I’m sorry to hear all the schools have mostly closed at home (and globally) and I hope you are all balancing the working from home, childcare and homeschooling triple job syndrome!
All I can say is welcome to homeschooling… It does get easier I promise once you all have adjusted to it. My top tips are;
1. Be easy on yourself and lower any perfectionist aspirations. For young children a bit of maths, English and reading each day is a great week. Anything on top is a bonus!
2. Less is more. Plenty of breaks works well for everyone, you included. Fighting for two hours on spellings or maths is not productive. 15-20 mins bursts on times tables, workbooks or spellings followed by 5 mins Lego breaks work wonders for us. We only do school in the mornings, it’s simply too hot otherwise.
3. Use what you’ve got. We’ve got iguanas living by the fuel dock bins so we are studying them and researching all about them. The boys are fascinated and happily write long lists of interesting facts about them (yet moan unbelievably if they have to write sentences in their journals).
The nearest family boat to us were studying Greeks last week, so we all joined in and dressed up for a Greek symposium organised (and researched by the kids). School doesn’t have to be (just) working indoors on workbooks. Learning is all around you. The more experiential the better.
4. Have fun, laugh and join in. We all took part in learning about saving coral reefs and turtles today and all had a go at drawing turtles too. You’re never too old to learn too and you become a great role model in the process.
5. Reward charts do work. We have stickers earned for doing certain things each day (eg time tables, English, reading etc). Depending on the number of stars earned during the week the rewards change e.g. food treat for 20 stars, 30 mins of cartoons for 30 stars etc. It works a treat. Keep it simple and don’t change the goal posts.
6. If you miss a day or have a bad day with the kids, stop, start something else (painting or baking with them, or a board game with dice – it’s all got numbers/measurement or coordination in it).
Start again the next day, clean slate. Don’t carry the guilt, it’s too heavy and does no good! Talk to others in the same situation (email/Skype whatever), you are not alone and can laugh about it and get their tips and help.
I’ll stop at six points but could waffle on….just think you have internet and WiFi the whole time. You have resources at your finger tips. We live off-grid mostly so I can’t advise on the best websites to use as I can’t rely on having access to any of them. I swear by the Schofield and Sims workbooks (bought before we left on Amazon or Schofield&Sims website) as they help ‘teach’ and not just be workbooks to complete. Also long division teaching seems to have changed a lot since I last did it…..
More importantly, now you are all doing homeschooling you will become experts and please send me your tips too! I am not a teacher or an expert and I am open for any idea that works!