Are you looking for homeschool advice? Me too!
Around the world, many of us have found ourselves in recent weeks with schools closed, and parents having to step into the role of teacher. Whether your local school is providing distance learning or you are on your own for finding a homeschooling curriculum, we parents and caregivers have to step in to be a part of this process. Many of us are in a crash course of sorts of homeschooling for beginners as we learn on the job.
There are many who have done this before us, though. Many fellow bloggers and travel bloggers have already made the transition from traditional school to homeschooling or world schooling. Some are even teachers themselves! As it has been so helpful and reassuring for me, I have collected their best homeschool advice to share with you.
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Originally asked by Keri of Our Globetrotters blog (repurposed here with permission.) A huge thanks to Keri for the inspiration for this post!
Don't stress out, it takes time and they won't miss anything important, no need to be fighting about school work
Don’t feel pressure to be the perfect parent. It’s okay if they miss a day (or a week, or a month!) of lessons. Take this time to reconnect as a family.
Check out Astrid's suggestions for homeschool activities.
Find something they enjoy learning about. We found the girls were more likely to research something they are passionate about. And watch documentaries together!
Embrace the internet. We make hearty use of You Tube videos and Netflix documentaries to help teach new concepts, and it's a great break for us all. There are some fantastic resources out there to back up anything you are teaching.
At least in the primary grades, you need A LOT less time for traditional schoolwork than you think, and it doesn’t all have to be in one block.
Play games together. Our girls are still elementary school age, so we can easily combine math skills in card games (crib, Monopoly, dice games, Sushi go, etc.) with quality family time. And, it’s enjoyable for everybody!
With so many children being home educated at the moment, there are lots of parents feeling pressure to keep up with a structured timetable, while also working from home. A top tip of mine to help with this is the Reading Eggs app.
We’ve been using this as part of our homeschooling while we’ve been traveling full time for the past nine months in addition to our world schooling.
It’s important to not overload yourself. As a secondary science teacher, I believe the most important skills to focus on for all types of learning are reading and numeracy. The Reading Eggs app, suitable for ages 2-13, is an invaluable resource for both of these. It allows our girls, ages five and three, to learn on their own with minimal input from us, developing both reading and numeracy.
Through a number of activities including stories, lessons, and testing, they collect rewards by completing tasks, which they can then use to play games. The app improves both core skills and working independently, while also providing incentives to keep little ones interested. They just love to spend their rewards on games and avatars.
Relax and make it fun! Learning doesn't take place solely at a desk, but rather, throughout life! Kids can learn (and have fun) by baking, building things, reading, playing games, and being out in nature. Most homeschooling families have gone through trial and error to figure out what works for their families, so give yourself some grace, and don't give up if the first thing you try doesn't work.
A rigid schedule doesn't work for everyone! Don't be afraid to experiment with how your day looks like; right now for my kids, it works best to do all formal school work in the morning so they know they have their entire afternoon free to explore, build, and play on their own terms.
We also swear by a one hour ‘rest period' even though they've long outgrown naps; after lunch everyone is quiet and they usually listen to an audiobook while they build quietly with legos in their room. Tips for getting started with audiobooks as young as 3 years old here.
As a homeschool mom of 25 years, I would like to give two very important pieces of advice to you who have been thrust into having school at home because of the Covid-19.
The first is just to clarify that ‘quarantine schooling' is not the same thing as homeschooling. What you are doing is much harder because you didn't choose it, and you're having to scramble to figure out how to do it all of a sudden.
And, you are pretty much isolated to home and primarily have only online resources. This is much harder than real homeschooling. So give yourself a break and understand that you're probably doing much better than you think!
And the second thing is I want to share some really strong encouragement from the depths of my heart, to remember that even with all the schooling that needs to be done, your family and your relationships need to come first. Be careful to not let your home become a stress-filled school environment, but rather a home that is nurturing and full of love and encouragement during this crazy time.
Family is most important, school is secondary. And the cool thing is that when you keep these priorities straight, everything will go better.
We've been a homeschooling family for 10 years, and travel a lot with our five kids. I have a whole Homeschooling tab on my blog.
Amber's How To Start Homeschooling post offers great advice, such as starting small, making a schedule, assigning chores, using online resources, and even tips for working from home while homeschooling. Her best tip? Just do it!
Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!