Hi, beauties and gentlemen!
Life looks different these days, doesn’t it? Everyone’s lives have been affected from COVID-19, and I understand the range of emotions you’re feeling because I’m experiencing them as well.
With the cancellation of school, now transitioning to a homeschool setting, many parents (including myself) are taking on the role of teacher!
I already had immense respect for our educators, but now, more than ever, I’m indescribably grateful for their talents, contributions, and abilities.
Homeschooling is not only new for my sons but new for me, too. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve learned a great deal about how to teach in a new setting effectively, and I’m getting the hang of it! So, I wanted to share some tips and insight regarding how homeschooling and how to make it work for you and your children.
Create a visual schedule: You don’t have to be Picasso, I promise, but create something as a focal point for your child(ren), so they know what lies ahead. This promotes organization among you and your kids while also continuing their teacher’s efforts of staying on task.
Maintain a sleep schedule: Admittedly, our kids go to bed slightly later than before, but they know to get up at a certain time every morning. When our kids finally transition back to an in-school setting, we want to ensure they aren’t totally off their game. So, maintain a solid sleep schedule, making sure to begin homeschool around the same time every day.
Get dressed for the day: As tempting as it is to stay in your PJs, encourage your children to get dressed as if it’s a regular school day. This helps get them in the mind frame of going to class, giving their best effort, and not staying in sleepy mode.
Switch up the scenery: Venture outside for a few lessons! For those experiencing nice spring weather, surprise your kids with class outside. This will awaken their senses and keep things fun.
Allow frequent breaks: I know, I know – the in-school schedule doesn’t make way for tons of breaks, but you must remember that your children are adjusting to a new, temporary norm. They’re feeling emotional, too. From missing their friends to lacking socialization hour, their thoughts and feelings aren’t in their usual space. So, if you notice your child drifting, offer a break. In our home, I usually encourage a break after two or three lessons.
Encourage online socialization: Sure, chatting via Zoom or FaceTime certainly isn’t the same as recess, but your kids will have a blast seeing their friends/classmates (after their lessons are finished, of course).
Read, read, read: Your kids have more downtime than before, and while we’re indoors, that can lead to lots of screen time. I’m certainly not against screen time. However, I also think this is a great opportunity to create a reading challenge. Challenge your kids to read a certain number of books in the month of April. If they reach that goal, reward them with something thoughtful!
Make electives FUN: Art, P.E., and music – it’s up to us parents to make these lessons fun! Get involved. Create art projects for your kids to do. Do a fun, at-home workout with your kids. Introduce your kids to new types of music. Your options are unlimited!
Challenge your children: Our kids learn at different paces, and that’s fine! However, if you notice that your kids are bored, possibly ahead of the curriculum they’re learning, be sure to seek additional lessons for them to complete, so that they feel challenged. Abeka.com is a great resource! They offer individual lessons and classes, in the event you’d like extra practice for your child. Their prices are very fair, too.
Utilize this time for real-world lessons: I enjoy having my kids in the kitchen with me, so that I can teach them different lessons about cooking. So, when it comes time for lunch, they help me prepare their food. This is a great opportunity to learn about measurements and healthy food choices. Also, feel free to utilize your downtime to teach other lessons such as money management, gardening, and other real-world lessons.
Parents, how is your homeschool experience panning out? What are your thoughts about this new model of education?
We’re all in this together, and we’re all trying to do the best we can with what we have. Stay indoors and stay safe. Hang in there!
Readers, don’t be shy. Contact me and share your thoughts. Until next time!