I’ve had some readers ask me to write a tips post on homeschooling for those of you who very suddenly found yourselves involuntarily in such a situation, thanks to COVID-19, who is apparently homeschooling’s hardest lobbyist. There are a ton of resources already floating around about that, though, so I’m not going to retread a lot of ground. However, I do have 10ish years worth of homeschooling posts peppered into my blog, but seeing as how I have 2,355 blog posts, I get how it might be hard to find the ones that are helpful RIGHT NOW. So first I’m going to start off with a couple quick notes, then I’m just going to give you a link index of some posts that you might find helpful.
Tips for RIGHT NOW:
- Don’t panic about cramming in a bunch of education right now. It’s a weird time. We’re all distracted. Focus is nearly impossible. You can’t possibly be expected to accomplish a perfect school day. Relax. Enjoy the forced break. Do fun stuff. Be creative. Don’t worry about getting in every subject.
- Use the resources being provided by wonderful people for this crisis. Our favorite is Mo Willem’s daily lunch doodles.
His voice is so lovely and soothing and his doodles are so fun. We have been looking forward to doodling with Mo every day. James Spann also did a live Science/Weather show today, and it is available to rewatch – it was excellent and I highly recommend it for when you need an hour for the kids to watch something educational while you get stuff done – and it totally counts for science for one day – maybe two.
Feel free to list the resources you’ve found in the comments!
- iPad education is awesome. Khan Academy is fantastic for Math and Grammar, and totally free. There are many games for math, spelling, reading, grammar, and more. Kids learn exceptionally well via fun, so why not have some fun.
Links to old posts that might inspire you:
(Disclaimer: These posts are only if you NEED things to do. Do not feel pressure to do ANY of these things. I just told you to relax, remember??)
- For the Mamas Thinking about Homeschooling – I wrote this post a few years ago because every Spring, I get a fresh batch of moms wanting to ask me all about homeschooling. Obviously this post applies to a more permanent homeschool situation, but you might find it helpful or encouraging anyway.
- USE MOTIVATION SYSTEMS. My kids are old enough that I don’t need these anymore, but they are so so so so so (did I mention SO?) helpful for when your kids are little, or are learning to be self-motivated. Here’s a year that I made and laminated Lego Bucks, here’s a year that I just printed a sheet with numbers and put stickers on it, and here’s a system that worked so well I used it several years – tickets, because kids love tickets.
- Easy Craft Projects are a great time-filler and are very motivating. Here’s one we did with fabric scraps for geography, and here’s several crafts we did with paint chips (they could be done with colored paper as well.)
- If you want to keep up with what you’re doing, here are my free homeschool record templates – you can change them up as much as you need to in Excel.
- Get your kids to keep a diary – whether it’s one sentence or a page. Don’t grade it on spelling or neatness – just let them write. It’s so much fun to look back on. Here was Ali’s when she was six, and here it was when she was ten. She still keeps a diary every day and is so happy that she has her entire life (back to being five) to go back and read.
- Here are 80 Writing prompts to get kids to write. Use the prompts to inspire a sentence for small kids, or a paragraph for older kids.
- Here’s a giant list of great books to read aloud to your kids. Also great is when you can get your older kids to read aloud to your younger kids.
- Here are some early reader recommendations that are fun and high quality – if you can get books right now.
- Here’s a math game that I made up – you don’t need anything but a printer and paper to play.
- Here’s another fun way to do math – how to teach division with remainders and then, the best part, to eat your remainders.
- If you’re feeling the need to burn something, why not crayons? Here’s a fireworks painting we made with melted crayons. Very therapeutic in a time like this.
- Playing store is a fun and engaging way to teach math, commerce, bargaining, price gouging, toilet paper shortages and more.
- This is old, but here is my first and second list of iPad educational apps. There are probably lots of better learning apps now, but it’s a start.
- Here are a few fun ways I encouraged writing letters when my little ones didn’t like to do so, including making a secret code for them to solve, or teaching them how to use invisible ink (with white crayons and watercolor paint.)
- Here’s another fun Geography project – tracing the map, then quizzing everyone on what states they’ve visited and making a legend. This would be a fun thing to do to keep in contact with family members right now too – get your kids to call their grandparents, ask them what states they’ve visited, and start a conversation about those trips.
- Speaking of Geography, this is the post behind my most watched YouTube video of all time, and it’s not just because of all of my personal re-watches because I love hearing Baby Ali pronounce the states (okay maybe half the watches are mine.) But this is a great time to learn all the states – so why not?
(Okay I had to stop and watch it again. It almost made me want another baby.)
That should be enough to keep you busy EVEN THOUGH I started out this post telling you to CHILL OUT and relax. So you do you. And don’t feel any pressure. Let’s all take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out. Except not in the direction of another person.
(And feel free to ask any questions in the comments.)