If you are new to the concept of homeschooling, whether forced by Covid19 or just interested in it for the future, you’re probably looking for idea, tips, and ways to prevent overwhelm.
Find a Routine
It’s highly recommended that you set a schedule for the day- by schedule I mean more of a routine, not an hour by hour schedule. It just isn’t needed in homeschool, and can cause too much stress for parents and your kids. Some kind of routine so that your child will know how the day is going to go- consistency is key, especially for young children. It may be that you have a session where your child reads out loud for 20 minutes and then you go and do some arts and crafts.
In the afternoon, you might have sensory play and then math activities, or vice versa. Either way, consistency in a routine is helpful to set expectations for the day.
Have Lots of Play Time
and i mean LOTS. Play doesn’t necessarily mean unsupervised, chaotic, or unstructured (though they need that too). Children young and older need to have a lot of playtime. Learning through play is a fantastic way for you to teach your child and you would be surprised at how much it could help them to stay focused throughout the day.
Building, counting 1:1 correspondence, learning letter sounds through play with play doh, playing pretend, and outside time for nature study are all wonderful ways to play.
Children also need time to follow their own interests! Whether that is crafting, whittling, or other handicrafts, allowing time for children to slow down and enjoy something they can do on their own (after maybe a little guidance) is important in building self esteem, critical thinking skills, and intrinsic motivation.
The more we read to our children, the better. Read Aloud Revival podcast and website has a ton of information on the benefits of reading aloud to our children- just 2 of those benefits are the ability to read themselves, and the increased chance of college readiness (vs testing and other supposed ways to do that).
Read stories, non fiction books, magazines or anything that might interest your child aloud and watch their imagination and comprehension grow!
Learn from Others and Find Help Locally
Consider downloading some resources online to get started with some learn at home activites; but also look into the options that are available from local homeschool groups, co-ops, conventions, and HSLDA.
There are resources available for all subjects- math, science, writing, and reading. Check out Studentreasures.com for some really great writing organization tools and ideas.
Of course, there are so many things that you can do to try and make your child’s homeschooling experience the best it can be. There are so many reviews out there of curricula- start by making a list of what you need, and search for each thing diligently, asking for opinions from others, and even checking your library to view it in person.
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