Step one: Don’t Panic
Step two: Do you know where your towel is? If not, may I recommend reading Douglas Adam’s HitchHiker’s Guide to the Universe?
Step three: The only answer that matters is 42
For those individuals hit by the homeschool panic, I thought I would share some resources, ideas and sanity savers. Homeschooling sounds very intimidating and many people cannot picture what it realistically looks like due to going to a brick and mortar school.
The biggest obstacle is socialization. Thankfully, we live in a world of technology. FaceTime, Kids Messenger and Google Hangouts are just some of the resources available to enable kids to chat with friends and family that they normally hang out with. Things to do while they video chat with a friend: Stream the same movie or TV show, make the same art project, perform a science experiment, play dress up or put on shows for each other.
Screen Time. My kids love their tablets and the balancing act between technology and life can be a real struggle. Pro Tip: use screen time to explore their interests TOGETHER. Love Science? Google YouTube videos on science experiments. Space is Cool? Explore NASA or the ESA. ART? look into a museum, watch Artie’s Creative Galaxy on Amazon Prime and do the art project, pull out art supplies and have them use their imagination. Language Arts. Education.com, NanoMano kids, WordWorld on Netflix.
Family Time! This is critical at any stage of life but now is the perfect time to go for some good old fashioned bonding. Play games together, do art, take a walk, sit in the backyard, play with the pets. TALK. Get to know each other again. LISTEN without judgement. Really HEAR each other.
Education. This goes so much further than the textbooks and worksheets. Take the time to teach them real life skills: Laundry, Dishes, Cooking, Baking, Cleaning, Gardening. You don’t know how to do something? You want to learn something? Show your kids you are human and research it together! Library (electronic), YouTube, Web search … all are valid ways to find resources and explore interests. I recommend being with your kids as they search online and explore online, especially if they are small.
ABCs and 123s. There are many resources available for traditional subjects. Look to your school district for online learning links. I will also list some at the end of this article.
Homeschool doesn’t have to be narrow or ridge. It is about nurture and nature. We began our homeschooling adventure as a way to reduce our children’s anxiety and allow them to explore their personal interests. Our kids are not concerned whether they learn at home or at school as long as they still get to have friends which is normally easily managed. If you want your kids to have fun with education allow it to be real. Learning is fluid and all around us if we simply know to seize the opportunities before us.
Khan Kids … great for Preschool and kindergarten
Khan Academy … Perfect for elementary and older
Education.com … Preschool through Fifth. Videos, games, worksheets and lesson plans
Night Zookeeper … Interactive Language Arts
4H … A list of resources to keep your kids engaged
PBS Kids … Activities
Sesame Street … Games, Videos, Art
Duck Duck Moose … Learning Apps
Met Museum … Art Museum
Project Gutenberg … Free Books
NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers … Writing Exercises
Science Friday … PodCasts, Stories, Education
Scholastic …Books and Games
How Stuff Works … Curiosity Explored!
PBS Media …. Resources on many subjects
NASA Kids Club Who doesn’t want to be an astronaut?
These are just some of the resources available to us. Have Fun, Bond with your Family and make the best of the situation before us.
WaterLily Nature & Nurture Homeschool by Sassy Viking Mama