Phew! Our school called it yesterday and we’re in for the long haul. I wouldn’t doubt if we finished up the school year virtually. And you know what? I am okay with that possibility.
Here is the thing though. I have been a homeschooler. I know the stress, the patience, and the organization required to make it happen. I am also a trained Montessori teacher and I have the luxury of being home with my kids. So, I have it good.
My job at this point is to help guide as many unsettled, anxious parents get through this crisis. As a first step, I thought I would offer a few suggestions and resources to get you started on this journey.
How to Homeschool When You’re Not a Homeschooler
Mindset is huge. If you’re freaking out, your kids will be freaking out and it’ll be a big mess. So, take a step back and a deep breath. Give yourself the time to ease into this new routine. For most of us, that means at least a few days to reset in order to gain clarity.
Team Up with Your Kids
In my experience, if I don’t have my kids buy-in, we’re headed for disaster. So, how do you all get on the same page? Today, we took our first step by creating a Brainstorm Board of “What We Want to Learn”. Each of my kids took a different colored marker to jot down every possibility.
The result was a beautiful mind map of all that we can cover over the next few months. It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect, it is about the process.
Nothing crazy but make sure you have a notebook, a folder, and a journal for each child. I also suggest a binder and notebook for your own use.
Do Your Research
The good news is that I have done loads of research for you already. More good news is that the virtual world offers amazing resources and platforms for online learning. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Bravewriter – Language Arts Program
- SplashLearn is a robust math program for K thru 5
- Khan Academy is a fantastic resource that allows you to essentially create a curriculum for Deigo and will track his progress. You also have the ability to add coaches. Coaches can be a parent, a tutor, and so on.
- IXL outlines Colorado’s education standards across Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, & Spanish. You’re probably familiar with the program but it is far more robust than Dawson presents it to be (at least to parents). Homeschoolers across the country use this resource for tracking progress, digging deeper into topics of interest, and working on areas of weakness.
- Crash Course Youtube Channel
- Progidy Game for grades 1-8. A fun way to work on math, especially for kids who don’t particularly enjoy math!
- The Great Courses is a phenomenal resource and is only going to get better for homeschoolers.
- JAM is also a fun resource, not a standard curriculum but a lot of fun courses for kids.
- Thomas Jefferson Education appeals to me in a big way. I enjoy the perspective and different courses (e.g. studying the classics, leadership courses, history resources) offered to parents, kids, and families.
- Science4Us intrigues me.
- The Homeschool Treasury offers tons of super cool Colorado resources including factory tours, government enrichment, museums, and athletics resources for homeschoolers.
- Visit a museum virtually
- Explore the world with these Google Earth lessons
- Skillshare (we have been taking a Procreate class and really enjoying it.)
- Adventure Academy for 8 to 13-year-olds
- Duolingo Classroom
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