Are you gearing up for having your kiddos unexpectedly at home for a few weeks? And is that leaving you feeling pretty overwhelmed? Or are you excited about this upcoming experiment? Either way, read on for five tips I’ve got for you on making these most of what’s ahead!
Five Tips for Making the Most
of Your Unexpected Homeschool Adventure
- Create a daily schedule or routine and use it. Children (and adults) thrive when life is predictable, and right now, adults just threw a LOT of change at kids. So work with your child to come up with a rough daily plan. Set up predictability for your kids when life hasn’t been predictable at all. It’ll be good for you, too!
- As Fred Rogers said, “Play is the work of childhood.” Remember to let your kids play right now, and not just because everyone needs some levity. Fred went on to say, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.” They can learn so much at home from building, cooking, creating music, solving conflict… Let them have those important times to learn!
- Remember that you are your child’s parent, not his or her trained teacher. You likely don’t have a background in education, or you have multiple children suddenly at home, or you’re also trying to work from home on top of schooling from home. Yes, you should try to do what your school or district recommends as far as schooling from home. Yes, try to intentionally implement more writing, math, science, and art that you normally would. But more importantly, keep being your child’s parent. He needs that love and consistency right now much more than he needs you to try to be everything and do all.
- Use screens, but use them intentionally! Instead of putting a movie on FOR your kids, sit down and watch that movie WITH them. Use GoNoodle or Cosmic Kids Yoga videos to get moving if the weather turns and you can’t get outside to get energy out. Try a Khan Academy video to learn something new. And FaceTime with your friends and family if you can’t see them right now! Many wonderful online learning companies are offering their resources for free right now, so do a quick search and see if can take advantage of some that resonate with you. (And, of course, I’m not opposed to putting a show on so that you can have a moment of peace and quiet, but try to save that for when you need moments of peace and quiet so that they’re useful to you, rather than making you feel guilty).
- When in doubt, read aloud. Remember my stat from last week— the most important reading teaching parents can do at home is to read aloud! But, read aloud has more than just for academic benefits. Reading aloud can have a remarkably calming effect on children. Is everyone cranky? Is chaos reigning? Pick up a book, settle in on the couch, and start reading just loudly enough for them to hear. Give it a few minutes and watch the magic happen!
So, how are you feeling about the foreseeable future? I’m mostly excited! I know the days will get long and the introvert in me is going to crave more quiet space than I’m likely going to get, but my girls are THRILLED to have a “mommy adventure,” and I’m choosing to look at this as a gift of some family time that we might never get again.
You’ve got this, and I’m here to cheer you on and support you in whatever way I can!