To the Parent Experiencing the Unexpected Season of Homeschooling...



We see you! This is a weird time. Everyone is home together full time, AND we’re supposed to have academic environments at our kitchen tables. We have gathered some ideas and helpful tips from some of our Grace families that are experienced in homeschooling in hopes we can support you and your child. Don’t be overwhelmed! There are resources and help available, but know first of all--you’re doing great with what you have. In this season we have the opportunity to exercise our faith and trust that God is with us and goes before us. What a sweet time we get with our families all together, and our hope and prayer is that you would grow closer as a family unit.

Two things:
  1. Click here to see a conversation, Grace moms, Carol Shippy and Michelle Teo had about some real questions moms have about homeschooling: from siblings, to hours of school work, to schedules, screen time, and how to do the other things that got done while the kids were at school--they shared some AMAZING ideas. Thank you ladies for your generous wisdom!
  2. We broke down some of their wisdom into some practical bullet points as well below.

We are cheering you on!


Where To Start...

• Understand the direction from their school.
• Be confident! God gave you your family, with you at the head of it--you are allowed and appointed to direct your kids.
• Build a schedule that works for your family.
• Stick to a routine--they are used to a wake up and bedtime routine already. Stick with it!
• Expect bad days to come and have grace for that. Focus on making sure your child feels heard, understood, loved, and cared for.
• Remember: Interruptions can be places and times for the really beautiful things to happen, so welcome this interruption and expect God to meet you and your kids in it.
• If something doesn’t work, try something new! Be honest with your kids, “this didn’t work very well so we are going to try something else!”
• Start each day with quiet time and Jesus.


Tips

• Protect your quiet time, it is so important for you to meet the day with Jesus before you jump into academics.
• More than anything, this is a time to really press into and develop a strong relationship with your children. You being with them is ultimately what they need, everything else is a bonus!
• Have a family meeting to help everyone get on board with coming out stronger individually and as a family at the end of this season.
• Come up with incentives as a family to complete individual homework and chores, and extra incentives if the whole family completes those tasks.
• Your school day will not be perfect and that’s ok. School at home does not work the same way as in a classroom. Take advantage of the informality and strength of the home environment to address heart and character issues.
• Focus on putting relationships first instead of assignments (especially in this time of crisis).
• Another tip is that I always phrased whatever I asked of the kids in regards to the household with the term “We do.” Encouraging that success came with us helping together.
• After quiet time, try doing the more hands on stuff; gym, read alouds from their curriculum or a favorite book or a game!
• Embrace quiet moments and don’t fear boredom; boredom is good for fostering creativity and independence.
• Don’t worry about your kids getting behind, focus on building memories, finding daily rhythms that aren’t overwhelming, use this season as an opportunity to capitalize on more moments to come together as a family than you would get with your kids away at school.
• Try to avoid regularly turning to TV, but there are many good resources available on TV that can supplement education.
• For working parents, try to homeschool and be with kids from 9-12 (2 hours or 3 hours is recommended), and then do creative time/screen time in the afternoon while you get your work done.
• Switch homeschooling responsibilities with your spouse but stick to the same schedule so the kids have an easy transition.
• Use technology like MarcoPolo, facetime, Facebook, ect to keep up relationships and to talk with other parents.
• Ask questions! Reach out to people that may have different ideas.
• Have a relative or friend read or tell a story to your kids over FaceTime or Zoom
• Routine and schedules are HEALTHY. Find what works for your family and stick with it. Kids thrive in schedules.
• Customize these schedules to meet your families needs.
• Build in time for spiritual formation during their school time, start each day with Jesus and bring that theme into their studies.
•  Prioritize quiet time midday to recharge for parents.


Resources

For Kids Aged 2-7
• The Other Goose
• Adventures in Odyssey Club – free 28 day trial

All Ages
Right Now Media– free Christian resource provided by our church with devotionals for you and YOUR kids! Along with Biblical TV show series and movies for kids.
Scholastic Learn at Home
Rainbow Resource – affordable Christian/Secular curriculum you can purchase, forums you can engage with other parents on, and a lot of other articles you can check out.
 Khan Academy – Teaching videos for many subjects, is really helpful with Math/Sciences, he explains it in a different way that can help students understand when you are stuck in explaining a difficult concept.
Audio books – going through an audio adventure together while listening to someone else (great for quiet time so you can get work done while they listen. Let them draw or do lego while they listen quietly) Audible.com has a 30 day free trial! They also have free online book readings for kids.
Raddish Kids has posted some free recipes on their websites. Try turning mealtime and baking into education, recipe planning, math, etc
Read Aloud Revival – great book lists broken down by genre, age, wordless, etc.
Smarter Every Day – Kid friendly, science YouTube videos – have them listen and then tell you what they learned, trying to remember actual terms
Metropolitan Opera in NYC is going to start streaming their HD opera recordings each night. The operas will be available for 20 hours after they first debut.
Museum of Natural History’s interactive website
Library Resources (e-books)
Language Arts Teaching – Three free weeks of intensive teaching for kids Grades 3 – 12 on all things grammar.
Social Emotional Learning – As our rhythms get disrupted and many normal distractions are stripped away from our routine it is common for social, emotional, and mental health issues to start popping up in our kids lives. This online resource is helpful for equipping parents with tools to engage with their kids and to allow them to process through this difficult time.