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The COVID-19 outbreak has altered many aspects of our lives, including how our children will learn for the remainder of the school year. Homeschool has now become the new normal and not the exception. While many schools are offering eLearning in conjunction with the use of Chrome books or iPads, other parents are going old school, literally. Here are a few tips to navigate homeschooling, structure lesson plans and stay sane while doing it!
Create a Schedule
One of the first things we recommend, and probably one of the most important, is to create a class schedule. Decide when each class will be taught and for how long. If you can, base your schedule on what was being used at your child's school. This will make it easier for your child to remember when each class is and to stay on track throughout the day. Try to stick to the schedule as much as possible but if frustrations start to run high, it is OKAY to take a break!
Don't Forget Holidays and Recess
Do you remember what your favorite subject was in school? Probably recess! Schedule out time each day for this, whether that looks like a walk around the block, some free time in the backyard or indoor play time. Whatever gives you and your little ones a mental breather, do that.
You should also schedule days off for the holidays, just like your child's school calendar. While you can continue to teach for as long as you feel is necessary, give your child a few days off at the end of the school year to relax and have a little fun. The stress of the past few months has had an effect on all of us, including your children, even though they may not let it show. It's important to remember we are all figuring out how to get through this unprecedented time, day by day and that there is no one right way to succeed through homeschooling.
Include the Basics
Depending on your little one's age, you can develop your own curriculum, follow materials provided by your child's school or visit any of the homeschool websites online to provide you with a full lesson plan structure. If you choose to create your own lesson plans, focus on the basics. This normally includes English, Math, History, Art, Music, Science, and Physical Education. The classes will become more in-depth the higher the grade level. Utilizing a full course curriculum designed by professional educators may be in your best interest.
Add Some Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities are what keep things exciting. They are the unexpected field trips and movie times that break up the monotony of the day to day routine. Go on a nature scavenger hunt around the neighborhood or in your backyard as a "Field trip" as a way to enforce and visualize learning about the environment. If you are stuck inside on a rainy day, movies aren't your only option. Put on a play or break out the board games. Sportsmanship is a necessity, just like the other subjects you will be teaching.
If your little one is not understanding a subject like math, use some materials around your house to demonstrate the problems. Count out beads or legos for addition, subtraction or multiplication. Bake some cookies together to visualize fractions. Or teach your children some practical skills they wouldn't normally learn about in school, like how to do a load of laundry (wash, dry, fold) and proper dishwashing techniques.
There's no doubt that most of us parents are learning new ways to teach our children and keep them entertained. Find an individualized approach for your children and family to find a lesson plan that is both effective, fun for the kids and works for your current lifestyle. Please let us know what your favorite lessons have been so far!