Supporting Your Child’s Learning At Home: 

The Family Playbook


What ground rules will best support learning at home?


Homework might not be a new concept for your child(ren), but “school from home”—away from teacher and friends, but with family involvement—may very well be. With a new context come new ground rules. Keep in mind, good teaching practices may also be good parenting practices and vice versa. Clarity is key to avoiding conflict and enabling successful learning and a peaceful home.


Note that ground rules may be a mix of clear expectations and best practices. Here are some examples of ground rules: 

  • Take care of your materials and space. 
  • Follow directions the first time.
  • Work  for the agreed-upon time. 
  • Be kind to yourself and others.
  • Do your best work.


Other potential questions to consider as you set ground rules:

  • When my work is finished, I can…
  • Can we eat when we are learning?
  • What are our rules for technology?
  • What do I do when I need help? 
  • What happens when the work is not finished? A logical consequence here might be that, if your child doesn’t finish their work for the agreed-upon due date or during the agreed-upon time period, they will need to finish it during free time.
  • How do we celebrate success? Including celebrations, like a dance party, or rewards, like extra phone time, keeps things fun and gives kids something to look forward to.


  • Every Family is Different. Every family will have different needs and rules, so every family’s rules will be different. If you are working with a group of families, get clear with all parents before you start.   
  • Avoid Too Many Rules. Avoid making too many rules or adding rules that do not help you achieve your homeschooling goals. Ask your family, “What rules do we need to follow in order to have a productive and peaceful homeschooling day?” 
  • Co-Create Rules. Making ground rules with your child (or group of children) creates buy-in and agreement. When you create the rules together, children will be more likely to remember them, follow them, and reflect on their actions. 
  • Be Consistent. When you are facilitating your child’s learning, just like in parenting, it is important to be consistent. If you make a rule, stick to it. If it is not working, talk about why and make a change that everyone understands and is aware of. 
  • Set Consequences. Set up a system of reminders and logical consequences when a ground rule is broken. Remember you can always ramp up your response, so start with small consequences first and resist the urge to overreact.


Other Resources

UCTV & Thrive Video

Other Sections in the Family Playbook: