I am not a teacher. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re not a teacher either. But the coronavirus is making us be teachers anyway, and it looks like we just have to do our best. Here are a few tips I’ve found from educators around the world that can help us teach our kiddos as well as we possibly can.
The number one thing on most people’s “How to Homeschool When a Global Pandemic Causes Us to Social Distance Thus Kicking Our Kids Out of Schools” lists? Create an effective schedule. Making your Math-hating kid do their math schoolwork while they’re still grumpy and groggy from waking up? Probably not the best idea. Working together with your kids to build a schedule that they like will mean a better experience for them (and you, too).
The structure that a schedule brings will help your kids be a little more effective with their time, doing the not-so-fun things quickly so they can have lots of time to do the super-fun-best-day-ever kind of things. Just make sure it’s not too structured, through building in “recesses” or breaks into the day.
The hardest thing about a schedule is actually sticking to it. If it’s too hard to keep up with, it might need a few adjustments, but eventually, you’ll fall into a routine that works for you and your family. There’s no reason for freaking out over being too late--in fact, without all of our soccer practices and appointments and parent-teacher conferences, there’s not much to be late for in the first place. That suits our needs juuuuust fine.
There are so many great resources right now for learning (thank heaven for technology!) and we can take advantage of them! Scholastic just introduced a “learn at home” program that’s free and could help the K-9 kiddos. Khan Academy is a free resource for kiddos anywhere from preK-12th grade! And so many of your kid’s favorite picture book authors are doing read-alouds and other fun things too that our kids can take part in. We might not be teachers, but there are teachers online that know what they’re doing and can help! Working with your children’s teachers and administrators as well can help you figure out what you’re doing and how you can help your kids learn.
After the “school day” is over, give those kiddos a reward! Whether it’s going outside, something sweet, or even time away from their siblings (or their parents), something fun can make it all worth it. After science and math and history and a lot of work, they deserve it.
In the end, all we can do is our best, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for any hiccups or bumps in the road during this crazy time. Don’t forget that you deserve a reward for doing your best, just like your kiddos. Hopefully, by the end of this, we can come to learn a lot about ourselves and our kids, and enjoy it along the way too.