I have talked about the need to establish routines, as a priority, in order to ensure the success of your homeschooling. You will also need to manage the start of your day and the start of each lesson, making sure that you have a clear structure in place.  It is your responsibility to give your child the structure they need. In this useful Morning Starter Pack, I have shared with you 5 ways to start your day and I urge you to take some time to plan how you intend each day to proceed.  Once you have a clear structure in your own mind, this clarity will be apparent to your child and you will both start the day with a strong sense of purpose. 

Bell Work

Bell Work is something that I would urge you to embed into the start of every lesson.  It is a piece of work that usually lasts between 5 and 15 minutes and should be linked to the theme of the lesson.  Have the work ready in advance.  It can be any short task from reading to research but ideally you want a way in which to guide the child into the rest of the lesson.  My go-to is a picture printed into the middle of a page, leaving space for the student to write words and phrases linked to the image around it.


For the transition between breakfast and learning, I suggest the use of music.  The music should instil a sense of calm; it would be a mistake to use lively music of whatever kind.  The music should help everybody to achieve a reflective frame of mind and help transition you and your child from family-time to school-time

Topic Time

This is really a chance to reinforce the teaching relationship between you and your child.  Celebrate any successes, whether in your own home, locally or around the world. You could also discuss any sad events, relaying information to your child about a difficult topic you may feel they are misinformed about.  If you are a religious household this is a great opportunity to have a daily act of worship and prayer.  It is not a lesson but a chance to share viewpoints, beliefs and ideas which might relate to the curriculum.  You could use this as an opportunity to visit a topic you feel is important but does not quite fit into a specific lesson you have planned.  Ideally both you and your child should start thinking about something in a new way.

Homework – marking together

Picture of tuition

The whole point of homework is for your child to work independently outside of teaching and learning hours.  You should structure homework to help your child to develop regular study patterns that they can manage. In terms of marking, it will work best if you create tasks that can be self-marked and require short answers.  I realise that some subjects lend themselves to this more easily than others but overall, you need to think about the marking commitment.  I recommend setting a time limit for marking together with your child and sticking to it and this will really depend on your child.  For example, if they are restless first thing in the morning, it may be counter-productive to demand that they produce their homework first thing. 


I always stick to these expectations and, when used properly, you will establish a set of healthy habits that will not only benefit the teaching and learning experience for your child but help them navigate successfully through life as well. Non-negotiables are a set of rules that you have discussed and confirmed with your child.  If your child is young, these non-negotiables can be considerably basic and limited in number, 3-4 at most.  If older, your child should agree to 6-8 rules and consequences which should be displayed poster like in your teaching and learning area. The rule and the consequence should never be extreme, but it must always be followed.