Before I jump into sharing our homeschool routine, I gave it a lot of thought and I decided that it would be far more helpful to encourage the moms out there navigating all this for the first time. THIS IS NOT EASY. If you found a site, or blogger, or person that says homeschooling is easy UNFOLLOW them. They are a LIAR. The struggle is real. There’s so so so much out there that you could do. It’s overwhelming. Thankfully most of our teachers are working super hard to get us some guidance so you don’t have to create the wheel (or copy somone else’s).
There’s a reason we switched from homeschooling full-time to our current hybrid charter. Coming up with a syllabus/lesson plan, implementing said plan, managing your kids, and home life is a lot to take on.
It’s a LOT.
So here’s my advice: take baby steps.
It seems like most of us fall into one of two groups. The overachiever that plans every fifteen minutes of the day or the avoider that feels too overwhelmed to start a routine.
Neither is wrong. We’re all built so differently and we all respond to stressful situations and cope differently. You might be somewhere in between – keep reading you’ll get a lot out of this too. I personally bounce between both depending on the situation. OR I avoid and then overplan ;-P
To the overachiever I caution you to pace yourself. For most of us it’s looking like at least 3 weeks of this situation. You might have a really great start and then burn out. The thing about homeschooling is that it isn’t traditional brick and mortor schooling. Take the pressure off. A full day of school at home isn’t necessary to keep your kids learning and growing. Keeping their brains busy with creative play is a great opportunity this sitation is providing us. Keeping structure is fantastic. If you’ve taken on too much pair it back. Instead of giving 3 worksheets on the same subject see where you kiddo is being challenged and focus their time and energy on that primarily. Review what they know and challenge them with the next thing. You don’t need to do busy work – Hallelujah! This is an awesome opporunity to close some learning gaps and even get them ahead.
Just think if your child’s teacher had the ability to work one on one with your child they wouldn’t waste time or energy going over things they already know. In class they have to go the pace of the majority of the kids. They try to help the ones struggling and they try to challenge the advanced, but they can’t devote all their time to either. While they’re home we get to do that! It’s exciting (not easy).
It’s a juggling act. For example: My oldest last year was asking questions that showed us she was ready for multiplication and division. She hadn’t memorized simple addition equations though. It bugged me to move on when she couldn’t quickly aswer 6+7. So instead of holding her back we introducted multiplication slowly and did drills to help her memorize simple math equations simultaneously.
To the avoider take a deep breathe. You’re going to survive. It’s going to be okay. You’re probably feeling overwhelmed and paralized. You don’t have to do all the things. You don’t have to be a Pinterest Mom. Not doing all that stuff the overachievers are doing doesn’t make you a bad mom. But your avoiding stress is probably stressing you out. Structure probably isn’t something you seek out or like being imposed on you. But your kids running a muck and/or not learning doesn’t feel great either. Take it easy and just start small. Baby steps my friend. Switch that binge watching to Magic School Bus or some other educational program. When the show is over talk to your kids about what they learned. For big kids have them write down a summary. For littles have them draw a picture. Super easy and you’ll feel amazing.
The next day do it again! Then you might try googling the same subject for a worksheet or easy project related to the topic they learned. Don’t go all over the place. Just put one foot in front of the other. They learned about the states of matter? Cool make some apple sauce and review them together. Tell yourself something is better than nothing and you don’t have to be an expert to try. This is just my opinion – but the avoiders/ type B’s/ go with the flow peeps seem to be the pretty artsy and creative ones. Let your creative instincts take over. Whatever you do don’t compare. Find what works for you and build on it. You’ll make some pretty awesome memories and see your kids through a whole new lens as you watch them learn and explore.
Now, I recognize the curiousity is there to see what we do. We follow this structure, but it isn’t rigid. We might spend more time on lessons back to back and end early or we might do most of our lessons in the afternoon. The imporant thing is figuring out what system works best for you and your kids. Break it down to as simple a subject a day if you’re just starting. Or as simple as 10-30 minutes (depending on child’s attention span) per subject.
- Social Studies
These are strange times. I never saw myself sharing any of my experience in homeschooling so publicly. In the past it’s been a subject I converse with many about in DM’s. But with everthing going on right now it was something I felt could help more people if I wrote it out and made some graphics… so here we are. I hope it helps!