COCID-19 has changed our way of life across the globe. Countries are on lockdown, cities are closed for business, and families are having to self-isolate like never before.
And if — like most people — this unprecedented time has left you needing to homeschool your child, you might be feeling a little confused as to what you should do next.
Whilst homeschooling is a credible and popular alternative to in-school education, it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. In fact, families often take months, if not years, to decide whether homeschooling is right for them.
And once that decision is finally made, it can take a long time before the right structure, approach and curriculum is fully defined. So, don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel like you’re in the dark on how to homeschool. You’re not alone!
But if you follow these four homeschool hacks, you’ll find it far easier than expected to deliver top quality quarantined lessons (without pulling your hair out!).
#1: Throw out that overly ambitious schedule
If you’ve homeschooled before, you’ll know how important it is to strike the balance between productivity and space to rest and play.
Teaching your child from home is, of course, very different to sending them to school. Yet, it’s not unusual to find that some parents default to the structure of a traditional school day — particularly those who are just starting out.
But thanks to the streamlined and individualized nature of homeschooling, you’ll soon learn that much of a day’s teaching can be achieved far quicker at home than it can at school.
And that’s why, particularly in these stressful times, there’s really no need to overwhelm your kids with an action-packed schedule — especially if you’re only homeschooling on a temporary basis.
Teachers will have the right measures in place to ensure that students aren’t going to fall behind once the school gates are open again. So if your children will be returning to school, try not to pressure yourself (or them) with unachievable aims while they’re at home.
Instead, focus on covering a few core topics each day, and scale it up from there. Homeschooling isn’t meant to work overnight, so don’t expect too much from yourself at this early stage.
#2: Look for lessons in everyday life
Since many of you will have suddenly been thrown into homeschooling, it’s unlikely you’ll have a solid plan in place on how, or even what, to teach your kids.
But the good news is there’s plenty to teach and share in everyday life.
You could teach math, for example, by counting up the weekly shopping budget, and biology by categorizing all the different insects your kids can find in the backyard.
And when it comes to teaching subjects like home economics, you could really take advantage of being home-based by making a lesson out of family cooking and baking. What’s the best temperature to cook dinner this evening? How will you get your 5-a-day for the rest of the week?
The point here is that no one expects temporary homeschoolers to suddenly deliver a full curriculum overnight. A more organic and natural approach to homeschooling will certainly do the trick.
#3: Flip negatives on their head!
Although it might be hard to see this stressful and uncertain time beyond face value, coronavirus has opened up some interesting opportunities for homeschoolers.
Yes, you’re stuck inside. Yes, the kids have too much energy! But you may be able to see things you never thought you’d see.
Art galleries and zoos across the world have started to live stream ‘virtual tours’ to bring some light to this dark time — a great opportunity for your kids to experience world-class cultural hotspots without the attached expenses.
And, since these are unconventional times, now would also be a great opportunity to let your children learn more independently by playing, without the worry of looming homework set by school. Evening hours that may previously have been spent on homework can now be valuable family bonding times. Put on a film and cuddle up, or play a board game around the dinner table. This pace of life requires us to go a little slower, and there’s a lot to gain from that if you’re willing.
#4: Use worksheets to both support and guide your children’s learning
Again, if you’re brand new to homeschooling, it’s totally understandable to feel lost at sea. From creating lesson plans to providing the right resources, it can be really tricky to implement effective learning in the home with little to no notice!
There is a quick solution, though, to focusing your children on schoolwork at home — and that’s worksheets. Most homeschoolers find that the use of fun, educational worksheets can really help to bring structure to home-based learning.
And when you’re not in-the-know on how, or even what, to teach your children, using worksheets can be a clever shortcut to ensuring your kids don’t miss out on learning the fundamentals during COVID-19.
Here at KidsKonnect, we’ve got thousands of ready-to-print worksheets on all the essential school subjects (and more!). They’re informative, fun, and will cover everything your child needs to know when they’re not in school.
And now, over to you…
These are difficult times, and being thrown in the deep end of homeschooling doesn’t make it any easier. But try not to pressure yourself too much, and keep in mind that you aren’t expected to become a homeschool pro overnight.
Follow our tips, though, and you’ll be well on your way to helping your kids continue to learn and grow throughout this tricky period. For more advice on homeschooling, as well as access to some of the best educational resources out there, head over to our blog.
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Link will appear as 4 homeschool hacks to get your kids (and you!) through the Coronavirus quarantine: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 4, 2020