Your homeschooling guide during coronavirus shutdown period
The coronavirus (or COVID-19) is forcing schools to close and now, parents are faced with the challenge of how to homeschool and occupy their children during this time. This may not necessarily be a bad thing. This article will share some quick tips on the simple, most essential steps to take to make this doable for the next few weeks.
First things first
- Obviously, take the standard basic prevention measures and teach your children about washing their hands before eating, after using the bathroom, after touching animals, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and not on your hands, etc. Take vitamin C and keep good quality immunoboosters handy, such as echinacea drops for cold and flu, elderberry tea or syrup, olive leaf extract, chicken broth and soup frozen beforehand, or whatever else you prefer to use to stay well.
- Follow the news (without getting obsessive) to stay up to date regarding emergency regulations, school shutdowns and reopening times and medical procedures so that you know what to do when.
- Don’t spend a huge amount of money now on education resources. Be wise and resourceful, use what you have around the house and pool resources with friends and family where applicable.
Yes, you can homeschool your kids
Relax and do not be anxious. Know that you are not alone, and you can do it! You don’t need a degree or a teacher’s qualification to be good at it. There are thousands of children who are being home educated in South Africa.
Don’t put yourself under pressure to replicate school at home and keep your children busy from 8am to 2pm. Schools spend a lot of time on organising children. At home, feel free to do what works for YOU. Sleep late and do school in the afternoons, doing free play in the mornings if you like. Read aloud from classic books or whatever your children enjoy, and watch some educational movies, or documentaries on nature and other interesting topics. All of life is full of learning experiences, so explore!
Basic steps to homeschool for the next few weeks
- Look up an overview of your child's work/curriculum for the year as a guideline.
- Determine where your child needs the most help and what they can do independently. Those are your focus points.
- Depending on your work circumstances, look for resources that would best fit you and your child's needs — online programs, free resources, or use the opportunity to try something a little different like Cambridge. Or maybe, you might just take a break!
- Connect with other homeschooling families in your area via Facebook and WhatsApp for some helpful advice and support.
- Get yourself a notebook to keep track of what your child has done every day so that you have a record for peace of mind.
- Get help from family, friends, tutors, babysitters, or other homeschoolers if you are unable to be home with your child when schools close. Obviously, do so safely to protect those who are truly vulnerable with chronic illnesses and weak immunity. Set up your support systems now - it's always handy to know who you can count on.
- Adjust your expectations – this is going to be different and everything you plan will not always work out, and that’s okay. Create a simple schedule, set up a meal plan of your family’s favourite simple meals, and let your children help with chores and tasks around the home.
- If you do end up in a quarantine situation, make use of puzzles, board games, playdough, construction toys, educational shows and documentaries, e-books, educational apps and hobbies to pass the time in a way that makes learning fun and hands-on.
- You could consider letting your children take a complete break from the pressure of schooling and just make it a special family time together. They won’t forget everything! Children may well benefit from it and master concepts they’ve been struggling with once they return to school.
- Plan something enjoyable for your family – a picnic in your home or yard, a fun project you’ve always wanted to do, learn a new skill together, or plan some acts of kindness, like writing cards for others in isolation. This will help you keep a positive mindset.
Make this a positive opportunity
Use this as an opportunity to try and see what homeschooling could be like for your family and how you might make it work. The Corona virus will pass, as most troubles do. If you end up enjoying it so much that you don't want to send your children back to school, you'll be in good hands if you've followed the suggestions above.
If you are seriously considering continuing the homeschooling journey beyond the next few weeks, join the Pestalozzi Trust. They are a legal defence organisation for homeschooling families that assists with regulatory matters.
More helpful links below:
Here are some links to our starter guides and other resources for parents who are new to homeschooling.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and make the most of this time with your family.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.
Since many kids are/will be home from school, sharing an awesome list of ideas from a parent who homeschools.
- Curiosity Stream
- Beast Academy (Math)
- Khan Academy
- Creative Bug
- Discovery Education
- Crash Course Kids
- Science Channel
- SciShow Kids
- National Geographic Kids
- Free School
- Geography Focus
- Kids Learning Tube
- Geeek Gurl Diaries
- Mike Likes Science
- Science Max
Lots of board games, library books (and Kindle), tinkering/upcycling with household junk, etc.
Some resources to help with kids at home:
*Scholastic has created a free learn-from-home site with 20+ days of learning and activities.
*Pretend to travel the world..Go on a virtual tour of these 12 famous museums.
*This is the awesome free curriculum that we use. Everything from preschool activities to 12th grade is here!
*List of thinking games by grade: https://allinonehomeschool.com/thinking/
*More awesome free learning websites that we like to use*
Please feel free to share this with anyone who you think may benefit from this
The above sites are provided free until the end of May for people isolated at home due to Coronavirus.
1. free audio books from amazon in 6 languages.
2. Free virtual Visits to 17 European museums.
3. 700 Free books from Cambridge press
4. Free broadway shows
Enjoy social distancing and keep healthy!