I homeschooled both of my children for most of their early education. My daughter homeschooled through sixth grade and my son through third. Homeschooling can be amazing and bring so much joy! However, not everyone is meant to homeschool. Don’t let Coronavirus or anything else force you to homeschool. You don’t have to homeschool.
You Don’t Have to Homeschool
If you have wanted to homeschool, ignore this post. If homeschooling is your dream, ignore this post. My heart goes out to those who are feeling forced into something they don’t want to do. Your situation may differ depending on where you live as well. I am only speaking from my experience.
Take advantage of online resources
Are you worried about a learning gap in your child during this season without school? Guess what. You don’t need to let it shut you down. There are some fantastic online resources that are here to help. Many of these are low cost and offer you the ability to pick which skills your child can work on.
If you are looking for a website with learning components, you can work with Khan Academy – This site has a HUGE selection of lessons for all levels! I highly recommend looking at state standards to see what your students are currently working on.
Focus on the cores
When children come home for an extended period for sickness or other reasons it can be tempting to try and get in every single subject in and imitate school. You actually don’t have to do this. Instead, focus on the cores.
When focusing on math you will want to look at concepts your child has already been working on in school. It’s always a good time to refresh math facts, do some practice problems with a concept they are working on, or utilize math websites for learning.
Don’t assign a great deal of reading work. Instead, assign some daily fun reading. I don’t recommend going out and getting tons of school reading options. Instead, opt for a certain amount of reading each day with a book your child already enjoys. Reading time can be a great time for quiet time in the house if you need a break from the noise as well!
Depending on the age of your child, you will be tempted to work on all of the different writing skills out there. Instead, print out some free creative writing printables or some free writing printables that line up with school standards.
Don’t stress the test!
Many people will think about tests like the FSA or other tests that are used to define whether a student has been successful with their learning over the course of the school year. These tests do not need to stress you. These tests can be postponed to give your students ample time to study. These tests are also only there to measure progress and will not ultimately define your child.
Learn through life.
Many of the concepts your child will need to learn can be learned through life. Get them in the kitchen with you cooking to work on math, chemistry, and following directions in a sequence. There are many ways for kids to learn from everyday life that won’t require bookwork and teaching from you.
Get out the board games!
Skip the curriculum and pull out some of your board games. Don’t have board games yet? I have a great list of games for you! Playing board games can be a great time for children to work on strategy, learn to think logically, and just have fun.
It doesn’t have to take long!
If you have a child who is working on some of the different learning concepts, you don’t have to reproduce school at home. Keep it simple until school resumes. Many parents have their kids at home and think they need to spend hours on schoolwork. When you eliminate the groups in a classroom and bring it to a smaller setting, education takes much less time!
Reach out to the teacher.
Many teachers will have resources and options for what your student can do to supplement their education while they are out of school. Instead of panicking, write the teacher and ask for options for your student. They may suggest online resources, have your child work through an online learning platform they approve, or give you a list of homework for your child.
Take advantage of online learning.
Do you anticipate being out of school for longer? Don’t let it overwhelm you. There are some fantastic programs for online learning. Khan Academy, Teaching Textbooks, Acellus Power Homeschool, and state virtual schooling are all options worth considering. Utilizing an online learning platform can help your child to learn without you having to do all of the teaching on your own.
Take a look at the bigger picture.
Education is a process over the course of your child’s childhood. It is not made or broken on a few weeks of downtime. While it can seem like the missing time for an issue will derail all learning your child has done, it really won’t. Your child’s school will offer makeup work and there will be time to learn the material they need to learn. Don’t let the fear of missing something cause you to overwhelm yourself with homeschooling commitments.
Reach out to homeschool friends.
If you are considering homeschooling as an option to keep your child on the level you want them on, reach out to friends who homeschool. (Don’t have friends who homeschool? I have a homeschool Facebook group for you.) Talk to your friends and find out what works for them.
It can also help you to see areas where you might be setting yourself up to be overwhelmed. Hold an honest conversation with your homeschool friends and find out what you can add in easily and which resources they recommend avoiding. Not all educational products are created equally. By having these conversations, you can save yourself some money.