There’s no denying that our world has been flipped upside down over the last few months. Face masks are the new norm, schools and business have shut down and millions of people are unemployed. Toilet paper has disappeared off of store shelves and meat prices have skyrocketed. While it’s a scary time for us, we need to remember to adjust our homeschooling ideas during the pandemic.
While we’re feeling stressed and anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to forget that our kids are worried, too. They’ve experienced stress of their own and like the rest of us, have so many unanswered questions. Baseball seasons have been cancelled, vacation plans have been thrown out the window and summer camps have been postponed. If you think this doesn’t affect our kiddos, you are absolutely wrong.
Tips for Homeschooling through a Pandemic
Talk To Your Kids About the Pandemic:
The truth is, your kids may need some time off to process our current situation. It’s a lot to digest, even for adults, and kids are still figuring out how the world works, so it’s even more scary to them. They may not have the stress of paying bills and putting food on the table, but they have can sense our stress. Add homeschooling to the chaos of everything else and the load can seem unbearable.
Besides the added stress that the pandemic brings, it also brings with it plenty of reasons to be depressed. Normally happy kids can start to feel lonely after being stuck at home for months on end. Not seeing friends, missing co-op and cancelled plans can seem devastating to kids.
It’s incredibly important that we regularly ask our kids how they’re feeling. Dig deep, asking if they miss their friends, what they think the worst part of the pandemic is and if they feel sad or lonely. Knowing where they stand can help you get a glimpse into how well they are processing the whole situation. You’ll need to talk to them daily, because, like adults, while they may feel okay one day, the next may be a low point. A roller coaster of emotions is totally normal and to be expected. If they’re worried that they or someone in the family may be sick, you can help put their minds at ease with at home COVID testing. These tests take place in a familiar, comfortable environment and can be administered to kids of all ages so you don’t have to worry about age-based test restrictions.
Set the Mood:
It’s easy to forget that where you study is almost as important as what you study. Kids learn better when they’ve had some fresh air, are in a comfortable environment and have plenty of sunshine. If possible, open the curtains everyday and allow the sunlight to fill the room you’re working in. Make sure there are plenty of cushiony places to sit and the temperature isn’t too hot or cold. Keep all of your kids’ school supplies handy and make sure they can relax and feel comfortable in your homeschool area.
Turn off the TV and turn on some calming background music. Allow the kiddos to pick where they want to study, instead of forcing them to sit around the kitchen table or in hard desks. Putting kids at ease helps them relax and allows them to focus on their homeschooling better.
Stick to a Routine:
With so much being “off” in the world, it’s important to keep up with the things we can control in our lives. Our daily routines may seem strained but it’s important to stick with your normal schedules as much as possible. That means, wake up at the same time, get dressed, do your morning routine, take a break, have some lunch, do some more learning , go outside for an hour or two then wrap up your homeschool day. Doing the same thing, day after day, seems daunting but it actually helps kids focus and gives them a sense of normalcy. Sticking to a routine can make a huge difference as you homeschool through this pandemic.
Focus on Anything but the Pandemic:
If there’s one thing that can help your successfully homeschool through the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s focusing on the task at hand. Shut the TV off, tune out the world and focus on your homeschool and kids. That means digging deeper into the topics you’re studying, reading more books and spending more time in nature. Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean your homeschool should suffer. You can spend the extra time exploring topics you’ve always wanted to focus on more.
Pick up a new hobby that helps you to pass the time. Take up coding, knitting or playing soccer in the yard. Whatever you’re focusing on, make sure it’s not the negatives in the world. Continue to learn, grow and thrive, even during this crazy time.
Keep Homeschooling Simple:
Now is not the time to make your homeschool more difficult. With stress levels through the roof, it’s important that we provide our kids with high quality homeschool curriculum that doesn’t intimidate them. They need to know they’re learning everything they need, without a lot of extra meaningless fluff. Pandemic homeschooling doesn’t have to be harder than usual.
To be honest, during this time of stress, I want more off of my own plate. I don’t want any more responsibilities, on top of everything that’s already going on. I’ve been homeschooling long enough to know when I need to pass off some responsibilities and get some help in our homeschool. Luckily, I don’t need to look too far to find help for my kiddos. With Study.com’s comprehensive curriculum, I know I can count on my kids to learn everything they need, with very little help from me.
Using over 25,000 engaging video lessons, quizzes and an app, all learning styles can benefit from Study.com. It’s perfect for all kids, in grades 3-12 and offers all subjects, from math and English to finances and physics. High schoolers can even earn college credit while taking high school classes online!
Best of all, the automatic grading feature takes care of all of the hard work for me! No need to plan lessons, teach the kiddos or figure grade point averages. That leaves me even more time to catch up on laundry, run errands or maybe even sneak in a nap. (Okay, I’m probably dreaming on that last one, but it could happen!)
No one said pandemic homeschooling would be easy, but like everything else in life right now, we need to hang on tight and do our best. Take it one day one at a time, making sure you allow plenty of time to rest and reflect on events stirring around us. Create a successful homeschooling environment and continue to rock your homeschool!