Right now, the world feels like it’s in shambles. Most of us are working from home; the spouses of essential employees hope that nothing is brought into their homes; and many schools have been cancelled through the end of the school year. Parents are being thrust into homeschooling their kids, many of who have no idea how to do this – especially while being a working parent. Because of this, I recently shared a Facebook post on my personal page for all of the new homeschooling parents out there. A homeschool mom-friend of mine wrote it; however, I feel like there are aspects to being a professional trying to homeschool that weren’t touched upon. So I’m going to share with you my revised letter. I hope it may help some of you who are struggling with this new experience.
Dear Non-Homeschool friends with kids currently at home:
YouTube is your friend. Spelling games on a phone is a great motivator. Do not be scared of screen time. It will be ok.
Dry erase markers work well on window glass whether you are doodling or deciphering math.
Allow the older kids to help teach the younger ones. Teaching is one of the best ways to reinforce information, so all of the kids will get something out of it. It’s also a great time for you to make some phone calls.
Reading a book in the bathtub is still reading. Listening to audio books can still show reading comprehension. Let them enjoy the books in the best way for them – they will want to read more.
Baking is less cringe-inducing than worksheets when it comes to math. Trust me, everyone wants to learn how to make brownies.
Bread making, toasting marshmallows, and starting a garden are great experiments. Teaching proper handwashing also counts as science.
Apples to Apples teaches similes, metaphors, homophones, and idiomatic expressions. Monopoly teaches money and basic real estate. Hearts teaches strategy. 21 teaches counting. Scrabble teaches spelling and vocabulary. Your board game shelf is very useful right now.
Have daily quiet time. Even if you have a five-year-old and a fifteen-year-old, everyone can use some quiet time during the day. It allows your kids to learn how to entertain themselves while also giving you a break. Maybe you use the time to do some more work; I highly recommend, though, that you use it take a breath and a break.
Don’t overthink it. At the end of the day, education isn’t about worksheet quantity – it is about raising functional humans. Getting them to adulthood is a decent first step. Teaching them to feed themselves, rationalize, and problem solve is a decent second step. And teaching them a little empathy and social responsibility is a good third.
– Your friendly neighborhood homeschool mom