions, let us begin with the basics:

When Speech Therapy Is Needed

Having solid basic communication skills is crucial to a child’s emotional, social, and academic success. It assists children in opening up, interpreting the world surrounding them, and understanding others. Every child tracks their own progressive timeline. Some have no trouble learning a language, while others require additional guidance attaining age-appropriate milestones.

The specific problems that children are confronted with differ largely, from issues with speech delays, stuttering, language comprehension, voice abnormalities, pronunciation, reading readiness, and many more. In general, the earlier these problems can be assessed and managed, the more improvement children will make about attaining their goals. Hence, as a parent of a homeschooled child, it is important to be aware and positive if you see your child suffering from speech problems. This is worsened by the fact that your kid is not frequently seeing nurses, administrators, or schoolteachers, who might have also noticed these problems early on.

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Home Speech Therapy

Parents of homeschooled children have numerous choices when finding speech therapy services. A few of these services are listed below.

Private Speech Therapy

Enrolling in a private speech therapy facility is one option. But with a lot of homeschooling parents choosing to get home instructions, you can also opt to get online speech therapy. With this, all services are done online through video calls or chat. Imagine Face Time or Zoom, but on the other line is an experienced and licensed language-speech pathologist who is the most competent professional to help evaluate, diagnose, and manage language and speech disorders.

Speech therapy done online has increasingly become famous, but because of the current pandemic, it has intensely grown – and positively. Online speech therapy is commonly for cost-effective than conventional, face-to-face therapy. It is also obviously more convenient (no traffic time or riding on buses or sitting in classrooms for long hours) and more accessible for people who reside in remote regions.

Experts recommend seeking an online therapist that focuses on establishing resilient parent-therapist connections. Enhancing language and speech skills is similar to learning ability – it needs conscientious home practice. Be certain that your speech therapist is willing to provide you with methods and strategies to implement best practices acquired during the home sessions.

Home Speech Therapy

If your beloved child’s speech problems are insignificant, therapists recommend looking on the web for beneficial worksheets that you can integrate into your child’s life. There are numerous wonderful resources, such as American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Speech and Language Kids, and Mommy Speech Therapy. There are great resources on the web, so all you have to do is study, inquire, and give your child the guidance and support that he needs to bloom into an effective communicator.

Individualized Educational Program

Kids with language and speech problems frequently qualify for speech therapy supervised by their special education program in public schools. These kids are also qualified for personal or individualized education programs, which are customized treatment plans to meet their needs and access their curriculum.

Source: clearspeechinc.com

When and how this operates in a homeschool setting depends on the state you live in and your corresponding school district. Sadly, via the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the federal government only finances less than 15% of the education programs. The state is obliged to control the rest of these platforms, allowing them full authority to choose how they select to allocate the financial resources to homeschooled kids with special needs.

To know if you are eligible for these programs in the state you live in, begin by reaching out to the Home School Legal Defense Association and studying their website.

 

 

How Can Counseling Help Children With Learning Difficulties

Is your child having difficulty retaining lessons from school? Do they struggle with math, reading, or writing? If they do, they might have learning difficulties.

These conditions make school and daily life extra hard for you and your child. They may feel anxious and frustrated when they see that they are lagging compared to their peers. Thankfully, counseling can help them cope with their distress.

Today, we’ll learn more about different learning difficulties. We’ll tackle how they affect a child’s mental health and how counseling can help with these.

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What Are Learning Difficulties?

Learning difficulties, also called learning disabilities, are caused by genetic or neurobiological factors that affect the brain’s ability to process information. Children who have learning difficulties tend to process information at a slower pace compared to others.

Learning difficulties must not be confused with intellectual disabilities; learning disabilities neither affect cognitive functioning nor are caused by developmental factors.

Common learning difficulties affect children’s reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. These also hamper their understanding of mathematics and abstract thinking. It can also affect their attention span and retention of information.

Children with learning difficulties tend to be less organized than others because of how they process information.

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Common Types Of Learning Difficulties

These can be verbal, impeding a child’s ability to read, write, or process spoken or written information. There are also learning difficulties that affect a child’s non-verbal skills, impairing their understanding of non-verbal cues.

