I say that I’m a longtime homeschool mom. Is six years a long time? Some days it feels like it! So, for those of you suddenly thrust, not by choice, into the world of having your kids learn at home, here are a few tips.
First, don’t try to recreate public school at home. It won’t work, and it’ll cause you and your child(ren) lots of headaches! I’m assuming you don’t have twenty children in your house, so don’t pretend you do. Guiding just a few students into learning is very different than a leading a classroom.
Second, favor routine over schedule. I’ve seen many elaborate daily schedules floating around social media right now. Some of them schedule out every hour of the day! Kids don’t need even moment filled. Now’s the time for them to explore what they’re passionate about! Give them the freedom to make some of their own choices.
Third, limit screen time. One of the schedules that I saw on Facebook included two hours of free TV time every evening. That can be a lot for kids! I find that when my kids are having too much screen time, they suddenly can’t entertain themselves. They’re bored all the time, and they don’t know what to do with themselves. If you find that happening to your kids, cut back on the electronics.
Lastly, simplify! Like I’ve already said, you’re not recreating a classroom at home. Learning doesn’t need to be complicated. It doesn’t even need to be adult led at all times. Here are some simple, yet powerful, activities that your kids can do, some with adult help, and some without:
- Read out loud to your kids. Depending on the ages of your children, it could be a picture book or a chapter book. Or both! One of our favorite evening activities, instead of a movie, is to have me read a chapter out loud from the book we’re reading together.
- Play a game. Board games and card games can be very educational. And so much fun! Find games you can play with your kids and ones that they can play without you.
- Set out stuff to craft. It doesn’t have to be something fancy. I’m talking about a box of crayons and some paper! If you have more than that, like ribbons and buttons and stamps and construction paper, put out some of that, too. Let them make what they want to create. Then when the time comes, have them help tidy up the crafting supplies.
- Turn on a radio drama or audio book. That way you can get some work done while your kids are still being enriched. Some of our favorites are audio book classics and fairy tales, G. A. Henty radio dramas, and Adventures in Odyssey.
- Cook together. Did you know that you can learn math, specifically fractions, while cooking? Yes, you can! Bake a cake, make cookies, cook some soup. The possibilities are endless.
- Send them outside. If you have a safe area for the kids to play outside, send them out as much as possible. Kids can learn so much from being outside with unstructured free time.
- YouTube kids exercise videos. My kids love to do kids yoga, and stretching really helps to calm their bodies.
See? It doesn’t have to be hard. Don’t even try to “homeschool” for this short period. Just let your kids pursue their passions for a few weeks. Let them soar!