With the Coronavirus pandemic affecting every continent, several cities are under shelter-in-place restrictions to control virus transmission. Offices, businesses, and schools have been closed, forcing parents to homeschool their school-age children. With everything that’s happening, newbies to homeschooling are groping in the dark.
In this post, we’ve put together a summary of the five most important Homeschooling Tips to Organize your Day. The thing is this. If you don’t get enough activities to engage children, they will quickly get bored and start all sorts of mischief. Considering that shelter-in-place restrictions quickly run into weeks and even months, parents need a way to keep their children occupied, creatively and academically.
Apart from channeling the kids’ energy productively, parents also need to create time to get their stuff done. Daily household chores, meals, laundry all need to be done around the kids’ schedule. You need to organize the day’s activities so that all of you can cope with the confinement without pulling out your hair, right! On top of that, you still need to find time for your business and office work.
So Where Do You Start?
What’s the first thing to do to organize your day?
1. Establish a Daily Routine
First things first, you need to establish a daily routine. A routine helps you and helps the kids. Here’s why: Children thrive on routine. Disruptions to their routine destabilize them and make it more difficult for them to cope with the enforced seclusion. Establishing a routine also helps you plan the day so that you don’t find the time all spent, with nothing tangible accomplished. You will be able to achieve a balance for all the activities, rather than just winging it. Learning time, playtime, cartoon time, and even chores can all be worked into the schedule. It allows you to carve time to do your own thing – crucially vital if you work from home and need some quiet time to be able to get things done.
What to Consider When Organizing Your Day
Ask yourself these four key questions:
- What needs to get done? Determine the tasks which need to get done by the children. This could include making beds, putting toys away, tidying up books, etc.
- When do the activities need to be done? Determine whether they are morning only or afternoon only tasks. There will also be those activities that can be slotted in at any time of the day.
- How long will each task take? Determine the hours needed to do the tasks. Keep in mind the age of your child so that you bear in mind their attention span and capabilities.
- Who needs to do the activities? This is important, especially if you have more than one child.
2. Build on Pre-Existing Routines for Your Homeschooling
If your child has been going to school and had a school routine, you can adopt a similar one and probably tweak it a little to suit your domestic situation. This is one ‘cheat’ homeschooling tip that will make your life so much easier because 90% of the thinking has been done for you by the school. Many schools have provided online learning arrangements on the subjects and topics students need to cover. This makes it possible for you to come up with a daily schedule to be able to cover the study assignments given.
3. Involve the Children in Planning the Day and Making Their Schedule
This homeschooling tip is one way to get your kids to ‘buy in’ to the process of scheduling their day. Although ultimately, You have control over planning the day’s routine, do involve the kids to give them a sense of ownership in making the plan. Kids, like adults, are more likely to engage and cooperate if they feel involved in the process.
4. Keep it Simple
The thing with the coronavirus shelter-in-place restrictions (a.k.a lockdown) is that the kids are home, and it feels like a holiday to them. But it’s not a holiday! Add to that the fact that most parents know nothing about teaching. As parents, we can’t pretend to be the professionals who handle our children in school. What we want to achieve is to keep the kids mentally and creatively engaged, during this crisis season we are at home.
* Let’s tell a story
Art / Craft/
Drawing / Colouring
* Let’s tell a story
French or Spanish
Film a Video
David & Goliath
Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs
Noah & the Ark
The trick is to find a balance between engaging their minds and protecting them from what’s going on with the Coronavirus crisis. One way to do this is to keep the schedule light-hearted and straightforward, especially for younger children. For middle-schoolers and seniors, more hours will be allocated to academics because they have more subjects to cover. Many schools have provided an online program for their students to follow. This can guide you on establishing a workable study program that still allows them to participate in family life at home.
5. Mix It Up!
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Daily confinement plus homeschooling can make even the most well-behaved child a little cranky. So make sure you mix up the days’ activities to make them exciting and ultimately keep the kids engaged. Have a balance between academics and creative activities, reading and audio-visual activities, and so on. Remember to reward and compliment your children along the way to keep them motivated.
We’ve got 1 Extra Homeschooling Tip!