Here are some of the most common learning difficulties:

  • Dyslexia – A child with dyslexia might have difficulties in reading, writing, and spelling. One prominent symptom of dyslexia is confusing the orders of letters in words. They may find it also difficult to write words in the correct sequence.
  • Dysgraphia – This is a neurological disorder that affects a child’s writing ability and fine motor skills. Due to this condition, a child may find it difficult to arrange their thoughts and put them into writing.
  • Dyscalculia – This learning difficulty makes it difficult for a child to understand numbers, leading to problems with mathematics. A child with dyscalculia may have a poor sense of estimation and perform computations slowly.
  • Dyspraxia – Also called Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), is a condition that affects a child’s motor skills and physical coordination. Children with DCD perform poorly in activities that require motor skills. 
  • Non-Verbal Learning Difficulties – This condition makes it hard for a child to understand non-verbal cues like facial expressions and body language. It also affects their speech and language acquisition. Children with this difficulty tend to interpret words too literally.
  • Auditory/Visual Processing Disorders – These affect a child’s ability to differentiate between sounds and interpret visual information from maps, charts, and symbols.

Other disorders may co-occur with these learning difficulties. Although not considered learning disorders, these greatly impact a child’s learning progress:

  • ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that commonly overlaps with other learning difficulties. Due to ADHD, a child may have problems with controlling their impulses and paying attention.
  • Autism – Autism and other disorders within its spectrum are developmental disorders that can make learning difficult. They may have trouble with communication, reading non-verbal cues, and developing social skills.
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How Can Learning Difficulties Affect Children’s Mental Health?

Children that have learning difficulties can experience bouts of anger, frustration, stress, and anxiety. Not being able to process information easily can truly be frustrating. Lagging behind their peers in terms of academics can also make them feel anxious. In some cases, a child may feel like a failure and develop depression.

You must be wary of the sudden changes in your child’s behavior, for these can be symptoms of emotional distress. Some of the signs that your child is having emotional distress may include:

  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Anxiety, especially in academic situations
  • Irritability
  • Reduced motivation
  • Tantrums
  • Poor social skills
  • Sadness

If you do not address your child’s feelings, these might develop into severe mental health problems.

How Can Counseling Help?

Dealing with your child’s learning difficulties is a life-long journey. Since it cannot be cured, your child will need constant support and intervention. Counseling can help your child cope healthily with their learning difficulties.

Having a professional guide will greatly help release any suppressed emotions brought about by their learning difficulties. Counseling provides a safe space for your child to unload all of their emotional distress.

Play therapy can also benefit your child, especially if they are unable to articulate their own feelings. While your child is playing, a therapist will observe their behavior and better understand their problems. This will allow the therapist to help your child deal with their condition. Through play, the therapist can teach your child healthy coping mechanisms.

You should also consider family counseling since learning difficulties affect everyone in the family. Sometimes, siblings and even parents do not fully empathize with their child who has learning difficulties. This creates tension within the family.

Counseling can adjust your family’s mentality towards learning difficulties. Having a healthier mindset is crucial in providing support for your child. With the help of counseling, your family can face the challenges of learning difficulties head-on together. 

Engaging with support groups or counseling groups can also widen your perspective on how to handle learning difficulties. This is an opportunity to learn from other people who are going through the same struggles.

Despite having learning difficulties, you must remember that your child still has a bright future ahead of them. They only need to be taught in a way that’s tailored to their needs. With your constant support and the intervention of professionals, your child can live a happy, meaningful life.

 

How Does Child Counseling Help With Your Child’s Learning And Development

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Your child can develop developmental and emotional problems for various reasons. When developed during childhood, these may cause long-term damage to their health and well-being. Addressing these issues as soon as they appear is crucial for their learning and development. 

One way of addressing such issues is through Child Counseling. A Child Counselor can give you an idea of what your child’s issues are. They can also teach your child age-appropriate and unique ways to learn, work, and feel normal.

