The Dad Mindset
The Dad Mindset Show
Arnie Phillips on preparing for the challenges of homeschooling

Arnie Phillips on preparing for the challenges of homeschooling

Clinical Psychology Registrar, Arnie Phillips a.k.a. ‘the Child Whisperer’ comes back to discuss ways to prepare for the challenges of homeschooling.


Arnie Phillips is a Clinical Psychology Registrar (at Think Psychology in Geelong) who specialises in treating children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

He's better known as the 'child whisperer' by one of my friends who's son is treated by Arnie.

Over the coming weeks Arnie and I are running coronavirus special episodes to try to help families cope with lockdown.

In this episode we discuss tactics for coming to grips with homeschooling.

ID activities you can do within different categories

  • Brain activities - get you thinking

  • Body activities - either inside or outside (just get your muscles moving)

  • Imagination or creativity activities - get you thinking outside the box (drawing, writing a play, cooking, building a fort)

  • Social activities - time with family (board games etc)

  • Alone time activities - it’s easy to forget how much alone time we usually get and how important it is

  • Helpful activities - get them to do things that they don’t necessarily need to do

  • (Helping someone else can really boost your own mood). ’Non-preferred tasks’.

Make sure that you don't just come up with different activities for each category yourself, let the kids come up with them so they have ownership.

What are some brain activities you can do?

Reading a story. Write a diary.

It’s about ‘forced choice’ (you can either do this activity or that activity).

One of the things that can contribute to low mood is that sense of worthlessness and sense of being a burden.

Kids are really in-tune to their parents emotions so it's important to put your best foot forward. Just the child helping with the plates can help lift the parents mood, which in turn can lift the child’s mood.

By 9 o’clock we have to be ready to do an activity.

Some kids might like to kick off the day with different categories of tasks. One child might need a body activity whereas another child might be able to dive straight into a mind activity, so try to gauge the up-take.

It would be great to get one of each of the categories done in the day, but don’t set the bar too high. You need to have flexibility as well.

Set basic house rules and be clear about them:

We’re not going to watch screens during the day, but we are going to watch a movie at the end of the day.

Keep house rules as simple as possible (kids are great at finding loopholes if you make things too complicated).


  • Don’t hurt yourself,

  • Don’t hurt others

  • Don’t break anything.

We are also starting a daily sketch practice under the hashtag #pendemic2020 on Instagram which you are more than welcome to join. You can find Arnie's drawings at: @_arn_dogg_

which If you'd like to chat with him, his Linkedin profile is here.

If you'd like to get in touch with Arnie, his website is:

The Dad Mindset
The Dad Mindset Show
Hi, I’m Rich Bolus.
Join me as I explore insights from parents and experts as I apply a growth mindset to parenting.