I have to admit that over the years, homeschooling my children was tempting. However, unexpectedly having to homeschool is another situation entirely! Many of us parents are suddenly tasked with providing our kids’ education from the kitchen table for the foreseeable future. It’s a lofty task, and it’s sparking fear in a lot of us, so here are some realistic, practical tips to keep us all from going insane.
Finding a Space
If you use your kitchen table to homeschool, it will get frustrating fast. It is hard to clean up to get a meal on the table continually. Find somewhere in the house where you can set up a homework station for an extended period. That may mean pulling out the card table from the garage or using the kitchen island instead. Giving kids a dedicated space, even if it’s small, will also help them separate “school” from the rest of the house. This will also help make sure playtime and schooltime remain two clearly different things. If you have to use the kitchen table, then at least follow the next section!
Setting Out Supplies
Make sure you have the right tools at your fingertips — and don’t go too crazy. Crayons, pencils, sharpeners, paper, and more should be nearby and easily accessible. Otherwise, you’ll found yourself hopping up to find an eraser and then doing it again in five minutes to find a highlighter. If you can get a caddy, great! Even a shower caddy will do or find an empty shipping box. Having everything in a container makes it easy to clean up and put things away at the end of the day or set up quickly to start. And, this will ensure you’re not running around the house looking for 80 different things in the middle of the day.
Creating a Calendar
Teachers live by structure, calendars, and lists. So call upon those skills within yourself. Set out a timeline for the family to follow. Which subjects will you be working on when? For how long? Setting out a daily and weekly schedule helps kids know what is happening next, as well as enables you to stay on track too. This post here has some calendar printables to help. And remember: We are all learning here! If your initial plan doesn’t work out, be ready to switch things up. Just find what works for your family and stick to it.
More than likely, other than some books and a computer, you probably don’t have a lot of teaching tools at home. With libraries closed and stores shut down, it is not easy to get textbooks! In times like these, you may need to turn to online resources. Toy Insider Parent Deb has a list of resources to check out for homeschool support!
It can be hard to teach. Not all of us have the skill set needed to do so. Let alone the fact that many of us are working parents. Yes, we are now working from home, but it does not mean we have the time to teach a course! Instead, pull out toys for math, reading, or science. Check out this post with some educational toys to help! Alternatively, think outside the box and find teachable moments around the house. Read this post with some fun ideas that just require a pen, paper, dice, crayons, and some building bricks! Lastly, read this post with tips on how to homeschool and work from home at the same time!
Homeschooling suddenly can be a challenge, but know that you can do it — and just do the best you can! Reach out to fellow parents for ideas and support. Plus, leave a comment below with tips, tricks, and tools that have worked for you!