What is Child Counseling, and how can it assist with your child’s learning and development? Read on to learn more about it.

What Is Child Counseling?

Child Counseling, also known as Child Therapy, is a form of therapy that aims to provide children with the support they might need in whatever aspect. Child counselors let the children know that they are not alone and give them a safe space to share their feelings and thoughts. This method of counseling also helps children in overcoming their fears and worries.

Adult and child counseling are very similar. What’s different is that child counseling sessions require the counselor to be patient and simplify the child’s procedure as much as possible. This is to ensure that the child will understand and learn from their sessions. Child Counselors are also expected to use age-appropriate techniques and language to help them achieve their goals and plans.

There are various ways to deliver child therapy. It can be practiced with individual kids or groups of children. It may also ask one parent or a group of parents to help. Sometimes family members are also invited to participate and assist in the sessions.

Topics Discussed in Child Therapy

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Child Counseling provides children with an opportunity to address issues and concerns that they might be experiencing. Example of these problems include but are not limited to:

  • Bullying in school
  • Trauma
  • Phobia or fears
  • Physical and emotional abuse
  • Addiction and substance abuse
  • Family or child relocation
  • Mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety
  • Divorce or separation in the family
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Who Offers Counseling For Children

Child counselors, or child psychologists, are mental health professionals who consult with children to provide guidance or insights into their social, emotional, and psychological needs.  They help children achieve development and improve their mental health through various techniques and activities.

These professionals are trained to understand the mindset of children. They give children emotional support while also identifying, reframing, and treating the issues and psychological distress the children suffer from.

Goals Of Every Child Counseling Session

Every session in child counseling circles around achieving specific goals. These situation-specific goals are summarized into five, namely:

  • Establishing the child’s self-esteem
  • Helping children better their communication abilities
  • Stimulating a healthy and normal development among children
  • Building an emotional repertoire fit for the child
  • Improving the expressive vocabulary of children

Techniques Used In Child Therapy

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Your trusted child counselor might decide on what technique or strategy they will employ during sessions. But choosing an approach mostly depends on the present needs or primary goals of your child.

Cognitive Therapy is often a strategy when dealing with emotional children. It aims to reduce anxiety in children by teaching them how to redirect their emotions and excess energy into play and other tasks. In child psychology, Cognitive Therapy helps children become more mindful of their own negative emotions and mindsets and create ways to reframe them in a more positive light.

Meanwhile, Applied Behavior Analysis aims to help children develop more effective ways of dealing with various situations they may experience. In this approach, counselors help children discover how rewards and/or punishments affect their behavior.

Play Therapy, which utilizes toys and dolls, is also an interesting option for managing emotional issues among younger kids. Other useful benefits offered by this therapy style include:

  • Taking responsibility in attending to own behavior
  • Establishing self-respect
  • Showing respect to others around them
  • Developing empathy
  • Improving social skills and self-expression
  • Strengthening relationships of members within a family
  • Alleviating mental health problems such as anxiety

Other techniques your child counselor may use during therapy sessions may include play-based or game-based activities. Some examples include:

  • The Feeling Word Game
  • The Mad Game
  • The Slow-Motion Game
  • Bubble Breaths
  • Second Story Technique
  • Positive Postings

Moreover, the child counselor might use a supplemented worksheet or answer-sheet system. These worksheets particularly aim to help children recognize their emotions, practice gratitude, and set situation-specific goals.

Your child counselor may also recommend that you include various children’s books in the therapy. This works to help children be more expressive about their emotions, especially kids new to counseling.

Benefits Of Enrolling In Child Counseling

Ultimately, child counseling allows children to interpret the emotions, thoughts better, and fears disturbing them. Children who are experiencing various mental health conditions may benefit most from this form of therapy. Child counselors provide safe spaces where children can share concerns or discuss them with their parents or family.

While parents may assist in their children’s emotional and cognitive development, Counselors for children may significantly help in the process. These professionals can help kids eliminate the fears, issues, and trauma they have developed through evidence-based talks and activities.

