Easy tips for “School at Home”

This past month has really been fraught with a number of changes. One of those changes is that your home now likely doubles as a school! All of the many (and crazy) changes have been difficult for kids and parents, alike. Here are some homeschool tips to help make you and your kid’s home/school life a little easier!

Turning life into learning

You can use the care and management of your household to teach a lot of lessons. Have kids help you cook! They can measure ingredients, and you can ask them to double and triple it in their heads. Have them determine the (rough) square footage of a room while they vacuum by counting feet. Have them help determine what snacks to order at your online grocery store with a $30 budget. Have younger kids match socks!

Individualize

It’s really difficult to individualize learning styles for 30 kids in a classroom, but one of the best parts of homeschooling is your children can learn how they learn best. Some students need quiet; some students need music. Kids sometimes work best independently while others may need lots of support. If you have a busy work schedule, enlist the help of your older children to assist younger siblings who might need additional help. Some very social kids may do better if they can work on some assignments with friends in a video chat session and others might want to do their work locked up alone in a room. If possible, accept their learning styles and foster them.  Many kids perform better when they can start later in the morning while others might be more productive in the afternoon. 

Cut the choices to two

There are a gazillion online resources (games, books, videos) out there for your kids to get all kinds of educational experiences. Focus on a few that will help your child maintain their literacy and math levels and review all old concepts. Also, this is a wonderful opportunity to turn kids’ education into one that is interest-based. If they have always wanted to teach themselves guitar, then let them go for it. If they have always wanted to learn to knit, order that ball of yarn and needles. They want to learn and build circuits, by all means cut them loose. Or check out our Play @ Home page, a curated list of STEAM learning at home. 

Assignments from schools

Many schools are providing educational materials and assignments for kids to review what they have learned this year. These can be great, but some can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Determine a healthy and stress-free amount for your kids and let that be your guide. Your children, whether they can express it or not are feeling a lot of the same stress as you are—something is off—something isn’t right with the world. This can cause a lot of anxiety. Then throw on a ton of schoolwork without the added support and instruction, along with parents who may still be working and stressed to boot, and you have a recipe for disaster. Give yourself and your kids grace and be okay with saying, my child has learned enough today.

Routine can be good

Just like it is for adults, a routine can be good, but again, as mentioned, be willing to adapt a bit and go with the flow. Having kids get up, eat, work on school, and have play time as a routine can be really effective for a lot of adults and kids. It may not be a positive for others. Know your kids, have reasonable expectations, a baseline routine, and then add in some wiggle room for the late bedtime to have a family movie night or a group chat with their friends.

This is a most-unusual time with a lot of uncontrollable variables. Do the best you can, give yourself and your kids some grace, and most importantly, spend time with each other. You will never get this extensive time with each other back, so enjoy. 

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