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The world is going through some crazy times right now. COVID-19 has changed our lives whether we like it or not. You may have read my post on The Best Apps for Kids that Encourage reading, well I go into some form of depth about our homeschooling struggle within that post.
Beginning homeschooling…(aka crickets). I cannot believe the amount of outpouring support we got from teachers through this time. What a transition it was. Was it rough at first? Yes… and like many other moms out there I am not a teacher by trade but I had to adapt, as well as my husband.
I am a nurse by day and work 5 days a week right now doing home health, my husband and I were on the “essential” list. So yes, transitioning into homeschooling was a tad difficult but we made it work. Well, let’s get into it!
There are four of us in our cute little family. Myself, my husband and our two beautiful kids Mason and Madi. Madi was born first and is 11 now and Mason is 6. Wow! Time Flies! So we have a 5th grader and a fresh new kindergartener. YAY!
Our kids are very brilliant in and they both excel greatly in different areas. They are each completely different. My son is not a person to sit there and watch a computer screen for very long. He needs frequent breaks.
My daughter, however, can sit there and do her work but she needs redirection and assistance in certain areas. Helping them adapt to this new type of learning was a little of a curveball.
Beginning Remote Learning
Back in March/April of 2020 (yes we all remember those months), things were a little hairy. The world changed, businesses changed, schools changed. I think we all changed a little during that time to be honest.
Remote learning began right before spring break. It was a Thursday for us, as our kids go to school Monday through Thursday. Driving home from picking the kids up from school we got a phone call “Until further notice, children will remain at home. We will begin remote learning after spring break.”
Very quickly things changed. The weeks following became much of a stressful situation for us as everything was up in the air. But as we continued on throughout the course of the remote learning, we did learn a few things and we are ready to move into Fall with ease.
5 Reasons Homeschooling Will Work For You
Create a Block Type Schedule
Creating a schedule for kids is so important. Time gets lost and before you know it, its 5 PM, and homework isn’t completed. This happened A LOT for the first few weeks of our journey. I would get home from work and assignments online hadn’t been completed.
It is so important for kids to have a schedule as well. They learn to adapt to it and then in no time they are doing it on their own. Just like in school, they begin at a certain time then go throughout their day on a schedule. It creates structure. And during these crazy times, we all need a little structure! You can download my free weekly printable schedule Here! Or just click the button below to get access to all the freebies!
Reward Behavior and Accomplishments
During this transition our kids struggled for a little bit. Yes, there were tears, and fights over not wanting to do homeschooling online (SMH). Mainly for my daughter it was the lack of interaction with other students and her not being able to see her friends, that was hard for her.
We made it a point to always, always reward them for completing a big lesson that week or we would reward them for finishing the lessons without tears throughout the week. Let me tell you, there were some tough days. Our rewards consisted of a chart and I will post this below.
It was sort of like a star chart that you had when you were in kindergarten. Get three stars for behaving in class and you get to pick a toy from the treasure chest. These charts are amazing! And if your kids are struggling with behavior and sticking with daily routine, Rewards work great!
For example. We used the below charts for each child. If their work was completed by the end of the week they were allotted a certain item IE; ice cream, candy, and sometimes they would want to just put a dollar or two into their accounts. Totally ok! To them, it was great because they knew that if they finished their homework for the week there would be something at the end to look forward to!
Allow For Breaks
We all need breaks. Even at my day job I have to sit down and take a break at some point in time. Kids are not designed to stay in one spot for very long, that is just how it is. The type of remote learning that my kids were doing wasn’t very long but at times it did take a few hours to complete a lesson.
We had to allow for breaks. My kids as stated above didn’t like sitting in front of a screen for very long. Weird right! So we incorporated recess! Yes recess! They would have to go outside for at least 30 min.
And if they didn’t go outside they had to be doing something productive inside. Taking a break allows our minds to reset and recharge. That way when you go back to your work you will be ready to finish.
Incorporate other Learning Tools
If your child’s teacher says they are gonna make it easier for kids this year, take note because they said this prior to launching remote learning in March and I’m still waiting for that to happen. Honestly, there were things that we felt as parents that our kids needed more of. For instance, our youngest was just starting spelling and reading in Pre-K. With this, we enlisted the help of ABC Mouse.
If you haven’t read my post on ABC Mouse you can check it out here. ABC Mouse was a great tool/app for him because he loved doing it and it really is an engaging app for kids.
Not only did this app help with his reading but it also was fun for him and he didn’t feel like he was tied down because it was fun! Its a great app with lots of potential and it supplements any school curriculum.
You Don’t Need to do it All in One Day
During Covid it seems our time was taken in a different direction. Ya’ll things were just downright crazy! Am I right? Time in the home became very different for us aside from our busy everyday lives. Even though there were few changes to our lifestyle as we were “essential employees”, many other people in the world were now working from home.
With computers and internet access and getting on with life, you do not need to complete EVERYTHING in one day! I’ll be honest here, there were times that we didn’t finish homeschooling on a given day because the computer was tied up. Or my husband and I didn’t get home from work at a decent time, so on and so forth. You get the idea.
It is important but your sanity matters especially when you are spending countless hours trapped inside your house!
Sticking to a schedule is one thing if you are working from home, but when you are noted as essential it is a struggle to keep up with the schedule, and often times it just didn’t get done. Let’s be honest here, homeschool is rough if you are not used to it.
There were times that I felt like I just wanted to throw in the hat. Yes there were fights and tears as mentioned before but we had to keep going. Through all of this trial and error, around the first week of May, we actually started figuring it all out.
IT TOOK TIME! Everything takes time, even writing this post took time. But the end result was this… we were stuck in a time warp, with just us in the house. We stuck through and combined the above strategies along with being thankful for a new day. And we SURVIVED.
We reached out for help from our teachers at the school and incorporated new strategies and we were able to accomplish our goal of moving into a new year with a SMILE!! We are far from perfect but we took a not so good situation and turned it into something that worked for us.
This lockdown is now advancing into next year’s curriculum and we already have a head start as to what we are going to accomplish. I would love to hear your thoughts on homeschooling through this crisis! What did you learn that you can share with us?