Conclusion

Child’s therapy is an effective means your child can fight and shrug off emotional and psychological concerns. However, the efficacy of this procedure is heavily dependent on whether your child receives treatment as soon as you notice negative shifts in his or her routine, emotion, or general mood.

Choosing the better therapist for your child’s counseling sessions is also important. Ensure that you will only hire a professional who is trained and proven to be good with children. Also, be selective and prefer a provider who can give your child the best treatment while respecting your time and choices. Choosing only the best will surely save more time and money from therapy in the long run. You may ask your trusted primary care provider for referrals in Child Counseling.

Frequently Asked Questions About Seasonal Depression And Light Therapy

It’s hard to have productive homeschool days. For starters, getting into the right headspace for studying is challenging simply because our homes are a place of rest. Because of this, parents have to cultivate an engaging space for their children to learn. This challenge becomes increasingly more difficult during the winter. At this time of the year, you want to snuggle into a warm blanket and drink hot cocoa.

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Feeling lazy during the winter is normal. Most of us feel sluggish and unmotivated during this time of year. It mostly has to do with shorter days, and a lack of sunlight decreases our serotonin levels. Serotonin is a hormone that helps in stabilizing our moods. Beyond this, it helps with bodily functions such as sleeping, eating, and digestion. Having lower levels of serotonin increases your risk of having the big SAD. 

SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a type of depression that occurs during a particular season. You may commonly observe this in the fall or winter. However, people may also have SAD during spring or summer. 

Aside from feeling tired and unmotivated, SAD symptoms include sleeping problems, losing interest in activities, and feeling hopeless. Difficulty concentrating can also be another SAD symptom. This then results in reduced productivity when homeschooling. 

There are several openly available treatment options for SAD. Medication and therapy are the most common solutions for mental health problems like this. But, if you prefer alternatives that you can try at home, light therapy may be an option for you.

Light therapy, or phototherapy, is simply a treatment wherein you use a lamp or light therapy box to improve your mood. Now, you may already be curious about the specifics of light therapy. Don’t worry, the following section may be helpful to you. Here, we’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions to shed some light on the topic of SAD and phototherapy.

Does light therapy work for seasonal depression?

Yes, light therapy does work for seasonal depression, but it does not cure it. It only provides relief for the symptoms brought upon by SAD, increases an individual’s energy levels, and generally feels better.

What type of light helps with seasonal depression?

A particular type of light is used to treat seasonal depression. Your doctor may recommend or prescribe you to get a lightbox with more than 10,000 lux of light and with little UV light as possible. It should be brighter than both indoor and outdoor lights in your household.

What vitamin should you take for seasonal depression?

Research suggests that Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is an essential supplement for an individual suffering from seasonal depression. Seasonal depression is most likely caused by the lack of sunlight or shorter sun exposure days during the fall and winter seasons. Vitamin D is easily found in several animal-based foods, such as fish and eggs.

How long does it take for light therapy to work for depression?

The daily use of lightbox therapy is recommended. According to studies, patients undergoing light therapy see a positive response and improvement between three to five days. The effectiveness of the treatment process is highly dependent on the response rate of a patient. For some, it may only take days, while for others, it can be months long.

Do SAD lamps give you vitamin D?

SAD lamps and other light therapy boxes do stimulate vitamin D production in the skin. However, most health professionals are against this as it may cause skin cancer and other grave conditions.

Can a lightbox damage your eyes?

To put it simply, yes, there is a potential risk of damaging your eyes when using a lightbox, although there is still no evidence of it so far. Both eyes should remain open during light therapy, but one should not directly look at the source of light. Thus, the supervision of a licensed medical professional is advised.

Is blue light or white light better for SAD?

Both blue light and white light are found to be useful for treating symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. The choice now depends on the patient’s preference.

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What color light is best for depression?

White light has been the most common color of light used to treat seasonal depression, but recent studies have shown that blue light’s effectiveness is similar. However, generally speaking, white LEDs with blue light are twice as effective as only white light or blue light.

How do I choose a SAD light?

