You’ve decided that you have the time, temperament, resources, and passion to homeschool your child. Now what? We have come up with a few tips for you; here’s how to homeschool your child.
With so many decisions to make, the notion can seem overwhelming.
Also Read: Send Money To Pakistan
Today | Why Homeschool? | How To Homeschool Your Child
School shutdowns have been a surprise and stressor for millions of parents in Pakistan, and around the world.
In reality, most parents have never even considered homeschooling. Now, these same parents are feeling the need to get up to speed with creating learning environments and ensuring that their children’s education doesn’t suffer over the coming weeks or months. In this article, we’ve included linked resources to help you plan exciting lessons and activities for your children.
Explain To Your Children About The Sudden Routine Change
Most kids associate being at home with school holidays and summer, when they’re not expected to recreate their school day and can spend time playing or with friends. When they heard that schools were closing, they probably didn’t imagine being taught by their parents for weeks or even months.
It’s important to explain, in an age-appropriate way, what homeschooling is, what you’ll expect from them and why it’s happening. This will help them understand what to expect over the next while, and understand that they have to learn from home and aren’t on holiday.
Creating a new homeschooling routine can be challenging, but involving your child in some of the decisions will help them feel a little more in control. For example, you could ask them whether they’d like their morning break at 10:30 or 11, or check whether they’d prefer to start Mondays with English or Science lessons.
Getting their input while making these decisions and making sure that they understand what’s happening each day will help to:
- Reduce confusion and tension
- Plan ahead
Parents, DO NOT TRY To Recreate The School Day | How To
Many parents will try to recreate their child’s current school schedule, along with 8am wake ups and 6-8 hours of work with breaks. However, most seasoned homeschoolers know that this is an easy way to tire out your kids and create a lot of stress.
Think of it this way: your child is now essentially getting 1-2-1 tutoring, with much less chatting with friends and waiting for the teacher to help them. This means that you can remove a lot of ‘filler’ time that’s essential in a large school, but doesn’t exist when homeschooling.
If they understand the concepts quickly and want to move on, you can do that. Likewise, if it takes a bit longer for them to understand the latest maths problem or historical event, you can make sure they definitely understand it before moving on.
A survey of homeschoolers showed that 54% studied for 2-3 hours each school day, 15% studied for 4-5 hours, with only 7% studying for 5+ hours. Just as routine is important, so is creating a specific home study area, where they don’t expect to be able to watch tv or play with their phones or tablets.
TIP: It’s a good idea to set up the area in the morning and then put it away once the school day is finished to clearly mark when they’re ‘at home’ and when they’re ‘at school’.
Existing Lesson Plans | How To Homeschool Your Child
The current situation and sudden need to homeschool are both difficult enough without having to learn to write detailed lesson plans.
The first port of call is to ask your child’s teachers whether they have anything that you can use, or any guidance that’s appropriate to their age group, and what they’re learning at the moment.
If you run out of ideas there or you can’t get any specific guidance, there are plenty of online resources that you can draw on. You can get started with:
- https://www.khanacademy.org, which offers daily schedules for kids aged 2-18 to help parents through the school closures
- https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk was created by the UK government for children up to the age of 5
- https://www.education.com/lesson-plans/ – this is primarily for US audience
- https://www.teachingideas.co.uk – this is aimed at a UK audience
- http://www.primaryresources.co.uk – this is for primary school-aged children
If you do prefer to write your own lesson plans, there are also resources to help you do that effectively.
Note: The British Council has an excellent guide to writing lesson plans for English teachers, but the advice can be applied to any subject. Macmillan Education have also created a free course on how to create lesson plans for maths.
Vary Activities Throughout The Day| How To Homeschool Your Child
Being stuck at home without seeing friends or being stimulated by the outside world will be hard for children. Sitting down to read from a textbook or website most of the day may make it a lot harder.
Varying activities helps to break up the day, so make sure that you include some practical activities, physical activities, quiet work, online learning, and reading.
The split will depend on your child’s age and temperament – some might be perfectly happy reading and teaching themselves for large periods, while others prefer more physical work and a hands-on approach.
Here are some ideas to help mix it up a little:
- Do a free kids’ workouts instead of PE
- Go on a virtual tour of a relevant museum/gallery, such as the British Museum, Natural History Museum, or the National Gallery
- Try out a safe, physical science experiment
- Watch a documentary
- Watch a relevant YouTube channel
- Turn lunchtime into a cooking class
- Learn the periodic table through battleships
- Quietly reading a book is still learning
- Watch a Shakespeare play at home
Some of these activities work best as one-off or once-in-a-while treats, but others can be turned into regular parts of your new timetable.
How To Homeschool Your Child | Coordinate With Other Parents
Support systems are as important as ever and you’ll need to coordinate with other parents to help your child see their friends virtually until the schools reopen.
Arranging virtual playdates or chats is a great way to stop your child from feeling too isolated. You could even share lessons if technology and timing allow, so parents who are free in the mornings or are particularly strong at maths can take those classes, and you can repay them in kind with other subjects or times.
Homeschooling Is Awesome, But Take Care Of Yourself Too!
On a related note, be sure to take care of your own wellbeing, happiness, and stress levels too.
That might mean leaning on family members, taking a walk somewhere that you can practice social distancing, getting some exercise, or just letting your kids watch a film or documentary one afternoon because you need some down time.
It’s a hard time, and the lockdowns and anxiety around health are likely to last for at least a few weeks if not months. Taking care of yourself and each other is essential to getting through this with a happy, harmonious family.
Homeschooling Resources | How To Homeschool Your Child
There are plenty of online resources available to help you with every element of homeschooling.
Many of these are free, but others may require payment for access or for premium versions of the service.
Online homeschooling resources:
https://www.brainpop.com – an animated educational site for kids
https://curiositystream.com – a documentary subscription site
https://www.tynker.com – coding for kids, with free access currently
https://outschool.com – video classes cross different subjects
https://beastacademy.com – a challenging maths curriculum for kids aged 8-13
https://www.khanacademy.org – free classes across all subjects that now offers daily schedules for kids aged 2-18
https://www.creativebug.com – craft classes and workshops
https://www.discoveryeducation.co.uk – curriculum-matched content for schools with some free resources available
https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html – day by day resources for learning at home
https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours – travel the world at home by going to these 12 virtual museums and galleries
https://www.abcya.com/ – educational games sorted by age group
https://www.funbrain.com/ – free educational games, books, and videos sorted by age group
https://www.splashlearn.com/ – maths learning programmes
https://www.storylineonline.net/ – a children’s literacy site with stories read by actors, with a supplemental curriculum for each book
https://www.highlightskids.com/ – learning content, quizzes, and activities
https://www.coolmath4kids.com/ – maths lessons, games, and quizzes
Online courses to help with homeschooling:
YouTube channels to help with homeschooling:
Crash Course Kids – science lessons.
Scishow Kids – answers difficult ‘why’ questions.
Free School – age-appropriate ways to introduce kids to art, classical music, literature history, and natural history.
The Brain Scoop – interesting pieces and ideas from The Field Museum in Chicago.
Kids Learning Tube – learning through music and animation.
Geek Gurl Diaries – programming and coding videos with a focus on getting girls into STEM.
Well, there you have it guys! This material was combined by following recognized institutions that basically scream education for all. We hope that this piece is helpful for each and everyone one of you.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the comment section below. We’ll get back to you soon. Good luck!