We’re all pretty unsure how this next school year is going to pan out. As of now, it looks like we’ll be doing virtual classrooms for the first several months of the school year, at least. A lot of folks are deciding to homeschool until school districts and counties can get more organized and work out the kinks in their new systems. For those of you going that route, here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Choose a curriculum that meets the needs of your family
There are unlimited online resources available to develop a curriculum that meets the learning style of your child(ren). Don't choose a strict, regimented plan if you prefer a laid-back approach to teaching and vice versa. The best advice we can offer is don't try to replicate a classroom. You know your child better than anyone, so find ways to help them learn the required material in an engaging and meaningful way. We promise this will eliminate a lot of unnecessary stress for everybody.
2. Do as many hands-on activities as possible
Find ways to keep kids active through the use of hands-on activities. Help your kids get excited about learning while helping them retain the information presented to them. Textbooks are not the only way to educate. Using art, music, and physical activity keeps everyone engaged while organically learning.
3. Utilize virtual learning programs
Some parents prefer to have a program entirely laid out for them, eliminating the need to refer to an eclectic mix of resources. It's possible to enroll in an online learning program that covers all subjects. You can also select to access just a few online classes. The choice is yours. Do some research, look at reviews from other parents, and find an educator that reflects the goals you have for your child(ren).
4. Take advantage of available resources in your community
There is a large community of experienced homeschooling families that are eager to help newcomers to the idea of learning from home. Reach out to online groups, and you will be amazed at the countless opportunities for organized activities throughout your area. Utilize the local museums, zoos, and national parks for a plethora of classes that will stimulate your child’s interest in learning. A lot of local educational institutes are offering virtual options as well if you’re wanting to avoid crowded public areas.
5. Have fun and enjoy the time with your kids
Remember that the decision to homeschool does not have to be permanent. When schools return to in-person learning, you may decide that it's time for your child to go back to the classroom. Until then, enjoy the journey and remember to have fun together and enjoy the rediscovery of learning.
This will be new for a lot of you. We're in the same boat. We're just going to try our best to be patient, keep the lines of communication open, and have fun. Keep washing your hands! We are not out of the woods just yet. Consider using our All Hands Bundle, available on our website. Stay safe and be sure to follow social distancing guidelines. We'll keep you posted with how things go in our households as the school year progresses. Let us know how you're doing, too. We'd love to hear from ya.
Whoever wrote these tips for homeschooling did a great job! Some people take several years before they figure these things out. I homeschooled for 9 years back in the 1980s—before it was a popular idea. My best suggestion is to remember that children are natural learners. They will learn what they are exposed to, so just let them learn from what you are interested in. And let them learn to cook!