A PERSONAL SCHOOL FROM HOME MESSAGE
BEFORE WE GET TO THE SCHOOL AT HOME TIPS, I WANT TO SHARE A MESSAGE I RECEIVED FROM A PANICKED MOM DURING THIS BACK TO SCHOOL TIME:
[SCHOOL AT HOME TIPS AFTER THIS SECTION]
I received a message that really tugged at my heartstrings because boy do I remember being here. I’ve shared her message (with permission if I didn’t use her name) and my answer back because I know some of you must be feeling the same.
“Hi. I don’t really know what to say except that I need help. I’m in a full blown panic attack about how to home school my two kids. What if they fall behind? How am I supposed to do all of this? If you were me where would you start? Do I need to find homeschool programs?”
I totally get where you are coming from. It’s pretty overwhelming to start schooling at home when you’ve planned for it, let alone when you’ve been thrown into it and are being forced to homeschool / school from home online.
LET’S JUST SAY IT: IT SUCKS.
And, I’m going to drop a truth-bomb:
It might continue to suck for a little while during this time: AND THAT’S COMPLETELY NORMAL.
AND… it’s going to take a little bit of mindshift on your part…
What I want you to know is that if you do ANY kind of learning (watching History or cooking channels, coding a video game, taking a nature hike etc etc etc), your kids are not going to fall behind. I know it feels unnatural compared to what you’ve been used to, but you’ll just have to trust me on this.
IF SUDDENLY THROWN INTO SCHOOLING FROM HOME…
1. If you’re schooling from home (as in, still attending your public or private school, but doing lessons from home or in person) and want to move to homeschooling full time, you’ll need to look to your state’s homeschool laws and also find out what your current school says about transitioning out of their school.
2. If you’re transitioning to home school, take a break. (Even though we’ve all been at home for months!) Don’t spend these first days (or couple of weeks) trying to recreate school at home. I strongly suggest deschooling for a period of time. (There’s no magic “
homeschool near me” heel clicking three times to take care of all of this, but deschool will help!)
3. If your kids want to sleep in on school days (and don’t have to be on virtual classes at certain times), let them sleep in. They’ll still be able to function in the world later in life. I promise. 🙂 (And, it will be better for all of you!)
4. If you have a more independent school schedule (or remote learning schedule), don’t try to do all the things. Pick one or two things to focus on each day as “learning.” You don’t need to spend hours and hours sitting at a table doing worksheets. There are absolutely zero studies that say your child needs to be focused on academics from a textbook for 6-8 hours each day.
5. If it’s not working, don’t force it. If doing an assigned worksheet or reading from a text is causing drama at the moment, give it a break and come back to it later.
6. Transitioning to homeschooling? Ask your kids what they want to learn. (GASP. I KNOW.) And, then learn it with them. (Did I really want to learn Minecraft? That answer is NO. Yet I still listen to hours of Minecraft discussion each week.) This is a great time to help your child develop a love of learning. One of the best ways to do that is to allow them to learn about what they want.
7. Realize that learning can take place anywhere in your house (or even your backyard or balcony! FOR REAL!). You don’t necessarily need a homeschool room
(especially if you have a small space), but if you have a homework area or a place to keep school supplies in one spot, cool. If not, don’t sweat it.
8. Stop listening to everyone else and spending hours complaining or commiserating in Facebook groups. Instead, just step back a little and let your family find their groove. If your kids want to lounge in bed for an hour when they first wake up reading or playing on their phone, let them. Schedules can be relaxed and flexible. Your kids will still learn!
9. BREATHE and realize that this will not look or feel like anything else you’ve experienced. No one expects you to be perfect, but you are the parent and — believe it or not — you are already qualified to lead your child in learning. It’s probably going to push you way out of your comfort zone, though. That’s OK.
KEEP SCROLLING TO GET INTO DIFFERENT SCHOOL AT HOME REQUIREMENTS AND HOMESCHOOL LIFE HELP!