Schools may be closed for many more weeks to come, and our hardworking teachers are limited due to this distance from their students. That's why many parents have been taking on the role of educator in their household. However, as we all know, this isn't an easy task to pick up, especially with our own busy lives. We've come up with some basic strategies for parents to help tackle this new role.
First and foremost, your kids' teachers are the best resource. Reach out to them for help regarding curriculum and a listing of topics that were planned for the remaining year. There are plenty of homeschool resources available online. Check out some of these favorites that offer free materials:
Teachers Pay Teachers
IXL English Language Arts
Set up a schedule for your kids to follow. School is routine. Classes start at a specific time, followed by scheduled breaks. Establish this format in the home. Have your kids wake up and get ready for "school" like they normally would. Designate an area of the home that will stand in for their classroom. Provide them with a structure to follow, like math drills for the first hour, a break, then language arts studies for another hour. Here's your chance to implement a rewards-based system. For every question they get right, they earn a minute of television time during their break.
Tips and Tricks
The following list of tips come from homeschooling parents who have shared their experience to help other parents get through this difficult time.
Kelly Rummel shares the lessons she learned from the many years she's been homeschooling her kids. Her number one tip is to set the tone. These are scary times, even more so for your kids. Sure, it can be exciting for them too, but let's remember that kids are very intuitive. They can sense what's going on, even if they don't understand it. People around them are stressed, scared and confused. It's important to start the day calm, happy and peaceful, as Kelly reminds us. Read more of Kelly's tips here.
Some other great advice from Anya Kamenetz and Cory Turner reminds parents to be forgiving of themselves and their kid. It's a lot of pressure to take on the role of educator. Give yourself some space and don't be afraid to ask for help. Read more of Anya and Cory's tips here.
The Survival Mom offers her top 16 tips for beginning homeschoolers. She recommends seeing yourself more as a "facilitator to your child's learning". That means you're not going to give lectures, but rather help your child through the learning process. Give your kids the tools they need to teach themselves. Work alongside with them and you might start learning something new right alongside them. Read more of The Survival Mom's tips here.
Finally, take this time to teach your kids valuable life skills. Include them in your daily chores. Have them help with the laundry, or cook the next meal. Teach them a little bit about finance as you complete your daily banking. To get started, take a look at the many life skills resources we have available as ready-made lesson plans and as free extension activities.
Don't forget, you have unlimited access to our complete catalog of free worksheets from our FREE CONTENT page.