It is best if you ask for a professional’s help and advice when choosing a SAD light, as you might mistake other types of light available in the market which are used to treat skin conditions rather than mood disorders. It is essential to buy one with at least 10,000 lux of light, as any lower than that will not be sufficient. Choose a lightbox with less UV light, too, to minimize possible risks and harms. Invest in a high-quality product to ensure safety. Also, take into account to find the right size you need.

What are the signs of a lack of vitamin D?

Vitamin D deficiency is often accompanied by the following signs and symptoms: fatigue, joint pain, muscle ache, mood changes, and hair loss. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you are most likely suffering from a lack of Vitamin D. You may take supplements or eat more Vitamin D-rich food such as fish, eggs, and milk.

Does vitamin D help with the seasonal affective disorder?

Yes, Vitamin D helps with seasonal depression. According to research, seasonal affective disorder is often linked to Vitamin D deficiency in an individual. The more you lack Vitamin D, the higher your chances are of suffering from SAD.

Do vitamin D tablets help with SAD?

It remains unclear whether Vitamin D tablets and supplements are enough to help with SAD. However, they do help in increasing levels of Vitamin D in an individual. It is essential that you take Vitamin D tablets and eat Vitamin D-rich foods and make sure you are getting enough sunlight.

In conclusion, light therapy boxes can help bring your circadian rhythm back in sync, recharge your energy, and produce some much-needed Vitamin D. You can also feel more warmth, thanks to your light therapy box’s rays. Just make sure to use your SAD lamps the proper way so you can avoid damaging your skin or eyes. This means that light therapy boxes should only be used with adult supervision.

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SAD has a tendency to seep out the energy and productivity you and your children need for homeschooling. With a light therapy box, you and your kids can start the day in a positive light. Remember, one of the critical things to a successful homeschooling experience is a warm and conducive environment. You can keep up such an environment with a nurturing attitude and a bright atmosphere.

So, if you notice unusual sadness among you or your homeschoolers during the cold seasons, book an appointment with a therapist. Please don’t be shy of this condition, because it can affect anyone. Roughly 5% of the American population experience this mental health disorder. Getting the right diagnosis is the first step to having better mental health. This, in turn, can allow you to work better.

Of course, you can also try self-help remedies to support your child as they deal with a lack of motivation and productivity. But seeking professional help can show significant results in a short amount of time. And as the FAQs section has mentioned, you’d need professional help to choose the right light therapy box for your needs.

We hope that this article provided you with some clarity on SAD and light therapy. Together, let’s learn how to make our homes conducive to education, growth, and mental health.

Dealing With Common Mental Health Issues In Homeschoolers

There are indeed many benefits to homeschooling your kids. Smaller student-teacher ratio, individualized learning and pacing, and a safe learning environment are some of the reasons parents love it. And a secure and safe place for learning does keep your child more mentally and emotionally healthy. But even at home, there are still risks for them to develop mental health problems.

Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders are common mental health issues that may affect your homeschoolers. And here are ways you can do to help your child deal with these conditions.

Educate Yourself

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The first thing you can do in dealing with mental health issues as a parent is to educate yourself about it. Misconceptions and misinformation may make it more difficult for you to help your children deal with their problems.

Take note that educating yourself does not mean that you are taking an expert’s role in their situation. Your child is experiencing a challenging period in their life. They may feel isolated, so knowing these feelings will help you become more compassionate to them. They will need your presence now more than ever, especially since you are the nearest friend and support they have while homeschooling.

Be Patient

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It is more challenging to recognize the symptoms of common mental health issues in your children. Primarily because they can be easily confused with puberty and growing up, so it is necessary to extend your patience when you notice that they are frequently moody, irritable, or when they detach themselves from the rest of the family.

Anxiety in children is often a result of several stressful events like exams, bullying, death of a relative or friend, or parents’ fighting. Yes, bullying may still happen at home through the internet. Several platforms – like games and social media-allow your kids to express themselves freely, putting them at risk of cyberbullying.

And so, if you notice the symptoms of anxiety in your kids, guide them through it. When doing their schoolwork, do not pressure them. Wait for them to calm down enough and help them through difficult tasks. It will help reduce their anxiety and help them relax as well.

