Updated: Apr 13
As many of us have had to adjust to a new (hopefully temporary way of life) We've been thrusted into situations that are both foreign to us and difficult to have possibly prepared for.
One being thrusted into homeschooling our children, homeschool in its self is definitely not something you want forced upon you. Yet, here we are trying to make the best out of a less than ideal situation. I've been homeschooling my daughters since late September and I thought I'd share some helpful tips to tide you over. These are just my opinions and what works for me, my girls are 6 and 11. I should also note homeschooling and having school at home may have a very different criteria that needs to be met. My tips are less about academics and more about what helped me adjust, even though I chose to homeschool, It was still quite the bear undertaking.
Tips that worked for me
I still run a business from home so structure and scheduled were very important for me, so I created a chart on poster board and put in each subject as well as time so that even if I was having an off day we would still at least have direction.
Alexa is my girl! I use the app to program her to help tell both me and my kids when one subject has ended an another has started. I program her to say things like; "Ok, let's move to the next subject", or "You did your best, you are done for the day!" Alexa also has lots of interactive games like "freeze dance and Simon says" that the kids can play without your help.
I let them work where ever they are comfortable, the couch, the table, if its warm outside they can go outside with their books.
We don't do school all day, we stick to a three hour schedule of actual workbooks, and apps after 12pm we are done. School is Monday through Friday.
Grace, it's frustrating as heck sometimes. Especially with all this extra stuff going on, give yourself grace, give your kids grace, to make mistakes, to be confused, to be antsy. It is really "interesting" to adjust to at first, find your groove at your own pace.
I've discovered there are more ways to learn than in a book or in a classroom setting. I know many of you guys got booklets you have to follow, but how you actually teach your kid is up to you. I use apps, youtube videos, walks in the park, even play time can be time for learning.
Below I'm attaching all the resources I've used so far that have been helpful, some are free, some require a one time payment or a monthly subscription (that may be waved during these times).
Khan Academy - For Grades 1-12 all kinds of subjects - Free
Khan Academy Kids - Goes up to age 7, many different subjects (Free app)
Teachers Pay Teachers- Lessons plans developed by teachers, for all ages and grade levels (free and pay per assignment is available)
Outschool- Video classes in a variety of subjects, taught by actual teachers (classes start as low as $5)
Icivics.org- Government and civic studies (mostly for middle school and up) it's free but donations are encouraged
Prodigy Math App- Fun math games- Free- basic plan
Youtube- There are tons of videos. Here's some ideas on how to utilize this medium, also some specific channels I use.
Reading- type in a book you want to read and there is almost always a read A-long video that reads the book to your child. We have done this so many times, if we can't make it to the library or don't want to buy the book.
Math- Tons of math videos and instructions to help both you and your kids understand the problems.
Science- There are videos on fun and easy science experiments you can do inside your home as well as different subjects like, the human body and animals.
If you can type it in, youtube has a video for it, (I would recommend watching the first few minutes of a video before presenting it to your child, to make sure its age/grade level appropriate).
My Favorite Channels
Homeschool Pop- Variety of subjects for grades 1-6
Alphablocks- Phonics & Learn to read- 6 and under
Educational video for students- Great for quick biographies of historical figures and other educational stuff - Grades 1-8
Liberty Kids- Cartoons depicting real historical events- (my 6 year old gets lost here, but it works with my 11 year old)
Kids Health-(How the body works) Cute/funny videos about the human body
Here's some resources you may be familiar with but, they often require paid memberships to get into the more meatier content, but they have a lot of free content also.
Fitness Blender- This is mostly the one I use both for myself and the kids.
Just Dance- If you have the actual game you know how much fun this is! I love how people have uploaded them on youtube for everyone to enjoy. These are fun and really get your heart pumping, I think I enjoy it more than the kids!
So there it is, some tips I hope don't overwhelm you more than you already are. This too shall pass but in the meantime, we can treasure our health, our family and our children a little more. Even if it's by force, LOL!
P.S I've attached a screenshot of a blank version of my schedule for you to recreate, and an example of my filled in schedule if it helps. By no means am I saying do it any particular way, I'm just sharing what works for me and my family.
Take care and Stay Well!