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*This post was sponsored by edHelper. All opinions are my own.
Chances are if you’re a new homeschooler due to the global pandemic, you’re feeling overwhelmed. It can be hard to know where to begin when taking on the humongous task of educating your children at home. Take it from an experienced homeschool mom, it doesn’t have to be stressful and you CAN make this an enjoyable time for everyone. Here are a few homeschool tips for beginners to help you in your journey.
The great thing about homeschooling in this day and age is that there are talented people who create free online resources. edHelper is creating daily free learning workbooks (click here to get them!) to share with your littles while their school is closed. They have printables for preschoolers, elementary students..all the way up to high school! There are subjects like coding, reading comprehension, math, spelling, and even daily schedules. This is a treasure-trove of printables and it makes your life simpler because you aren’t designing these resources yourself. It’s great to have them all in one place! My 6-year-old who is in kindergarten asks to do math in his free time (that doesn’t come from me!), so we printed off their math workbook and he loved it. It was easy to understand and the illustrations made it feel really fun! This is my favorite online homeschool resource by far! If you want to get your own math worksheets, click here!
2. Pare Down
Make things as simple as possible. Now is not the time to worry about complex schedules, virtual extra-curricular, or elaborate bento-box lunches. Keep up with basic subjects like language arts, spelling, math, science, and social studies. If learning an instrument goes on the back-burner during this season, so be it! Your child’s basic learning needs are taken care of and as they follow you throughout your day, they’re learning a lot more skills than you think.
3. Create a Simple Routine
Kids of all ages thrive on structure and creating a simple routine will actually help them feel more comfortable in your homeschool. Notice I say routine, not schedule. I prefer to have a certain order in which things get done versus a minute-by-minute schedule. This is because it’s easier to not accomplish things if you’re confined to a strict schedule. A routine leaves room for meltdowns, tech issues, etc. I would recommend having a set time that you want to start your school day, though. It’s also nice to have an idea for how long you want to spend on each subject. A sample routine for the school day would look something like this:
9 AM: Sit down at the table and get books/worksheets/supplies ready.
Read aloud (10-20 mins)
Complete English (30-45 mins)
Complete Math (20-30 mins)
Complete Social Studies/Science (30-40 mins)
When you create a routine like the one above, it makes it easy to move from one thing to the next even if you have the inevitable interruption.
4. Utilize Your Library
At the time of writing this post, most, if not all libraries are closed to help citizens observe social distancing. Luckily, many libraries do have virtual tools that allow you to check out eBooks, videos, and audiobooks. Libraries also have online tools for learning new skills, languages and more. Visit your library’s website and let me know what you come across!
5. Get Them Involved and Have Fun
A big part of homeschooling is family culture and for my family, that means we do a lot of daily life together. Chores, cooking, crafting, playing outside..all those things are chances for your kids to learn real-life skills. I try to make sure my kids are involved in whatever they possibly can be. We’ve had some of our greatest learning moments in what seems mundane.
Last, make it fun. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours making things perfect. There are bits of magic to be found in sprinkles on hot cocoa, reading under a fort, making a special dessert, or even watching a documentary together. Relax and enjoy this time together.
Are you a new homeschooler? Do you have any homeschool tips for beginners that you’d like to share? Let me know what you’ve learned in the comments below!