Many of my clients have asked me about the best way to begin homeschooling.
As someone who has been homeschooling my own kids for the past five years, here’s what works for my family, and what I recommend to my clients.
1. Create a loose and flexible schedule. The simplest way to do this is to divide the day into sections by mealtimes. A sample at-home schedule could be:
Walk / Yoga or other movement
Activity / School work
Free time (online resources or kids’ choice)
Activity / School work
Reading, art, or science project
Walk or play outside
Family board game or movie
2. Let the kids add their ideas to the schedule. This is a system that needs to work for them and accommodate their needs. Plus, if they’re allowed to have some say in how the daily schedule goes, they’ll have more buy-in and motivation to follow through. Homeschooling is not meant to be a replication of school. Home is a cozier environment. Julie Bogart suggests making learning enchanting whenever possible, by doing things like poetry tea-time or studying with candlelight.
3. There are many wonderful online resources for homeschoolers. I’ve included a long list of them on my website under the Resources page. Many of the resources are free during school closures. If you have a work meeting or phone call, find a class on Outschool that is offered at the same time so your kids can engage with a live class while you’re working. Or let them watch a show or practice drawing with a Mo Willems video. It’s ok to be flexible with screens during the school closures.
4. Lastly and most importantly, prioritize your child’s emotional well-being over the schedule and school-work assignments.
We are going through something unprecedented and uncertain. It’s fine to ditch the schedule if having some space to just bake cookiesand decompress is what’s most needed. The schedule is there to provide some predictability, rhythm, and routine to our days, which can be soothing for many. It’s not meant to add stress or pressure. Use it as a loose guide, and freely modify it as the needs of your days become clearer.
Take good care, and stay healthy and safe. Sending lots of support and calm energy your way.
The vision you hold for your family is within reach.
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