The school year is upon us and because nothing recently is easy, many parents are faced with a “no right answer” approach on what school will look and be like this fall.
COVID-19 has permanently changed the way we conduct our daily life and that impact is definitely felt by teachers, parents, and students alike. You may now find yourself creating a classroom in your own home to accommodate children at different grade levels or be looking to supplement your child’s virtual learning curriculum. Whatever the case may be, here are some pro tips on how to manage homeschool life, especially for those who are new to it or who have been thrust into it.
Know your rights
Homeschooling can be intimidating because it’s up to you, as the parent, to know the legal requirements and tick all the boxes required by your local and state entities. You can become a member of the HSLDA, a Chrisitan-based homeschool organization that helps families navigate the legal obstacles and requirements that homeschooling brings.
Be flexible and creative
Even if you’ve done all the research and read all the books, your family and children will have unique requirements. You might be attempting to homeschool an elementary and high school student. There is no “one size fits all” solution to homeschooling and that’s what makes it so attractive to so many families – you can customize the program and do what works for your family and children.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that all the learning will take place INSIDE your home, either. You can plan family vacations and trips around lessons and take your class (and family) on the road. Consider incorporating survival skills, gardening, woodworking or other important life skills into your curriculum.
Make time and space
The younger your children are, the more difficult this may be if you are juggling work-from-home responsibilities. But if you don’t dedicate a space and time in the schedule to homeschool daily, it’ll be difficult to succeed.
You may be able to dedicate an entire room to your homeschool environment, or you may have to opt for a mobile desk space for your child. Whichever it is, make sure it is a space that allows them to focus and for you to help them learn as they go.
Homeschool will not look like traditional school
Seek out others
Unless you were homeschooled as a child, homeschool may feel like a completely different universe. But there are literally thousands of families that have successfully homeschooled their children for years. Look to them for inspiration and guidance as you begin this journey with your family.
You might research a dozen different curriculum programs and pick the one you think is perfect for your children, only to discover it’s not what you thought. You might set up what you think is the right space for your children, only to realize that it doesn’t function as you need. You might outline the ultimate schedule for your daily tasks, only to find out that your children (or you) aren’t really morning learners and you need to switch it up.
That’s OK. You will make and remake the same decisions daily and you will have to make adjustments and changes so homeschool works best for you and your family.
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