I am so excited to homeschool during this quarantine. I know, I may be very much in the minority here but hear me out before you start throwing stuff at me. I think this is such a unique opportunity for kids and parents. Trust me, I have quite a few friends who are true homeschoolers and I know that we are walking into isn’t true homeschooling. Nothing we are doing now is traditional anything. But we can make the best of it. I hope to do a combination of traditional schooling-meets-homeschooling-meets-unschooling. That last one is a real thing, no joke!
I’m Not a Teacher
I’ve been a substitute teacher since October but I’m not a teacher. Even when I sub a class, I’m not the teacher. Trying to pretend to be the actual teacher doesn’t work when you are a substitute. You’ll never do it the way “Mr./Ms. Enter-Name-Here” does it and the kids will let you know that quick! I don’t intend on trying to replace the role of Teacher with my kids either. And this is the beauty of it. Teachers are actually confined to a number rules and schedules. They are confined by the number of students they have, the varying levels and learning speeds of each individual student. I’m not! I only have 2 kids in this homeschool “classroom”. I have the freedom to move at my kids’ pace. As fast or as slow as they need.
This Isn’t a Classroom
I have no intention on making our house a classroom. Quarantine is weird. There isn’t any previous situation where we’ve been confined to our homes/neighborhoods for an extended period of time. It can be stressful and of course a big change. Kids feel this too. Maybe even more because they aren’t able to understand what’s going on and many young kids thrive on schedule and routine which is now completely upended. Kids need a new routine and they need home to feel like home. We will have an area carved out so work can be done or maybe it will switch day to day. Flexibility is key and maybe some days will homeschool in our rooms or the kitchen, whatever feels right that day.
Brain breaks whenever we want, PE in the sprinkler, pajama day every Monday, reading time in bed…the sky’s the limit! Again, teachers are confined by rules handed down by the county and administration, but parents don’t have these limitations. Incorporating spelling while doing soccer drills or math while building Legos, you can attach a learning moment to your kids’ favorite things so they don’t see it as work. If they want to sit outside while doing language arts, let it happen.
Time for Extras
When you don’t have a class filled to the brim with 20+ students, things just won’t take as long. It’s not going to take from 8-3pm to get school work done. There will be time for extras that student’s don’t normally get during their day. They can read more, draw more, ride bikes, swim, play in the sprinklers, be kids!
We can’t change what we are going through at the moment but we can try and make this a time of memories for our kids. A time to let them progress with learning but bring the fun back into learning something new. If you are working from home while “teaching” make sure to schedule homeschool time and down time into your work calendar. Try to give your kids blocked out time the way you block time in your calendar. Consider queuing up educational videos or brain break times when you have busy meetings. This will give the kids breaks and give you peace of mind that they won’t interrupt important meetings or work time.