The anxiety and events surrounding the spread of COVID-19 have given teachers and parents a lot to process and children a load of stress to absorb. However, you must realize, it is reasonable to feel out of control when unexpected, and out-of-the-norm things occur like COVID-19. Give yourself some time to be upset and adjust to the loss of schedule, canceled events, and the ability to get together with your friends and loved ones without fear.
Through all this, school is another factor, and children are forced to get their education remotely online. It is definitely an adjustment, but 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 kids and what they need and how they are wired.
How do you plan on getting your work done? Many parents at home with their kids will have to work remotely as well. And, this can change the way they use their time. 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 who have already been homeschooling regularly. 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 require routine. You cannot treat homeschool like snow days. You need to structure things and become organized. That routine is even more critical when the world feels uncertain, and they are experiencing anxiety all around them. Creating a schedule and having some type of plan in place will provide your kids with security.
You may want to divide up the day with:
- Outside play
- Screen time
You can have your child complete their schoolwork right away in the morning to get it out of the way. They can use the afternoon and evening for downtime like outdoor play, watching a movie, or a little screen time.
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.
The point is to get on a consistent schedule and stick to it.
- Gather Resources
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
These days people are relying on technology for online education. 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. With homeschooling, it is too easy to lose your patience or become frustrated. After all, how long ago was it that you went to school, now you' are having to relearn everything so you can help your child succeed? This makes you both teacher and student. Not to mention, the amount of material you will be covering while homeschooling your child will be far more than what is included during a traditional school day.
Every day, remember to be kind to yourself and patient with your child. This was not planned, and everybody right now is feeling stretched and stressed. The world is missing routines and communities. Therefore, it is imperative to take care of yourself each day so that you are in the best position to help your child succeed in homeschool.
Laugh with your children about messes and mistakes. Sing with them as you both wash your hands.
Stay connected with people virtually. Create group chats with your friends and family so you can share complaints, stories, and experiences. Share photos.
Homeschool during COVID-19 will not be relaxed. There are ways you can make it easier to stick to a routine and 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.