As a former homeschool mom, I thought I would share a few of my top tips if you are tying to figure out what to do with your kids for the next few weeks at home.
Maybe your school had time to plan ahead and sent home activities for your children. Or maybe they set students up with some online learning. But many schools had very little time and just sent students home telling parents to do your best. Yikes!
I have 4 kids and due to an unexpected life twist, I homeschooled them for 6 years. We did a lot of things that worked, and lot of things that didn’t work!
So I thought I would share my thoughts.
First of all…Don’t Panic! It’s hard to learn in a stressful environment. Don’t feel like you need to do ‘school at home’. Kids actually learn a lot from just taking part in normal daily activities! Things like baking/cooking with you, playing games, helping you make a grocery list/meal plan and reading reading reading!
Let them explore their own interests! Kids learn best when they are interested in the topic they’re learning! We have a unique opportunity right now to let kids guide their own curriculum. Education is so much more about learning HOW to learn than learning any specific subjects or topics. So let them pick a topic and allow them to read and research on their own. Maybe they’ll be able to draw a picture or make a book or show and tell you what they’re learning.
Ex: My daughter was super in to sea otters. We read books and searched websites. I asked her questions like, “Where do they live?, What do they eat?”, etc. She made a book full of the facts she found with some pictures she drew. At a later date, we visited the zoo/aquarium so she could see them up close and personal. That is just one example of how we successfully allowed the kids to guide their own learning experiences.
Get Outside! Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go for walks, hikes, fly kites, ride bikes, skateboard, shoot hoops, play catch, etc. Fresh air can do wonders for your mental and physical health! We can all use a little more vitamin D this time of year! It will even help boost your immune system!
IF you feel like you need a little more guidance or structure, there are lots of websites that might be helpful. We occasionally used www.time4learning.com – which I think allows for affordadable monthly memberships. Kahn Academy is a great resource for kids of all ages, too. They even have some great test prep options for high school students with upcoming SAT/ACT testing – and it’s free!
Remain calm! This can be a stressful time and putting additional pressure on yourself and your kids won’t help. Seek balance in downtime, play time and learning time. And finally, trust that we’re all just doing our best to keep our families, loved ones and the most vulnerable members of our communities safe and healthy.
And this too shall pass.
PS. You can try my home workouts for free!