Parents normally have some time to think about what homeschooling will look like for their family before being thrust into it. Feeling unprepared is one of the main reasons we get phone calls. Here are a few tips I give to parents when they are just starting out:
Don’t feel like you immediately have to jump into structured. Give you and your family a few days to “deschool”. Have fun together, read books, play games, and bond. Do let the kids know when you guys will be starting “homeschool” and what it will look like.
Try to make a routine not a schedule: one of the major things I learned while homeschooling is that life happens and you may not be able to do all of the things you have scheduled. Children may want to learn more about a certain topic, conference calls interrupt your day, and you will be surprised about the amount of time kids spend eating when they are home all day. I found this to be a major component of being home. Preparing food and cleaning up after meals became a part of our routine.
Try to do academics in the morning if possible. Our brains are known to work better before noon and that goes for kids as well. If your school sent homework for the kids to do or if you have some ideas of lessons you would like to do, try to get them done in the morning when everyone is fresh from a good night's sleep.
Check out this amazing list of Education Companies offering free subscriptions now. One of my favorites learning for lower elementary Pre-K to 2nd Grade is Reading Eggs/Mathseeds. They automatically have a free 2 week trial and I have used their curriculum for tutoring, summer learning, and for the students in our schools. It is more than worth the $10 per month if you choose to continue using it. For our students above 3rd grade; Kahn Academy is great and free! Online tutoring is another option for families who want to keep the learning going while out of school. Reach out to us here if you want to get your child on our schedule.
Pull out those crayons, paper, markers, paint, and crafting supplies to let kids have fun being creative. Art for Kid’s Hub has great tutorials and art projects to do for everyone. Screen free activities like board games, puzzles, and reading are other great ways to keep kids learning while home!
Spend as much time outside as you can! While playgrounds may not be the best idea right now, nature walks, hikes, and spending time in nature will be a necessity for the kids and adults taking care of them. Most of our homeschooling mamas agree this is a saving grace for their families. Nature is proven to build focus, concentration, and boost moods; things we could all use especially now. Here is a great list of nature activities to do at home that are great for kids of all ages!
Above all else, try to stay calm. Kids can sense anxiety. We added meditation and affirmations in our homeschool to help ease stress. Our favorite apps is Stop, Breathe,& Think. Yoga and exercise were other ways we stayed calm and active. Try to incorporate this into your homeschool routine and hopefully things will be back to normal in no time!