Home School Tips, Part IV – How to Set Behavior Expectations and Manage Your “Classroom”

By | May 19, 2023

Giggling, tickling, whispering, and chatting–these behaviors are fine at home. But, when your kids are in school, then these behaviors are inappropriate. Because school occurs in the home, clarifying expectations without seeming contradictory can be difficult. How can you communicate rules in a way that is clear to your student?

As the fourth article in our series, this piece suggests ways of communicating expectations about behavior. In this article, you will find strategies to help you deal with discipline and classroom management in your home school.

SEPARATE. Make a clear distinction between class time and home time. Use a chime or other sound to signal the start of school. Use a timer to make breaks, snacks, and study hall exact. Also, use this instrument to signal the end of school. Making school and home time distinct will help your child transition into school-appropriate behavior.

LIST. Begin your semester by asking your student what rules are necessary to create a respectful and effective classroom. To this discussion, add your list of non-negotiable expectations. From these talks, draft a classroom charter. Now, you have an agreement–and a series of clear expectations–to which to refer.

AIM HIGH. Many classroom teachers say the following: “Start tough.” “Don’t smile until Christmas.” “It’s easier to get easier.” However it is worded, holding your student to high standards is key. When she does not meet expectations, follow up with consequences. Do not waver and do not begin by cutting brakes. Doing either will undermine your authority and the integrity of your behavior policy.

BORROW A WHEEL. Don’t reinvent it. Instead of creating your own discipline process from scratch, use that of other home schools and/or schools in your neighborhood.

STAY THE COURSE. Be sure to implement policies with consistency. If you say you are going to send your student to time out or cancel a trip, then do just that. Being consistent will make your student feel informed and fairly treated.

DEVELOP A CODE. Develop a code to signal that you want your student’s attention. Counting backwards from five to one, ringing a bell, or turning down the lights are some tried and true methods to refocus your student.

RESPECT. In making the distinction between class time and home time, you should respect your child’s leisure. Allows your student her non-school time. Resist the urge to talk about school on vacations, during television commercial, or at other non-school times.

Establishing behavior expectations for the school part of your home is a must. Otherwise, you run the risk of unruly class sessions. Use the tips above to help you outline and manage behavior and consequences in your home school.