The current COVID-19 pandemic has everyone at home, leaving parents and teachers taking on the challenge of homeschooling their children/students. Not surprisingly, a raft of material has appeared online to offer support. We have selected a few for you, noting some consensus among them on key tips and strategies. Those of you who are teachers will have your own curriculum, of course, but you may find some of the tips and strategies helpful nevertheless, since some classroom skills may not transfer effectively to a homeschooling environment. Parents can take heart with words of support and advice from more experienced home-schooling parents.
- How to Homeschool During the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak – In this Goodhousekeeping article, parents who are already homeschooling their children offer tips for newbies, such as: not needing to mirror your child’s school schedule; setting time aside for elementary students to play, for middle school-aged students to interact with their friends, and for high school students to focus on supporting mental health, suggesting you “…allow your kids to grieve the loss of activities they were looking forward to, like graduation parties, prom, or travel.”
- Trying to homeschool because of coronavirus? Here are 5 tips to help your child learn – The well-regarded website The Conversation lists five tips for homeschooling, among them: Create a space in your house for learning activities—any space will do, provided the students can focus and be safe; get your technological ducks in a row by checking what you’ll need for the work that the school will send; create a daily routine; familiarize yourself with the content your child is likely to receive from the school; and, finally, don’t get in the way.
- The Best Homeschooling Resources Online – Dated pre-COVID-19, the online journal Parents provided a more detailed and in-depth approach to homeschooling, with a condensed look (a short paragraph each) of various philosophies of education, from Waldorf to Montessori. You may not need them, but you may be interested in the types of online curriculum available, as well as their opinion of best websites for online learning, and more.
- Teacher: ‘You don’t have to strive for perfection’ when homeschooling your kids – The NBC show Today focuses on parents as first time homeschoolers in this short read. They offer ten tips, such as, Take it easy on yourself, you’re not striving for perfection. Interestingly, rather than struggling to stave off boredom, they recommend allowing the inevitable boredom to happen, suggesting it fosters imagination and creativity. Don’t be afraid to go old-school by writing old-fashioned letters, for example; and finally, they advise, “Our kids are going to remember this moment forever. Teaching them how to weather a crisis just may be the most important lesson they ever learn.”
- A parent’s guide to surviving COVID-19: 8 strategies to keep children healthy and happy – While repeating similar strategies as other sites, The Brookings people add a few new twists, like making music, conducting a back-yard field trip, and letting grandparents take over duties from time to time. A closing optimistic quote, “Home can be a crowded space for families trying to accommodate both school and work. With a bit of creativity and a lot of flexibility, parents and grandparents can make this period of uncertainty enriching. Think ahead and a difficult time can prove an educational experience for all.”
- How to homeschool during the coronavirus crisis – In this short video, Hazel Davis, an experienced homeschooler, passes on her wisdom after homeschooling two children over the past five years, while working from home.
- A Parenting Guide During COVID-19: Be Kind to Yourself – Writing for Public Health Insider, Erin Murphy and Megan McJennett advise that, as homeschoolers, parents should be kind to themselves because, “These are extraordinary times. We are calling on parents to work, teach, keep house, keep calm, but be vigilant and for goodness sakes, make sure everyone washes their hands all the time and keep 6 feet away from everyone else,” –a tall order, as they put it. So, make sure you get fresh air, they suggest, expect that the Internet may go out, and that you may not have all the answers. “In short, in these unprecedented days we need to be gentle – to be gentle with our kids, ourselves, and our community.”
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