Spend Time Together

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Some children find it hard to tell their parents about their feelings and emotions. Most find it awkward to do so, especially those nearing puberty. And as parents, you must respect their privacy. But suppose you have noticed that they’re having trouble concentrating on their academic work or other activities and are showing persistent sadness for more than two weeks. In that case, they are likely going through some serious problems like depression. 

Depression is a common mental health problem in children. Statistics show that about five percent of children between 13 and 18 may have experienced this condition. When you noticed the signs, do not force your child to talk to you about it. Instead, find ways to spend time with them.

Trying out new activities like crafting or exercising can help release happy hormones in your child. Do note that this is not a cure, but it can help them express their feelings in better ways.

Create A Schedule

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Study shows that people with an active daytime routine have better sleeping habits and mental health. So it is essential to establish a daily routine for your homeschoolers. Find a balance between work, playtime, rest, and sleep to minimize the risk of developing or worsening their mental health problems.

Too much time spent studying may leave your child feeling stressed and overworked. Over time, it can lead to anxiety, social isolation, and depression. And so remember to include breaks between studying. The frequency and duration of rest time may differ from children to children. What you can do is to plot their schedules with them. Let them give their inputs and suggestions and make them feel involved.

Bedtimes are essential for their routine too. Having too much or less sleep is often linked to mental health problems. So you must have a sleeping routine that everyone at home follows, including the parents. Modeling the desired behavior will help your children remember to stick to the practice. Bedtime also means no phone or gadgets time, so tuck away these devices as well.

Seek Professional Help

Mental health conditions affect attention, concentration, eating, and sleep. So before their condition worsens, seek professional help. Mental health professionals will help your child deal with their problems through psychotherapy or medication. Your child’s doctors will talk to you about the risk and side effects of the drug treatments. You need to know about them so that you will understand how to deal with those as well.

You may also consult with a family counselor to help the whole family cope. They will help your family understand the condition and one another better, bringing your family closer as well. 

Final Note

Mental health conditions may affect anyone, even in the comforts and safety of their home. So it is essential to know about the symptoms of these problems and how to deal with them. Learning how to deal with them can help you give the proper support to your children. 

 

Why Getting A Private Tutor Is Sometimes Best For A Family Member

I remember when my sister had a phobia in math during her 8th grade. She did not have the most reassuring teacher back then. Every night, they were supposed to study a lesson that would only be discussed the following day, and the teacher always expected them to ace the quiz before the class starts. Of course, it was a pretty impossible feat for average students, but the mentor did not seem to understand that. She proceeded to make the students without perfect marks remain standing for the entire period. 

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No matter how angry my parents were at the math teacher, they could not do anything about it. After all, she was not giving the students corporal punishment—she only made them stand up. The teacher was never direct at humiliating the not-so-intelligent kids, too. Hence, all my parents could do was hire a private tutor for my sister. 

This private tutor came in the form of my mother’s best friend, a college professor. She was kind enough to visit my sister at home and give her one-on-one lessons from 6 P.M. to 7 P.M. daily. I wanted to peek in sometimes because I was curious about how it worked, but my parents always persuaded me not to do it. According to them, I might distract the two and prevent my sister from learning well.

When I asked my sister about her tutoring experience, she said she was shy to ask her tutor about the mathematical stuff she did not understand. But as she became more accustomed to the main reason why the private teacher was there, she started to absorb everything. Thus, whenever her real math teacher would give them a pop quiz about a new topic, it did not surprise her anymore, and she managed to pass the tests with flying colors.

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Now, I know that some of you may have the same problem as my sister in math or other subjects. If you are still hesitant to get a private teacher, online or not, I hope you get over it soon. In truth, tutors are great, and they won’t let you down. Think of a private tutor as your lesson hero since that may be the only person who can save you from having failing grades.

Still not convinced? Here are some of the advantages of studying with a private tutor:

Pick Your Tutor

Yes, my dear, you can pick the tutor that you want to help you with your studies. It is not like in school where you do not have a say on who teaches your class. With private tutors, you do not have to stick to a smart but strict one when you can have a bright and friendly tutor, so bear that in mind.

