Hello all you amazing people!
Hopefully no one has completely lost their mind, everyone has toilet paper and we are all following CDC rules to keep everyone safe.
As across the country many parents are suddenly coming into Homeschool for a few weeks I wanted to offer some help based on not only my time as a teacher BUT my time as a homeschool mom.
First, here are a few helpful guidelines for yourself:
1) LET THEM SLEEP IN -
Seriously, if you have older kids, and no one has to be anywhere early let them sleep. It's better for their immunity and may give you time to get a workout or devotional time in to help with the stress of it all.
2) Start school at the same time everyday-
Let's be honest. These kiddos are used to the structure of a school day. You can totally let them choose what work they want to do first, but if school starts at 9am at your house, then start at 9am everyday as best you can. Life happens sometimes and adjust accordingly, but you will find if you have a little bit of a routine your kiddos will adapt quickly.
3) Take "Brain Breaks" -
This is a trick most elementary teachers use. In between work, as you switch from math to reading or whatnot, take a 5 minute brain break. Do jumping jacks, some yoga (there are tons of videos on you tube for kids yoga) run laps around the backyard, whatever interests your kiddo and lets them get some energy out. ** BE SURE TO USE A TIMER. Tell your kids, it's a 5 minute break. When the timer sounds it's back to the table. And offer a reward (skittle, favorite snack, whatever works people) to those who listen.
A great brain break site to use is GO NOODLE. My kinders loved it, my girls loved it. Especially on a rainy day or if your child can't refocus after running outside.
4) HAVE A REWARD CHART -
For elementary school kids they are used to it and you will thank yourself. Whether you clip clothes pins with their name on it or use a magnet, somehow mark their efforts. Completing work without complaining, doing their chores, listening, whatever skills you want them to show, move the clip or magnet up or down. No need to punish if all the way at the bottom, BUT definitely have a small reward in place if they reach the top. Extra iPad time, choosing a game to play, or a special candy. Doesn't have to be major, you just have to be consistent.
This site has many options you can use to make up your own chart.
5) USE ONLINE RESOURCES -
Let's be honest. Not all of us are math geniuses, and if you struggle with common core math, helping your child may be harder.
Your child's teacher may include many sites to help, but I wanted to give you a few just in case you wanted more or needed the help.
- Khan Academy - video tutorials on probably almost anything your child is learning. Seriously, this site is the best to help teach your child (and you) how to do the work.
- You Tube - We all know Youtube has videos on EVERYTHING. So use it!
6) Display a Schedule OR a To-Do list -
If your child needs to see a schedule with times of activities and expectations, then give them one. Having that paper on the fridge, wall or next to them while working will help them know what's next. You can color code it if you need. Here are a couple editable schedules I found.
-Calendarpedia (this one is basic and empty for you to fill)
Natural Beach Living - These are picture cards of activities if your child is too young to read or needs the images to help them see what is next in their day.
For those parent's who have kids that only need a to-do list to see what is expected of them (before they can Netlix and chill for the day). Then you can grab my List for my girls. This is a variation of what I make them do over the summer, but I added the schoolwork.
A few other helpful websites:
-AbcMouse.com (through Second grade)
AbCYa.com (PreK thru 6th)
AdventureAcademy.com (Thrid Grade through 8th Grade)
Code.Org (Coding Classes where kids can make their own Minecraft and other games)