So many parents are now facing the reality of another year of homeschooling during coronavirus. Rather than biding time assuming kids will be back in a traditional school in short order, create a simple plan now to give your kids a great education at home.
So what are the steps to a great plan for homeschooling during coronavirus? Start by remembering that every child is different. Some may thrive in an online environment while others need more one-on-one education. When coupled with the demands on YOUR time it may seem homeschooling is a puzzle that simply cannot go together. The best thing you can do is set up a time and place to learn everyday. This is going to be just like working out: if you put it off just a little, the falling behind will really start to pile up!
The key to success is going to be:
- Tailoring the plan to your kid(s) needs and strengths
- Start with what the school wants/expects then work out form there
- If possible, work in a break or two even if it means an overall longer time at work
- Do not be afraid to take the show on the road
I cannot stress enough that there is no “one size fits all” to homeschooling during coronavirus. Your work schedule might be different from mine. Maybe you have more or less kids, at different ages, and with different traditional school schedules.
Maintain flexibility as best you can while homeschooling during coronavirus but start at least with a set schedule. From there you can make adjustments as necessary. Better to go that route (I think) as opposed to just “winging it” every day and inevitably not finding the times for ALL the things in your family’s life, not just the schoolwork.
The Homeschooling During Coronavirus Plan
Today is August 27th which is less than a week before “school” starts. I say it in quotes because it does not feel much like the beginning of school.
To date I have only received a general idea of a daily schedule without any specifics for either of my kid’s classes. My kids are going to be in 1st grade and kindergarten. What does this mean:
- Less time most likely necessary to get them taught
- More of my time needed to get that teaching done
For my friends and family that have older kids that are in middle or high school, what I am hearing is that they can let their kids do their own thing. They have a schedule they need to follow on a daily basis and parents can check in with them to see that it is getting done.
For kids my age I need to teach them. While there may be some things they can accomplish on their own for a few minutes, it is going to be me guiding and leading the learning all the time while homeschooling during coronavirus.
The flip side is that what they need to do can be done in relatively short order compared to the variety of subjects a high school student needs to cover.
I have heard it said that in a homeschooling environment that kids should work 1 hour per day per grade. So my kids should do an hour per day?
As of right now it seems that there will be some parts of the day where my kids will be online with their classmates and their teacher (the “S: times below) while homeschooling during coronavirus. These will occur both in the morning, and also after lunchtime.
It would seem these are mandatory for the kids. My guess is that beyond the learning that will occur with their teacher, the school needs a record of attendance to collect tax revenue just as with in-person learning.
If this is the case, I’m going to work my homeschooling during coronavirus schedule around that. We will probably do some more work after the morning session and then we will stop doing any schoolwork until the afternoon session. My guess is that based on the schedule that will be all the school work that we do in a typical day.
This gap is a great time to do something, frankly anything else. That is good for both you and the kids.
My guess is that we will not need 6 or 7 hours per day like a typical in-person school day for homeschooling during coronavirus. This highlights what they are missing with in-person school since at this age it is the act of being at school that is just as important as the material that is learned and practiced. I also do not know how practical it is for any parent to teach their kids form 9:30 until 4:00 as this suggests.
How Will The Work Be Presented To Us
I am sure every district handles their homeschooling during coronavirus differently but in the end they all need to find a way to communicate with students and parents remotely. For me this is a combination of online meeting tools combined with a place for assignments and finally a communication platform.
Here is what my district is using:
These are all fairly straightforward and easy to use. If you have issues, there are online resources to get you on the right track. Beyond that schools should guide you if you have issues. If they do not, DEMAND that they do.
By all means do not spend days or weeks in the dark homeschooling during coronavirus while you and your kids fall farther behind. The more time you spend trying to figure this out, the longer your learning days get and that means less time for everything else.
What To Do In Lieu Of Lunch and Recess
If your schedule allows it, use the time in-between online sessions to do something active. Get outside if possible and do something active. Pack a lunch and kill two birds with one stone.
While you’re at it, if you have the tech capability, take the homeschooling during coronavirus outside as well. I think it is important to stick to a TIME schedule but it does not need to be limited geographically.
Time For Your Work….Time For You
If you need time to work yourself you already know what a challenge homeschooling should be. As I said earlier, be flexible. If you need to be on a conference call during a scheduled school time, by all means change the school time.
Should I just transition to actual homeschooling?
I do not think this is the worst idea in the world. If I am going to have to do the bulk of the work, I have often thought I might as well create my own plan that works for me and my kids. Every state has their own criteria for homeschooling so if you think this might be for you check it out.