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Ask Questions Without Being Laughed At

I believe that asking questions without being laughed at is the main advantage of having your private teacher. If you are in a standard classroom setting with lots of other students in the background, some bullies will undoubtedly turn you into a laughingstock for wanting to learn more about the topics that still feel unclear to you. On the other hand, your private tutor will take your question thoughtfully and try to explain the answer without further complicating things.

Find Interest Towards The Subject

A private tutor is quite different in a way that they will try various techniques to make a subject more interesting and understandable for you. I do not intend to generalize all homeroom teachers, but some can act so jaded sometimes that they care less whether you learn something from today’s lesson or not. 

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As in my sister’s case, math became her most-hated subject because her teacher did not want to bother teaching lessons before testing their knowledge. However, when the tutor taught her everything from the basics, she realized that numbers were not her enemy. 

Shorten Your Lessons

Private tutors cannot bore you with all the talks about a particular topic because they are allowed to narrow it down to the most critical points. If they can explain it in 30 minutes, they will do it. This way, your brain will not be oversaturated with information, and you won’t lose interest in the subject at all.

Final Thoughts

My sister grew up and went to college to obtain an Engineering degree. This field requires you to have a deep understanding of math, so it shows how far she has come from being that middle-school student who was afraid of numbers.

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If group learning is not working well for you, try a one-on-one session with a private tutor. My sister merely got lucky because we were already close to one, but you can choose anyone you like. Who knows, this may be the start of a better learning experience for you.

 

 

Homeschooling During The Pandemic: It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect

 

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As schools remain closed across the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, more parents realize that they have a new and quite daunting job description – being a teacher.

Children have a list of online assignments and lessons to fulfill and new programs to go through with their parents, and parents feel astounded by the pressure to help their kids and the workload that is added to their already existing responsibilities. So we asked an experienced educator, who also happens to be a mother and a professional parent coach, what she thinks about this emerging concern. She says there are just some things to keep in mind before starting with the homeschooling program that you’ve chosen for your kids. She also states that you don’t have to worry if there are bumps along the way. It doesn’t need to be perfect.

 

Don’t pressure yourself too much.

While some moms and dads have all the time and the means to give everything they can into this new normal for children during the pandemic, it is not feasible for other parents. Guidance differs tremendously from school to school, so how one family deals with their children might not work for yours. Don’t start with social comparison. Color-coding timetables and expensive crafts may not work in your home, and that’s fine. Remember that we must teach our kids not to strive for perfection or imitation.

 

Allow them to feel uninterested sometimes.  

Children’s activities in school are usually so structured and visual. At home, it will be quite different, with less pressure from the guidance of the teacher and more convenient with their mom or dad in their very own living room. If they start to get uninterested or bored, let them be for a while, and then snap them out of it and return to the lesson. This will be a struggle initially, but creativity and self-discovery indeed happen during moments of boredom.

 

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Focus more on reading.

Building and improving on their reading capabilities will benefit kids at every possible angle. When they were younger, they used to love listening to you as you read them stories. Now, you just need to sit and listen with them as famous actors tell children’s stories on the web. Don’t worry if the public libraries are shut down due to the pandemic. Audiobooks and other electronic downloads are available online. Let your kids choose the book he likes to listen for the day so that it perks their interest.

 

Choose a program that includes home economics.

You may have heard of other kids going out into the world without knowing anything about household chores. This is the most suitable time to teach them life skills, like cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry. With your teenagers, you can start them with financial literacy, including budgeting and paying the bills. Some children may have structured online schedules, and hopefully, you didn’t choose this. They should be able to choose when, where, and how they would like to do their schoolwork. This is also a great opportunity to enhance their metacognition and become more conscious of the kind of learning that works for them.

 

Allow them to recognize their feelings.

One of the most vital aspects of learning that our children should learn is their social-emotional skills. Children don’t always have access to things like this in their academic subjects, but they can learn the basic emotional literacy skills, which they can use in their day-to-day living. Once they have a background on this, they can recognize their feelings and be aware of how they can deal with them confidently and assertively.

