We like to laugh about it because for some of us it is easier to laugh than to cry. We laugh at all the Facebook memes about parents teaching children to carry the one instead of using common core. Some laugh at memes about our children not being allowed to snack out of the cafeteria fridge, so we aren’t going to let them do it at home either. The bottom line is that many parents are feeling a little scared about having to homeschool their children during this crisis. So here are a few homeschooling tips during the Covid-19 pandemic that I thought might help.
Up until this year we have ALWAYS been a homeschooling family, but my youngest daughters decided they wanted to go to school this year. I didn’t want to tell them no, but I also was a little sad that I would no longer be spending all day with them. Some parents can’t imagine spending all day everyday with their kids, but personally I love it.
Homeschooling Tips For Non Homeschooling Parents
First and foremost do NOT try to recreate the classroom. Forget the classroom altogether! You can literally get your work done by sitting at the kitchen table, on your couch, piled up in bed, or outside on a blanket in the yard.
Kids learn so much more in a shorter amount of time at home than they do in a classroom. Why? Because the teacher (parent) only has a small number of children to teach rather than 40 other students competing for their attention. Students also don’t have as many distractions. So don’t make them sit for hours just because they would be at school from 8 to 3 everyday.
The beautiful thing about homeschooling is that if you want to play hooky you can! Don’t feel like doing math work? That’s fine! Go outside and collect leaves that your child can count. Don’t feel like doing science? That’s okay! Go on a nature walk. Don’t feel like doing Social Studies? Cook a meal together that is food someone in another country might eat every day! Learning doesn’t always have to be learned in a textbook or worksheet.
Learning Happens Everywhere
One great thing about homeschooling is that we can get creative in how we learn. Learning happens everywhere! Kids can literally use setting the table and having dinner as a math lesson. You can teach anything as simple as counting to more difficult lessons like fractions. Kids learn so much easier this way. Boring textbooks are not needed.
No more waking up to catch the bus at 6:45 am! Sleep in! You do not have to start schoolwork at 8:00 am. While some homeschool parents find it easier to keep a routine schedule, I personally found it easier to relax. Sleep til 10:00 am. Go outside until lunch. Don’t worry about school until you feel like it, even if that means you don’t start until 3:00 pm.
Watch Movies Together
There are sooooooo many great movies that can also be educational. Netflix is full of great documentaries, and you can also find them on many other movie platforms. YouTube can be a great resource as well. Sometimes seeing things play out will actually help students retain information.
Skip The History Book
Older students may usually have to memorize a ton of history facts including names and dates, but throw all of that out of the window. As an adult can you honestly say that you remember all those history facts from high school? I don’t! But you know what I can do? Look them up online! Skip the history book and just let them read a book such as “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” for a Holocaust lesson, or a book about Harriet Tubman for a lesson on slavery. You can knock out history AND reading all at the same time which leaves more time for fun stuff!
While many of our favorite places such as the zoo or Science Museum may be closed at the moment, many places offer virtual tours and lessons. Search online for ways that you can take your child on a virtual field trip such as the Cincinnati Zoo who will be live streaming each weekday at 3:00 pm EDT. The Today Show has a list of great ones you can check out.
There are so many great ideas for homeschooling during this pandemic. Just think outside the box, and remember that learning happens through living!
- Plant a garden together
- Hatch eggs in an incubator
- Build a birdhouse
- Go on a nature walk or a hike
- Bake a cake
- Learn how to make sourdough bread
- Go on a picnic
- Go kayaking together
- Plant flowers or fruit trees
- Write a new recipe
There are so many fun things that you can do together where learning can take place. Take this time to enjoy your children! Take the time to reconnect and take deep breaths. Slow down and enjoy the extra time together. We will all get through this!