Homeschooling for the 'Unschooled'.. its easier than you think!
I never would have thought that a decision my husband and I made over 10+ years ago would coincide with a decision that that so many are being made to make today.
This time has been pretty surreal for most of the world. We've all seen country by country close down their borders, shut down businesses, and close down schools. Right when we thought that maybe things could return to some type of normalcy, corona cases started going back up and the inevitable happened for so many families across the U.S. …. schools announced they would no longer open up for a 'normal' school year.
This is not a post telling you which homeschool curriculum to use, or the best schedule to implement. Just real advice, for real homeschool families!
Just real advice, for real homeschool families!
To make the decision to homeschool took my hubby and I lots of prayer and time spent researching. Once the decision was made, it took many more hours, days, and weeks to prepare for the first day of school. Add to that 10+ years of experience to feel comfortable enough to share this very pertinent information with the 'unschooled'.
'Unschooled': 1. Parent who just decided to homeschool and needs a little help and or encouragement. 2. Parent who has been made to homeschool due to covid-19 aka "that Rona"
If you find yourself in either category, this post is for you!
Homeschool can be a little overwhelming, or downright scary for those who find themselves in a predicament they did not choose. Yes, your time is dedicated to your children for most of the day, especially if you have elementary aged children. Yes, the groceries seem to disappear rapidly. (They forget that they couldn't just eat anytime they wanted at school!) However, it is really easier than you think.
Throw Out All Expectations....period
Little Johnny is a great student. He gets straight A's, answers all the questions correctly, does his schoolwork the neatest out of his whole class. Yet at home his name isn't Little Johnny,
It's John Michael. You know.... " John Michael, you get over here right now, I said BRUSH....YOUR....TEETH!" Yep, that's the kiddo you'll be teaching.
I know, I know, that doesn't sound easy, but it is good to know for your sanity as a parent teacher. You must drop the expectation that your house will mimic, 'real' school, and that you will mimic Little Johnny's 'real' teacher. You are Mommy or Daddy, who has to, or has chosen to, teach them at home. That's it, that's all! That's the only way that they will look at you and that is the only way you should look at them. That's the only way this thing can work. Yes, there may be break downs, there may be moments when you need to take 5, and that's ok. Remember, this is new and overwhelming for both of you.
You must drop the expectation that your house will mimic, 'real' school
Take a Break..... EVERYDAY!
Homeschool has its perks. You can get up a little later sometimes. Finish school a little earlier. My favorite is that you can take a break EVERYDAY!!!
The best implementation to our day is breaktime. Everyday,(Unless, there are other outings planned), our whole home takes 2 hours to relax. From 1 to 3 pm all of my kiddos go to their rooms and chill. The oldest child that I teach is in the 9th grade this year, down to the youngest who's in the 1st grade this year. During this rest time, they can take a nap, read, do a puzzle, play cards (we have two kiddos in each room) or just relax, quietly.
This gives the parent time to regroup! Kind of, gather ourselves. This time is good for whatever.... a nap (always great!) grading papers, reading, folding clothes, starting dinner. The possibilities are endless. Also, don't feel bad for this time, you need it and they need it... trust me!
Give Yourself (and your kiddos) GRACE
Lastly, give yourself and your kiddos lots and lots of grace. Most everyone in the homeschooling sphere right now didn't choose this life... this life chose them 😊
So you have to have grace. You are going to make many mistakes. You will, at times, feel you are doing your child a disservice. You will want to run and cry, or for dad's, just run!
Your child may have breakdowns, not want to do any work for the day, or think that playtime is the best time.... ALL DAY! You may not get to every subject, or just need to take a day off. No matter if you're doing distance learning through a local school or decided to piece together a curriculum to teach on your own. Remember, constantly, that although we are imperfect beings, God had so much grace for us. Through His grace, we have the strength and ability to have grace for ourselves and our kiddos.
Through His grace, we have the strength and ability to have grace for ourselves and our kiddos.
All jokes aside, I understand that this time is hard for so many families right now. Homeschooling is just another thing to add to everything else going on. Yet, as believers we all know that we have a God who sympathizes with us, who is in control, and who will never leave or forsake us.
Parent, with Him, You got this! With Him, It's a lot easier than you think!
Be Faithful, Be Free