If you are here, you are embarking on one of the most incredible and most challenging adventures a parent could have - to intentionally direct your child's (or children's) education. You are supporting your children during a stressful time when nothing is normal. Kudos for helping them keep up with learning, but give yourself and them lots of grace. Pandemic schooling is not your average homeschool experience, even for experienced homeschooling families. Even as COVID restrictions ease, the pandemic has changed the educational landscape in many, many ways. Considering your options is always worthwhile.
1. Relax and pray! Your kids won't suffer from having time to adjust and transition. Give them time to process what these changes and ask questions. You may even find that you enjoy it!
2. Don't spend a lot of money. Start with what you have - books (traditional, audio, or online depending on where you live - scld.org, spokanelibrary.org, cdalibrary.org, communitylibrary.net), outdoors, games, crafts. Some libraries may be closed, but they have a lot of great online resources that are all FREE!
3. You don't have to try to recreate "school." It is okay to let your child jump on the trampoline while doing math! It is okay to them doodle while listening to a story, lay upside down while reading, etc. - you may find that they learn better that way. Be creative and trust that you know them best. Remember, students in traditional schools do not spend all eight hours doing schoolwork. You will be amazed at what your child can learn when working at their own pace, in their own way, without distractions!
4. Remember that you do not have to do this alone! Let your children build a community by talking with friends, family members, church family or other trusted members in your community. There may be opportunities to go outside, trade books and movies with friends or visit a Little Free Library in your neighborhood. Check out Mom's Night Out, the first Thursday of every month October through April. Check out local co-ops. Just remember, we're here to help!!
5. Get outdoors! Encourage your child to get exercise by climb a tree, sledding, hiking, biking, etc. You might also want to grab a few books or study materials together to learn outdoors!
6. Learn something new, explore their interests. Find videos online, learn how to make origami, have someone teach them to knit, make crafts from found objects, learn how to draw, explore space, learn to bake something new or make their own videos.
7. Meditate on God's Word throughout your day, pray often and be sure to stay hydrated and well rested. It is important to remember that we are NEVER alone and we can find comfort in the Lord when things get hard. ( Matthew 11:28).
8. Stay encouraged! Some of your families may enjoy doing school at home and choose to continue, and others will not. That is absolutely okay! We are here to support you! We understand that this is hard on a lot of families. You have the blessing of trying out homeschooling with no obligations or pressure.