I’ve had quite a few friends ask for my recommendations regarding the new “homeschool” initiative and how to incorporate a schedule for their kiddos. So, figured I would just write a general post about how we got through our transition from public school to homeschool initially. I know this is a little different because public school is still involved in your child’s curriculum and we dont know how long this hiatus will last but if you want to keep your sanity here are my recommendations regardless of the “type” of current homeschooling you plan to do. Everyone and every family is different so ultimately you need to do what works for you. 😊
I invite other ideas and recommendations in the comments too. We are all in this together! Any other questions, just ask. If I don’t know I bet I have a homeschool momma friend that does.
1- Unschool the first week (at minimum) with exception of reading and what they would do for their typical homework time, just do not fill their day from 8-3 with what you think school looks like. This is a change for everyone and everyone needs time to slowly adjust.
2- Kids learn through life! Board games, outdoors, conversations, Art, crafts, movies and plain observations of their world.
3-Electronics are great tools and there are a ton of free educational resources going around. I have posted some the past few days. You can use these on top of whatever programs your kids may have been sent home with. Youtube is an AWESOME resource for just about anything! One of our favorites is still the ‘Homeschool Pop’ channel.
4-Let your kiddos know what to expect in advance. Some kids need firm structure and others can go with the flow. I have 1 of each lol so they both have to adapt to some degree. I may not know today what tomorrow is going to look like exactly, but there is always a general schedule set. I like to say we are flexibly structured 🤪
5- BREAKS ARE NECESSARY FOR EVERYONE! After we deduct all the downtime kids actually experience in public school (lining up, walking halls, lunch, bathroom breaks, assemblies, gym, recess etc) the amount of daily academic learning is not even close to the 7 hours they are there. I say this to relax you. You got thi s!!
6- Go outdoors everyday! Unless the weather is beyond standing in, get that fresh air and Vitamin D! There are hidden gems of walking trails everywhere. They need to get that energy out somewhere. If you have to stay inside, have a dance party or let them play hide and seek. Time them as they run up and down the staircase in your house or give them a timed treasure hunt of items to get in a specific order. There are tons of ways to burn that energy!
7- Chores!!! If they don’t have them, they should and they should be incorporated in my opinion even before the unschool period is over. Depending on the ages of your kiddos there are various chores they are capable of doing around the house inside and out. Chores help with not only responsibilities but also learning and structure.
8-Interact with them. This was hard for me at first I cant lie. It’s easy to give instruction and pick up your phone especially now in all the uncertainty but they crave your attention and you. Put the phone down while your helping them learn unless it’s urgent. Take small peeks if you need too but if it can wait, let it wait. This is good for you too. I promise!
9-They are YOUR kids! You know what they need and you might even learn more about them. Trust your instincts and your own judgement.
10-Make the memories! Life is slowing down! This may actually be the bright side in all of this. Having more time together as a family may be just what we all need despite the reasons.