Homeschooling Tips For The Non-Homeschooling Parents

Homeschooling Tips For The Non-Homeschooling Parents

Homeschooling Tips For The Non-Homeschooling Parents

Schools all over the CSRA are closed. Parents everywhere are settling into a terrifying new reality: We are officially homeschooling our kids. 

I never thought in a million years that I would be a homeschool mom. But with much internal groaning and external sighing, I have resigned myself to making the most of it. After a week spent frantically reading all the blogs, checking in with homeschooling friends and browsing Pinterest like a mad woman, I realized —while I’m no expert— I am not beyond learning! So, here’s what I picked up.

First, You Got This! 

This time is very stressful. On top of our kids’ education, we have to:

  • Keep their grubby little hands off their faces and OUT of their noses
  • Disinfect all the things, all the time
  • Positively manage their behavior, even though we’re barely managing ours
  • Make all of the above FUN, AND
  • Carve out at least some time for ourselves (see “Managing behavior”). 

Listen, you got this. Take the pressure of yourself, and accept your best. Your life doesn’t have to look like a professionally photographed parenting blog! Let YouTube figure out how to explain that convoluted word problem, and you  go nail snack time.

Set a Schedule

Kids need routine. It helps them focus and keeps everyone on the same page. A homeschooling mom gave me this awesome awesome guideline: 

  • Elementary School: 1-2 hours of schoolwork per day.
  • Middle School: 2-3 hours of schoolwork per day.
  • High School: 3-4 hours of schoolwork per day.

Assess their work, add some fun activities, and include play in their day. One of my friends let her kid run laps around the house to count to 100 by 10s. It was his idea, and he loved it! 

Allow your kids to take breaks! Move around, change scenery, and let them be creative with HOW they complete a task. . You might be surprised how much they get done when given some leeway.

Utilize Your Resources

There are loads of great resources available to keep your kids on track! Here are a few to keep in mind: 

  • Contact your child’s teacher if you have questions. 
  • YouTube has tons of videos about math, science, social studies, and more! Type in the topic and see what comes up! Look for videos with high views AND high ratings.
  • Set up a virtual study group on Zoom! 
  • Got a library card? Be sure to check out the digital options they offer! They have books, audiobooks, DVDs, and more.

Bribe Em

Listen, we are all just trying to make it through the day. I set up a color chart and offered my daughter a treat for staying on the “good color” all day. It. Works. Maybe your kids are motivated by getting things they want! Nothing is off limits here. Sweet treats, staying up later than normal, pancakes for dinner, more screen time? No judgement here! Go for it. 

If you go the “behavior chart” route, take a pro tip and add an “extra good” color. They can only get to this level (and the extra special reward) by doing chores without being asked, helping a sibling, etc. 

Bribery. Positive reinforcement. Whatever. It works.

Have Some Fun

This is the best part. While the world outside your doors is uncertain, you can make your home a happy and fun place. 

  • Break out the board games
  • Make forts
  • Watch movies you loved as a kid and ones they love now 
  • Have tickle fights
  • Laugh when they fart and stink up the room 
  • Try a craft (and who cares if it’s not perfect??)
  • Play a video game, maybe even bust out the Wii

Your kids will appreciate you doing your best, and they will love seeing you have a good time. Our kids pick up on our stress. Make sure they’re also picking up on the love and joy that you feel being with them. Lives are busy. If nothing else, this crazy time has allowed us to truly be present and together with one another. Enjoy the memories you can make with them. 

Our kids probably won’t remember to do every assignment. They almost definitely won’t remember to pick up after themselves. 

But they’ll remember this time together. And that’s pretty awesome too.

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