 

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As parents, we can assure our children that feeling anxious and scared are normal emotions that even adults feel during these challenging times. This is one of those moments when teaching them proper hygiene, and social distancing will be relatively easier. Finally, teaching them how to surpass a global health crisis may just be the most crucial lesson you can ever impart on them.

 

 

 

Homeschooling And Other Choices: What Can Be Done With Children’s Education?

 

 

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Parents in the United States are presented with the dilemma of deciding what to do with their children’s education during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are one of these parents, below is a list of choices you can consider making, and the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Don’t do anything until school starts. This choice suggests that as a parent, you can relax and allow your child to ‘be a child.’ Let him play, do his usual play activities, and just wait for school to resume. This is an excellent time for children to do what they want.

Advantage: You won’t feel the extra stress of planning what your child needs to do or learn. For all you know, he might even learn more by letting him be.

Disadvantage: If you let your children choose what to do, they might end up not using their time wisely. Some would rather spend hours in front of the television watching cartoons or playing video games, or they may even be into phone apps that are not safe for them to use.

Look for a well-structured homeschool program on the web. During this time, many parents may be already searching through the internet for homeschool programs that are age-appropriate for their kids. Homeschool programs have various guidelines depending on their platforms, and as responsible parents, you need to choose wisely. If you prefer your children to learn while practicing religious routines, you can enroll them in a program that incorporates Bible studies in between subjects. If you think they’ll do better learning about practical stuff, then find a program that combines teaching cooking, cleaning, or gardening.

 

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Advantage: Homeschooling is very advantageous to children and even parents who prefer to be able to monitor their children closely. Their programs are mostly well-organized and easy to navigate, especially now that most are making them available online.

Disadvantage: A lot of these programs are expensive, and if you decide to shift to a school setting, your child might have difficulty adjusting. Also, your child might end up getting stuck in a program that doesn’t fit his needs.

Ask guidance from your child’s school and stick to the school’s curriculum. This suggests that you call your child’s school administrator or teacher and ask what materials they use for teaching and if they can be made available online. This is probably the only choice you have, particularly if the school discourages you from following other programs.

Advantage: The school is with you in educating your child and is obliged to foresee his performance. This also places lesser stress on you as a parent. You would just have to make sure that you follow through at home, ensuring that he is doing his homework and projects.

Disadvantage: If the school has no available resources online, it will be difficult for your child and for you too. This will make a virtual school impossible, and your child may not be able to continue learning and coordinating with his teachers and administrators.

Make your own homeschool program. This last choice may need extra effort from you, especially if you’ve had no formal training as a teacher. Still, as a mother and as your child’s first teacher, you will surely be able to do your best in setting a place and a system that will help your child maximize his learning and creative skills and even some of the areas that the school has not addressed.

 

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Advantage: It’ll be a great bonding time for you and your child while you can do what you need to do at home. Also, your home will become your child’s place of comfort as well as his place of learning. You can purchase books online and learn together, exploring the many things that have to be discovered. You can also teach your child activities that he can do daily, like cooking, cleaning the house, gardening, and a lot more.

Disadvantage: It sounds exhausting for parents – and it IS exhausting. It adds more stress to those who are raising their children on their own, working to earn and doing the household chores at the same time. Additionally, your credentials might make you feel uncertain of what you are teaching your child.

If you are having a difficult time choosing between the four options, you can try combining them by selecting the best parts and then creating a robust learning program for your child. Ultimately, you know your child, so go with your intuition as a parent. Good luck!

 

 

 

Why Homeschooling Your Child Can Be Beneficial

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Attending the 2019 Home School Convention opened up a whole new world for me. Homeschooling is a new concept for me since we have grown up in the traditional schooling method. Maybe this does not apply to other regions, but it is also an excellent alternative to some families who prefers seeing their kids at home learning than thinking about them being in traditional schools. When one chooses to homeschool, though it may be advantageous to think about at first, you still have to consider a lot of things. This is not just for the parents but for the whole family as well.

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