With public school closing due to social distancing, parents are being told that they are homeschooling their children until the pandemic passes. You parents are working hard for sure, but you are getting a VERY skewed view of what you think homeschoolers do!
School at Home
Right now parents accross the country and around the world are doing school at home due to social isolation. It was a ncessary step to slow the curve and save lives! It has been interesting to see what everyone is donig for schooling at home:
- Form of Elearning – parents are told students have a mandated 5 hours in front of a computer screen a day. They check in with a teacher on google classroom (or similar program), complete assignments the teacher has left for them, and tell the teacher when they are done for the day so their attendance can be taken.
- Homework School – other parents were sent home with a stack of school books and a list of what to read/complete at home.
- Extended Vacation / Unknown – finally some parents have been sent home for an extended spring break and were told they would let them know what would happen if this quarntine continued beyond 14 days.
- Good luck – some school districs have given little to no guidance on what kids should be learning at home
Now please hear me, this is NOT the fault of the teachers! This whole thing has come up very suddenly and teachers have been, and continue to work very hard to make learning fun and engaging on a very new platform. Some teachers are still reading stories online to their classes and some schools are having spirit weeks. Many educators are working more hours than they ever did teaching from a classroom. These teachers are rockstars and are going above and beyond because they love their students! They are taking the lemons they’ve been dealt and they are trying as hard as they can to make lemonade for your kids.
So be patient with them. Thank them for the extra effor they are taking. If you have concerns and feel the workload is too much or unattainable – talk to them! This is all new to them too and they don’t know it isn’t working unless you tell them.
Okay… now let me tell you why schools closing does not = homeschooling.
Homeschoolers . . .
- get to choose their curriculum! We don’t sit in front of a computer for 5 hours. We pick a program that works best for our family and our children. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. So as you feel overwhelmed with the amount of school work your child must complete, please do not think we homeschool families do that same thing. Sure, we learn the same material you do in public school, but in a variety of formats like reading lots of books, hands-on activities, and much less (sorry, there is no other way to say it) busy work.
- do not stay home all day! Right now we are all stuck in our homes with the exception of getting outside for walks / fresh air (as long as we stay 6 feet away from those not in our family). That is NOT the norm for most homeschoolers. You make think we sit at home all day, every day ,and “do school” at little desks in our house, but let me assure you – we don’t. We are a very social group! We have go to the library, plan lots of fieldtrips, meet with other homeschoolers at various coops, take piano / instrument lessons, art classes, gym / sports instructions, volunteer in our community, playdates at the park, and more. We just get to squeeze these in during the day when your kids are sitting at their desks.
- are full-time homeschoolers! With few exceptions, homeschoolers have a parent devoted to instructing their children. Someone who picked the paterial, spends time teaching the lesson, plans fieldtrips, and is use to the routine. You private and public school parents have other responsibilities. So many of you are having to work from home AND teach your children at the same time! That is CRAZY and really …. not possible! You can’t do everything!
- had a choice. Not everyone wants to or is equipped to homeschool. There are lots of family dynamics or obligations that go into a decision to homeschool your child. If you are doing school at home you did not choose to. There was no strong conviction about why you felt homeschooling was a better fit. Strong convictions are choices and we always make time and make things work that are important to us. This was not your choice, it was thrust upon you. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and that this is NOT THE CHOICE YOU WANT!
HELP! I don’t want to Homeschool
So your school at home isn’t working? That’s okay; I get it! It was a spur-of-the-moment, forced decision and you are already booked with a full-time job! You are not a bad mom (or Dad) if it is stressful, overwhelming, and if you are down-on-your-knees praying school opens back up tomorrow! You were dealt an impossible hand.
But, you do have choices. It can get better.
- Communicate with your school. Sometimes simply talking to your teacher or school administrator and letting them know it is too much is all it takes. Again, this is all unchartered waters for everyone! If you have extenuating circumstances like one of you is a health care worker, someone is ill, etc. make sure they know that too. Teachers are people too and they understand. (Most teachers are also juggling 2 jobs – teaching AND school-at-home).
- Pull Back. If your school doesn’t have strict guidelines, don’t put added stress on yourself! Let your kids learn by reading (try my free booklists – Amazon still delivers!), playing an educational game, watching National Geographic channel on Disney +, make projects with Kiwi Crate, let kids PLAY, and spending quality time together. Trust me – 2 months of less structured school will NOT ruin their education. I promise! They just might become more relaxed, well read, and develop new different interests. If they fall beind, they’ll easily catch up in math and grammar when this pandemic is behind us.
- Get Help. If you don’t have school work, or what you were given isn’t working for you, we have tons of FREE resources to help you through the isolation period and beyond. Our no prep worksheets and fun activities will have kids EXCITED to learn. Scroll down to see links by grade and by subject!
- Officially Homeschool. This is probably a little extreme unless you feel some sort of conviction to homeschool in the first place, but if your school is being stringent and you feel trapped, you can officially pull your child from public school and begin homeschooling. Again, with the state of the world, I would go about this unless you have strong convictions on becoming a homeschool family or you are having BIG issues that are not being addressed. I heard one parent who said the teacher kept calling at night threatening that their child was getting a zero if they dind’t turn in work within an hour. If you have tried to talk to the teacher and administrator, this is an option to you. See HSLD for state rules on regulation. Find out how to homeschool here.
And no matter what you choose – we are here to help! We have over 1 milliion free worksheets, games, and activities for students Prek-8th grade. You can see printables by grade; simply click on the thumnails below :
Or find my free school worksheets by subject – click on a thumbnail below:
Each of these pages are filled with so many resources, you can’t download a pdf file of everything at once (you may laugh, but many have asked!).
- Click on the grade thumbnail
- Scroll to find the resource that works for your student / family and click on picture or title
- See the complete resource and if that was what you are looking for, go to the bottom of the post and click on the text link that says >> Download << OR for subscriber freebies just enter your email address in the box to confirm subscription and download. Easy Peasy! So many freebies in one place – take your time and browse -It’s all FREE!
Whatever you decide, know we homeschoolers are happy to help. Your teachers are here to help. We all need a little grace and to relax expectations so that we call get through the next several weeks (or months) without a panic attack 😉
Looking for more fun ideas with your family? Try our 40+ April Activies for Kids or these fun April Crafts for Kids. Spend time reading together as a family with our April Stories for Kids, Childrens Books to Read, or our Bookcase Reading Logs to have a friendly family reading contest.
Plus don’t miss our other great articles on surviving the pandemic:
- 15 Ways to Avoid Social Isolation as you Shelter at Home
- Conversation Starters – Stay Connected with Grandparents During Social Isolation
- Is your Family Driving you Nuts in Social Isolation? Try this!
- 101 FUN Things to do in Isolation
- 10 Things Parents MUST do in Social Isolation
- School Closure Guide for Parents – lots of practical tips for parents!
- Brain Breaks for kids – studies show that taking a 3-5 minutes brain break increases productivity for the next 45 minutes! Plus, kids need to get the wiggles out and not sit in front of a screen all day as they school at home!
- Keep encouraging kids to wash their hands to fight germs with these 40+ FREE Printable Wash Your Hands Posters
- 1 million FREE Worksheets, Games, and Activities for Prek-8th grade
- Learn about other countries in the news: Spain Coloring Pages, Italy Coloring Pages, China Coloring Pages
- 40 Virtual Fieldtrips for Families practining Social Distancing
Happy Schooling at Home!