Homeschooling can be very exciting and rewarding for both the parents and students. Many parents are inexperienced with homeschooling and may feel nervous about taking on the responsibility. It’s important to remember to give yourself some grace during this transition as there will inevitably be an adjustment period for both the parent and the student as they adapt to the new schedule of remote learning Here you will learn a few ways to prepare for homeschooling, how to utilize technology effectively, and the importance of taking a break when you need to.
Prep Guide for Homeschooling
Here are some tips to prepare for homeschooling:
Provide Yourself Time to Reflect and Plan
Consider what will work best for you in terms of:
- Free time
Think about your kid’s needs, personality and learning style when designing a homeschooling plan.
- Visual: Learn by Seeing
- Charts & Graphs
- Graphic Organizers
- Lesson Outlines
- Picture Aids and PowerPoints
- Auditory: Learning by Hearing
- Listening Centers
- Verbal Instructions
- Repeat to a Friend
- Read & Write: Learn by Reading & Writing
- Books & Texts
- Note Taking
- Kinesthetic: Learn by Doing
- Incorporate Body Movement
- Tactile- Touch, Feel
Many parents at home with their kids will have to work remotely as well. If you are married, talk with your spouse about sharing the load and balancing work time.
Understand that this is all new. So, do not compare yourself with your neighbors or friends. And do not try to recreate school itself. This should be a temporary situation that can add a bit more stress in your life. It can also be exciting, and there are many ways to bring the best out of this unique time.
Build a Schedule
Children do better with learning when they have routine. Giving student’s structure and letting them know what to expect will help keep them organized and more productive in their learning. Creating a schedule and having a plan in place will provide your kids with security.
You may want to divide up the day with:
- Outside play
- Screen time
There are many ways to organize your day such as having your child complete their schoolwork right away in the morning and using the afternoon for downtime, or working off and on throughout the day with scheduled breaks in-between. There is no definitive right or wrong way to schedule your homeschooling, it’s whatever works best for you and your student, and that you have a schedule outlined.
Some schools already have a schedule in place where your child will have planned online, school time, with their usual recess and lunch breaks in between.
One of the most important things you can do to be successful in homeschooling is to stick to a consistent schedule.
Contact your school district to see if they have virtual learning online resources available. Most will. They may send packets to you through the mail, or the information will be available online. There are also online education companies that provide free access to materials. Go through these materials and see how you can work them into your child's daily assignments. Take into consideration your child's interests with writing prompts, art classes, and such.
Utilizing Technology for Homeschooling
You will find a range of educational technology companies that provide families with free educational resources.
For instance, there's ABCmouse which is a learning program that covers:
- And more
They provide this through puzzles, books, and games.
Another resource is BrainPOP which offers learning movies and games across an array of topics in:
- Social Studies
You also have Khan Academy, a nonprofit education company that provides instructional videos and practice exercises in history, STEM, and more.
Taking a Break
Don't be afraid to take a break and walk away from virtual school every now and then when you need to.
Every day, remember to be kind to yourself and patient with your child. This might not have been what was originally planned, but everyone is doing their very best to be positive and safe. Be sure to take care of yourself each day so that you are in the best position to help your child succeed in homeschool.
Stay connected with people virtually. Create group chats with your friends and family so you can share complaints, stories, experiences and photos.
By planning and creating routines you can ensure your child continues receiving the best education possible. Use the technology and resources available to make your job as your child's homeschool teacher easier. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it or take a break and step back for a moment.