Because of the Coronavirus, the US (among many other countries) is now being forced to shut their doors to many schools, colleges, stores, and restaurants.
Many parents are now being forced to stay home with their kids and are worried about how to now homeschool their kids. So I am here to give some helpful tips and advice on how to survive your days of homeschooling until the schools can open back up again. Yay!..
Who am I to give advice on Homeschooling? Someone who was homeschooled for 11 years, in public school for 2 (gotta count Kindergarten), and knows a thing or two about helping both kids and adults through homeschooling. That’s who!
Without further adieu, let’s get on with the advice!
Keep their routine the same.
Kids are used to spending school days doing the same thing week after week. Routines are good for kids, it lets them know what to expect for the day and what is expected of them. So the fact that they have to stay home and do something different (whether they know why or not) is already a scary thing.
The best thing you can do for your kids is to make sure that they have the same routine they had when they were at school. If they do certain subjects at certain times, make sure you help them follow that pattern. If they are used to having lunch at a certain time, make sure that that’s when they eat. And most importantly, give them plenty of breaks! It’s not always fun to do school work at home, especially if you’re used to doing work in a classroom surrounded by other kids. So giving them breaks, especially when they start to look frustrated with their school work, is always a great idea.
There are MANY ways to learn.
Whether the schools gave you their curriculum, or actual paperwork for them to do, or just gave you a website for them to learn on, understand that there are many ways to kids can learn things.
Yes, you should have them do what the teacher recommends they do. They need to stay up to date with what their class is learning so that they don’t fall behind when school eventually DOES start up again. BUT, there are so many ways to go beyond ‘conventional learning’!
- Let them watch a documentary on what they’re learning! It’ll probably stick in their heads better than reading it will, and YouTube has plenty of documentaries of all kinds for free!
- Have smaller kids? (Big kids can benefit too!) Schoolhouse Rock (also all over YouTube) is a great way to get lessons to stick in their heads! They have catchy songs about Science, Math, Grammar, History, Money Management, and Earth Science! There are plenty of songs and subjects that allow you to fit these songs into anything your child is currently learning!
- Teach your child the fundamentals of living! Cooking, sewing, cleaning, pet care, etc. These things might seem silly and easy, but these are going to be the building blocks that they use for the rest of their lives! As long as you’re stuck inside, might as well teach them something useful they’ll be using for the rest of their lives!
- Let them learn online with games! Games let kids learn without them feeling like they are learning, which is a win win for the parents and the kids! Math games and typing games are easy to find online, along with plenty of educational games for every subject!
- Let them play board games! Scrabble is a great way to learn new words! Let them use a dictionary and tell them that they have to give the definition of what the words mean (they can’t use the word if they can’t understand what it means)! Likewise; Monopoly is good for teaching money management, Yahtzee is great for teaching basic addition, and Jenga is perfect for any subject if you attach a question to each block! Feeling creative? Make your own trivia game and let kids compete against each other!
(There are plenty of games made JUST for teaching your kids that would be perfect for you to incorporate into their day. However, not many people can go out to the store right now and buy them, so I’m focusing on games that pretty much everyone has.)
- Get creative for PE! Want to add a little workout to the day to get some of the energy out of those wild kids? Yoga and other workout videos can be found on YouTube. Also try some video games if you have them! The Wii and X-Box Kinect are also great ways to let your kids get their energy out when/if they can’t go outside at the moment. Have little ones that just want to dance? YouTube is full of dance videos for kids that make them feel like they are playing a game (but really it’s just a recording)! Let them dance their hearts out while you sit back and cheer them on!
Give them a quiet place at a table/desk to do their work.
Giving kids a proper workplace that is quiet, workable, and not ‘too’ comfy will allow kids to get their work done much quicker than if you let them do their work in their rooms on their beds. (Trust me, as a former homeschool kid myself, the bedroom has too many distractions and it’s hard to keep an eye on us.. They will take advantage of that.) However, each kid is different in their own way and therefor learns in their own way. Some could probably get just as much work done while sitting on the couch vs sitting at the table. It just depends on how your child learns. (But you have been warned!)
Your job is pretty straight forward. Just make sure you check in on them (wherever they are) every once in a while, help them when they need it, and make sure they are actually doing their work. Easy peasy!
School can’t always be fun. Don’t get upset when your kids start to complain.
At the end of the day, school is still school.. It can’t always be fun and kids will still have to do whatever the rest of their class is doing as well. No matter how ‘fun’ you try to make it, your kids are going to moan, scream, cry, and complain at some point that it’s not what they want to do.
Don’t get discouraged!
Know that you’re doing your best with what you’ve been given.
Understand that it won’t be forever.
Sympathize with the fact that neither of you are used to this and that there is going to be some crying on both ends.
And remember to give yourself a break. ❤ You’re not a superhero, you’re human.
You’re going to be just fine! You’ve got this! And if all else fails; Put on an educational movie for them to watch, lock yourself in your bathroom with some of those hidden candy bars you hide from your kids, and give yourself a grown-up minute to calm down so that you don’t strangle anyone.
Good luck to all of those parents who now have to face the homeschooling route head on. There is really nothing I can say that will ‘quite’ prepare you for the adventures in homeschooling you’re about to endure. Don’t worry, you’ve got this!
Please share with all of your friends to help spread these helpful tips to all of those new homeschool parents out there. Stay safe everyone, and stay sane!
(Special shout-out to the lovely woman who suggested I write this post. Thank you! ❤ )