Coronavirus has changed the course on how the world moves. One of the side effects is the closure of schools. For parents, the adaptations toward homeschooling can be chaotic. They may not be prepared to take the load of school work, especially if they're still required to report to their jobs from home.
Although 60% to 80% of private school teachers have an advanced degree, many parents are just now realizing how necessary having a degree in education might be. However, homeschooling shouldn’t make you feel bad about your teaching inexperience. Remember that your sanity and patience are crucial to get through these unforeseen situations.
As long as you allow your kids to learn from activities they enjoy, you will be surprised with the outcome. This information itself can be a motivator for many parents. But of course, converting your home to a part-time classroom requires multiple steps. The bright side is that there are multiple resources to make the experience easier for you and your little ones. Here are a few tips to keep in mind
Create a Schedule
Adapt your kid’s school schedule to one that can fit your home routine. While having a packet of the school curriculum is a good reference to move forward, you can adapt the amount of time your kids spend on each activity with more breaks in between.
You, like many other parents, may try to match the classroom setting. It is crucial to keep in mind that your kids may learn even more than they do at school. It is all about balance.
Take Advantage of Online Learning Resources
The amount of resources we have at our fingertips is outstanding. Become familiar with the following to keep your children busy with the same caliber of education they can receive at school.
Discovery K-12 is an online homeschool platform for Pre K-12 to grade 12. It includes more than 16,000 lessons and access to eBooks. Check out their curriculum by grade with STEM and arts focuses.
Arcademics is another free resource, but this one mixes exciting learning content with videogames for kindergarten to eighth grade. This is a great option for when your kids want to play videogames because they can learn school subjects, too.
3P Learning contains relevant activities, games, and resources that are designed for schools and families, covering mathematics, literacy, and spelling.
Go With the Flow
Allow your kids to release their energy through dancing and even yoga. Physical health enhances mental health, so make yourself familiar with GoNoodle -- where you can find downloadable home activities, mini-games to wake up their bodies. Lectured yoga videos with movement and mindfulness are also excellent.
Creating a time in the day for reading books that your kids will enjoy is part of a successful homeschooling practice. You can have a read-out-loud session, where you read a paragraph or a page to your kids, after which they'll read out loud to you. The next day, you can ask them what they remember and liked about the story you read the night before.
Because of the Covid-19 impact on schools, the website Vooks is offering a whole month of free access to eBooks. Libby is another resource and a great app; all you need is your library card and you have access to several eBooks for all ages.
Schedule Virtual Play Dates
It is almost inevitable that your little ones are going to miss their classmates. Giving them some time to interact virtually through multiplayer games and FaceTime will make quarantine life easier for them and for you. Use technology to your advantage and ensure your children are able to keep learning through socialization.
Prioritize Play Time
Another thing that will become inevitable is some boredom. If your little ones are bored, it is good to encourage them to have some unstructured playtime. This will make them feel more motivated to continue the rest of their homeschooling because they will know that eventually, they'll be able to take a break.
Don't Become Married to Your Routine
Having a dependable routine can help when so much feels outside your control. But since you are going to spend so many hours with your family, make the most of your time together. Grab the board games that you have up on a shelf, watch some fascinating documentaries or movies, have a dance party, camp out in the living room, and set aside time for other fun family activities. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is that your kids are happy, healthy, and learning. That may not look like how it does in the classroom, but it doesn't mean that you aren't doing your job as a parent.
Reflect With Your Family
If you're able, ask your family members how the homeschooling process is impacting their day-by-day routines. Listen to their feedback. Maybe your kids would like to have an activity at a different time, watch different movies, or have more print activity sheets. Making some tweaks to the schedule based on helpful input can improve their learning atmosphere and help you learn at the same time your kids do.
There's no doubt this adjustment will be challenging -- and at times, you may think that you are not doing a great job. When that happens, you can compare other parents’ tips and exchange ideas. But always remember that your kids are uniques and that every child learns differently. This is the best time to learn, grow, and reconnect with your kiddos.