I am asked repeatedly if I miss homeschooling. My answer is consistently a resounding, “no.” The only part of homeschooling I miss is the flexibility that it afforded. We were able to travel the world and homeschool on the road. When we read a book, we could visit the city where the book took place. Since the Coronavirus has pushed me back into the homeschool teacher seat, I thought I should share how I’m planning to go about my day and what tools I am using.
The schedule is critical. Starting off the day the same as usual helps get kids back into the mindset of learning. After breakfast, everyone cleans up and we set up our stations around the table. Each kid gets out a pen, pencil, and paper. They do this themselves. I set the older ones up first and I give them their instructions and they are off. My Pre-K child requires more one on one, so I sit next to her until she is at a place where she can go at it alone. From there, I alternate between each kid. My oldest is a teenager and his school provided him with lessons. He only needs a prodding now and then.
When I homeschooled in the past, I purchased all my materials and plans. I’m not doing that for this brief time. I went back and looked through my old lessons to the times I needed help in teaching a subject. During the quarantine period, I am using those sites as our curriculum.
Here’s my homeschool day:
Reading: I’m using Scholastic. The tutorials are self-guided, which means little involvement from me. The reading assignment combines with a science lesson.
Grammar: Khan Academy will be your best friend while homeschooling. The step-by-step lessons are easy to manage and to plug in and out of. I also like to add Mad Libs to learn grammatical terms. They also write in two books. One book they use as a journal and the other they are writing their own story.
Math: Khan Academy.
Government: This is a great time to be studying Government and iCivics is the perfect site. Kids (and you) can learn about how our government was formed and how it is supposed to work.
History: We are watching Liberty’s Kids, which is about 3 kids working for Benjamin Franklin during the Revolutionary War. The kids are fictional, but the events in the story are real.
Spanish: My kids are in a dual-language program and I don’t want them falling behind. Problem is, I am not a Spanish speaker. For those lessons, I am relying on various YouTube channels like Rock ‘N Learn and Spanish for Kids.
Getting energy out:
The kids are bound to get restless and for those moments, I use Go Noodle. There’s a good chance you’ll end up doing the dances as well. I have recently begun doing yoga with my kids after stumbling across Cosmic Kids. It’s a fun way to introduce kids to Yoga, or help you get a few minutes to catch up on your work.
You’ll be surprised at how much kids can pack in when they are not waiting for the rest of the class. This is a weird time, so take time off and have a marathon movie day when the time calls. You’re the judge of what your kids can do and what you are capable of. Don’t compare your house to others. If the day is turning stressful, drop everything. You will not solve it by forcing everyone to work.
That’s my plan and my advice. I would love to hear how you are teaching in the midst of COVID-19 in the comments below.