Here’s an extra tip:
Prep Family Meals in Advance
Let’s face it… the amount of food we’re eating during lockdown is A Lot!!! Most families are doing three full meals, probably with snack breaks in-between. If you want to cope with homeschooling and your work, you must plan your meals and prep them in advance. This makes your day more efficient, especially if you’re also working from home. It works to reduce the amount of time you spend in the kitchen because meal preparation and clean-up can be the most time-consuming part of the day. We would also recommend that you get older children involved in helping out. Task them to help in setting the table and cleaning up after meals. It teaches them to be responsible and will keep you from snapping – You can’t do it all, you know.
What other homeschooling tips have you started? What else are you doing to cope? We would love to hear from you.
Free Online Resources for Homeschooling Your Kids
There are lots of free online resources for homeschooling your kids. Here are a few examples:
1. Khan Academy
An online non-profit educational organization that offers free online courses, lessons, and practice exercises. Khan Academy empowers learners at all levels to study at their own pace through lessons that you can personalize. Take a look at Khan Academy Youtube channel and see how they are supporting students internationally. They have programs for most subjects, from preschool through to high school. You will find engaging lessons to keep your kids learning during the coronavirus crisis on their platform. Plus, you can open an account as a teacher or as a student, and make use of the resources available for each. The language versatility of their website is impressive – it has versions in Spanish, French, Brazilian, and Portuguese. Versatile and well put together.
2. This Reading Mama
Becky Spence is a trained educator and has been homeschooling since 2009. She has lots of resources for homeschoolers, including printables organized by subject. You can download and print these right here. Then again, if you have No Clue how to do this homeschooling thing, and it’s just too overwhelming, go ahead and get it all from Becky here.
Help your kids to learn a new language. If they are already learning one in school, supplement the class lessons with practice from Duolingo
4. Fun and Games to Mix Things Up
There’s plenty to choose from to mix things up in your daily schedule. Scavenger Hunts, Baking Muffins, and even Filming a Movie – take a look at these links for some inspiration.
- 21 Indoor Games to keep kids busy [and you Sane] by Today Parenting Team
- 20 Indoor Activities to Keep your Kids Busy during the Coronavirus Crisis – – Mommy Nearest
- 20 Old-School Ways to Keep Kids Busy Without Screen Time – Mother.ly
- Fun reading and word games – Can’t go wrong with Dr. Seuss
- Hello Kids – Lots of Creative things to do here; Jigsaw puzzles, coloring, and drawing activities for kids.
There are so many sites out there that are pretty good, so what we have shared here is just a sample. We are not experts, and we always say that we are doing this to help one another. If you’re using other links that you think are great, please share. We would love to hear from you.
More Tips to Help you Cope during Lockdown
Alongside these Homeschooling Tips, we’ve put together lots more to help you cope during the Coronavirus crisis. Learn how to boost your immunity with these 7 Powerful Immunity Boosting Tips. The seclusion, loneliness, and financial concerns can get you down during the lockdown. We’ve put together 10 Ways to Cope when in Lockdown, to help you keep it together.
Remember, ‘At Home Does Not Mean Alone’
Let’s support and help one another through this trying time.
This Is Important…….
We can’t stress this enough, and we’re doing it because Prevention is Better than Cure. Keep following the Basic Prevention steps to keep you and your loved ones safe from Coronavirus infection.
- Keep your hands clean by regularly washing them with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Teach your children to soap and wash their hands for 20 seconds. Help the younger ones to do this through singing a 20-second song, such as ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.
- Maintain at least 3 feet (1 meter) between yourself and anyone with symptoms of coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face, especially the mouth, nose, and eyes. Contaminated hands easily transfer the Coronavirus by touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, causing infection.
- Follow good hygiene when you cough and sneeze to avoid spreading droplets to the people and surfaces around you. Catch your cough/ sneeze in your elbow, or in a tissue that you should dispose of afterward.
- If you feel unwell and start to experience fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.
- Keep up-to-date with what’s happening regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Avoid any non-essential travel as guided by your city authorities and medical experts.
More FAQs on the Coronavirus, including ‘Why’ you should follow these Basic Prevention steps are outlined by the World Health Organization right here.
Stay safe, everyone!