Transition For Families
If you are on this page, chances are you are new to homeschooling because current circumstances left you no choice. You may also have kids in different grades, and you might be working remotely. If you are overwhelmed, it just means you’re normal.
We are here as a resource and happy to help you navigate this new territory.
First things first – let’s cover some of the most common questions coming from parents and caregivers just like you.
You don’t have to replicate your kid’s normal school schedule. Many students will be able to work more quickly than when they are in a regular class, so you can’t expect them (or yourself) to fill a seven-hour school day. We will give you some scheduling options to consider.
In the beginning, you may just want to have them reading, reviewing math concepts, and getting some exercise. As things progress, add in other subjects.
There are several options. Many companies are providing free resources, and we will make suggestions. This is also the perfect opportunity to use what you have available:
- Dive into uninterrupted discussions about topics of interest
- Journal – keep a record of what life is like during this time.
- Play is a powerful learning tool, so let the kids play — and don’t feel guilty about it.
- Watch and discuss documentaries
- Write and perform skits
- Rewrite the endings of familiar stories
- Perform science experiments (YouTube has a lot of good ones)
- Listen to podcasts
- Write letters or emails
- Discuss math/science concepts while cooking or baking
- Read a book – then watch the movie version and discuss the differences
- Plan a family trip (this is an example of an activity that can incorporate numerous topics – everything from geography to language arts and math)
- Set up an arts and crafts station with whatever you have on hand.
- Read books that are sitting on the shelf
- Brainstorm topics that family members would like to investigate.
Your child can show you where they left off in textbooks and homework; that should give you a starting point. You can continue working through each textbook or use the “Table of Contents” as your guide, and turn to online resources to cover the concepts. For example, if your child is working on “Decimal Place Value,” instead of working out of their book, they can complete lessons online using a user-friendly resource such as Khan Academy. You’ll find that resource and others under “Daily Foundational Math” and “English Language Arts, Suggestions.”
Start the day off with a quick meeting and set some scheduling expectations (or do this the night before if you will be working when your kids get up in the morning). Let them know what your work schedule is for the day. Discuss what they can do without your help (audible books, podcasts, chores, math review, grammar review, journal, research, exercise, art, play, etc.), and identify where they’ll need assistance.
Schedule time-slots when you can be available, and keep in mind that school can take place in non-traditional hours.
- Checklists are a great tool. If each child has a list of what is expected – they can mark items off throughout the day instead of having to ask you what to do next. Include chores on the list – there is always something that needs to be done, and it may free you up to help them with schoolwork.
- Consider getting some back-up support from friends and family members who would be willing to help kids via phone, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangout, etc. They could be “on call,” or you could schedule blocks of time (freeing you up for other obligations).
- Team-up with another parent to offer online “office hours” or a “class” for each other’s kids.
- Many older siblings are able and willing to help younger siblings – ask if they can guide an activity (a craft, a science experiment, a skit) or read with a younger sibling.
You may not have a teaching credential, but you have been teaching your child since they were born. You don’t have to be an expert in every subject. Parents can be especially overwhelmed with the prospect of teaching older students. The good news is – you don’t have to. Just be a guide or learn along with them. Older kids can find sources when they need help with a concept. Let them do some of the legwork. Sources such as Khan Academy are free and cover an array of subjects (including AP courses).
I know parents across the country are currently homeschooling out of necessity, but under normal circumstances, is it legal to homeschool?
Yes, it’s legal in every state. As things stand right now, your child’s school is on a mandated break, and he/she is still legally enrolled in that school.
If you choose to pull your child out of their current school, you must enroll them in a new school (or you may be able to file an affidavit with your state to function as a private school).
If you have other questions, let us know. We are here to help.