How to Homeschool Your Kids While Schools Are Closed


Photo by WoodleyWonderworks, Flickr, Creative Common

Parents around the country are facing uncertainty and anxiety about the coronavirus or Covid-19 and that’s paired with the fact that schools around the country are canceled for at least the next few weeks.

In that time, parents are encouraged to continue helping their children learn, but it’s challenging to know where to start with a homeschool program.

The following are some things you can teach your kids, some resources and some tips you can use during this time to make the most of your children being at home.

Life Skills

While many of us are feeling uncertain, there are some things we can do to be productive during the coronavirus outbreak, including helping our children learn life skills while they’re at home. Use this time to prioritize things you might not otherwise work with your children on.

For example, you could work with your children on fire safety, how to prevent the spread of germs, viruses, and bacteria, and how to do things around the house.

Depending on the age of your children, you can also work with them on cooking basic meals, doing laundry, and other tasks around the house.

Online Curriculum

While it’s certainly stressful to think about the need to homeschool your kids for a period of time, there are outstanding online resources, including:

  • Scholastic offers something called the Learn at Home program, with around 20 days of curriculum so your kids can keep learning even when they aren’t at school. There are daily lessons for pre-K through sixth grade, and they have four different learning experiences. Lessons last up to three hours each, and you can do them on any device.
  • Khan Academy features online learning that’s free to users and there is a personalized learning dashboard, instructional videos, and other exercises. Students can work on a variety of subjects ranging from history to computer programming. There’s also content that comes from NASA and the Museum of Modern Art, among other specialized partners.
  • While public school students are affected by shutdowns, Outschool is featuring free online live classes for students between the ages of 3 and 18. There are topics like math, social studies, science, art, wellness, and languages.
  • Prodigy Math is a free math platform that’s used by tens of millions of students and teachers. It includes game-style play.
  • If your kids would like to use their time home to learn a new language, Duolingo is free, and it features gamified lessons that are short and easy to follow.

Create a Schedule

If you’re having a tough time during quarantine, it may be helpful to create a daily schedule that loosely follows what your kids would do at school.

You can give yourself some flexibility because things don’t always go according to plan, but having some general roadmap for the day might be helpful.

Block out chunks of time for learning, play, perhaps some science experiments, and some time for physical activity.

Let Older Kids Connect Virtually with Friends

It’s not advised that kids have any playdates for the next few weeks, which means that your kids may be a bit lonely.

Help them by encouraging them to connect with friends virtually. You may be able to get Facetime or Skype numbers from their friends’ parents via social media and then they can have some time to chat each day.

Give Your Kids Independent Time

You don’t need to micromanage your kids every second unless they’re very young. If you have school-aged children, they’re used to working somewhat independently while they are at school, so let them do this at home.

Give them something that they can do without you and let them take ownership of the project. This can be especially useful if you’re trying to work from home.

If your kids lose interest in working on things independently, a good option is to use Audible. Audible offers many different audiobooks for children and young adults, and the voice artists make these audiobooks a lot of fun for kids.

This will give you a chance to work or go about your routine as normal, but it’s not just putting your kids in front of the TV during this time.

While it may not be possible in all areas of the country if you have a yard and can get outside, try to do that during this time as well. Sunshine and fresh air can be valuable for kids and us as adults as well.

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