I have combed through many homeschooling sites and Facebook groups and came away with a few key homeschooling tips that I am using, maybe these help you.
Millions of parents all over the country have found themselves teachers with the closing of school. It is overwhelming for some and totally easy for others. Some people have a strict schedule, others don’t. Some people just let kids watch TV, others let them play. There is no right or wrong answer. Do what works for you.
I am not a strict scheduler, but I like to have a rough plan. I also need to do some work to keep the studio going and keep fulfilling orders. So work for a few hours in the morning while my son studies math and then a few hours in the afternoon while he is having a book rest. I realize this isn’t possible for many.
Here are some homeschooling tips now that we are a teacher.
1. Set goals for this homeschooling time with your kid. I think it will be about three months but who knows.
My son is PreK/K. The goals I have for him are to learn to tie his shoes, read a clock(tell time), remember the days of the week (he could care less because every day is Saturday in his mind) and to learn to read by the time September comes. When we accomplish one goal, we will move on to others. Gradually I will let him set some himself.
2. Do a little unschooling. This is something that homeschoolers do where they just let the learner’s interests lead the course of study. I sort of did that with Mo. I asked him what do you want to learn about. He said PLANETS!!!! I said OK, let’s figure it out.
Today, we looked at a map of the solar system and then traced circles for the planets (fine motor skills), he then wrote the names of the planets on the paper (handwriting and fine motor skills and spelling and phonics), then he painted three of them to resemble the pictures we looked at. As he was painting them, I would read him facts about each planet. I was learning too. We did all of this outside in our backyard in the sun. I recently read that the sun, fresh air and masks helped flu victims of the 1918 pandemic. So I thought, lets go outside and paint and have lessons (https://firstname.lastname@example.org/coronavirus-and-the-sun-a-lesson-from-the-1918-influenza-pandemic-509151dc8065) He got tired of doing it after painting three planets so we moved on.
3. Set age appropriate time frames, but be flexible if your kid is on a roll and wants to continue the subject. Mo worked on those planets for an hour and a half. Wow. He said it was the highlight of his day AND he fed the dog without me having to ask him five times. He was proud of himself and felt empowered. He was excited!
4. Slow down and figure out the learning opportunity. Every little thing we do can have a lesson. Baking (measuring, fractions, science), writing a thank you note (hadnwriting, spelling, story telling, literacy), folding clothes, well maybe not this, but I would love for Mo to fold all the clothes.
5. Buy games that are fun to play AND teach math or reading. We like Dragonwood, Math Bingo, Zingo with sight words, Spelligator, Loot, and I am testing a bunch more to see if we enjoy them.
6. Learn a new skill together. Mo and I are learning Chess! He loves it. I have always wanted to play so here we go! We are using “No Stress Chess” Piano is next. I just have to find one.
7. Don’t forget exercise! My goal is to give Mo 2-3 hours of exercise a day. It is the goal. Some days I don’t make it but if I give him an hour and a half, then that is more than he got in school. Trampolines in the backyard count!
8. Take notes. We are going to be doing this for at least two months and I want to have some structure when I need it. Every morning I write out a schedule that I think is how the day will go. Then at the end of the day, I rewrite the schedule to accurately reflect how the day went. This helps me figure out timing and how much we can do.
9. Book rests for the win! My mom raised my sister and I by herself, so to get a break, she used to make us take a book rest for an hour or more in the afternoon when we were all home together. You didn’t have to sleep, you just had to be on your bed with a book. Thanks Mom!. I can already tell this will bring me much joy on those days when I have had it or need to get something done.
Good luck! Please email me with your suggestions. Like you I am always looking for good ideas.
I have had a little bit of insomnia over the past few weeks and here are some resources that I have found that are so fun and I will try to fold into my days when I need to work or a bit of down time.
Authors reading books and having mini-reading sessions
Virtual Field Trips
Cincinnati Zoo has some great programming- Mo and I watched a hippo being born.
That is a good start. I will be adding more as I find it.
Homeschooling tips for the busy mama. Homeschooling tips for the desperate parents. Homeschooling tips that can make the next eight weeks fun.
If you want to read more about photographing your child at home, please go here. Pro-tips for photographing your own newborn at home