How-To's of Homeschooling

You can do this!

Don’t feel bad if you can’t do it all! We absolutely all have been there, where we feel like we’re taking one step forward and two steps back. There will always be time for the kids to master where an apostrophe is supposed to be placed. 

Focus just on language arts and math, keep up the faith at home (even if it’s just routine prayer,  the stuff from the heart, the academic and digging in more deeply can also wait as kids grow),  and if you do music, keep up the music. History and science can always be done later, as read-alouds. Kids love to be read to, even older ones. There are so many novels that have historical content, they are much more engaging and memorable than “proper” history books. 

I never was able to squeeze in formal art appreciation, but there are many ways to expose them to beautiful things without being formal. You can forget about it, so to speak, now, while the pressure is on and get more “serious” later.

Each family has unique dynamics, interests, and schedule, and it is good to try different things. But first and foremost, it must work for you. I always felt that the learning style of each kid is important, but secondary. Start with your own teaching style. If you do not want to do formal school on Sunday for example, don’t. You can still make the day count, but just not with formal, academic activities.  Don’t beat yourself up. 

It is a hot mess to try to teach anything to anyone with a baby/toddler underfoot. But if this is where you are, then just take one day at a time, and you’ll see how each day, you’ve made some progress, no matter how small. (One of the speakers at the SCCHE homeschool conference a few years back said something that stuck with me: “if today, all you’ve done was dress your kids and fed them: great!” It has been very liberating.)

This community is great at supporting each other in ideas, prayer, and shared experiences. We keep all families in prayer. We are in this together! 

Play to your child’s strengths

We are all finding our patience stretched for now. I have a daughter who was an avid reader, but math was like pulling teeth. Now that she is in high school, she loves English, and we have so many enjoyable discussions analyzing literature, and she will probably end up majoring in English, education, and/or music. Math is still a struggle for her. Go with your child’s strengths

Scheduling

Do you have a daily and weekly schedule?

Sample

  • 7:00 Wake-up, get dressed, make bed
  • 7:30 Breakfast, clean up
  • 8:00 Math (Daily Warm Up, Do sample problems on board, student practice)
  • 9:00 snack
  • 9:15 Recess
  • 9:30 English Daily Language Warm up
  • 10:00 Grammar
  • 10:30 Craft/Writing (Write story, make a related Craft)/ Spelling, etc. 
  • 11:30 Lunch/Recess
  • 12:30 Quiet Reading Time
  • 1:30 Science or Social Studies
  • 2:30 PE

I correct their work immediately, and I have a box of cute stamps to stamp their work. 

Hope this helps someone out there. 

Free languages

I am having my daughter do the all audio Pimsleur Spanish course right now. I downloaded it free from Overdrive digital library and saved it in iTunes. 

History Resources

Hillsdale College offers many free courses, and the latest is this 12-lesson, three-week course on US History using “The Great American Story: A Land of Hope” by Wilfred M. McClay. My husband is using this book to teach our boys US history this year and it’s terrific. Higher level, but very good. Here’s a synopsis of the course:

This three-week study session of our newest online course, “The Great American Story: A Land of Hope” is taught by historian Wilfred M. McClay. This course examines the story of America as a land of hope, founded on high principles. And like all of Hillsdale’s online courses, it is offered free of charge.

Those who enroll in this special study session will receive a syllabus that organizes the course into twelve lessons over three weeks, as well as regular communications to foster discussion on the key themes of the course.This free special study session begins on Monday. To enroll, click on the link.  https://www.hillsdale.edu/ushistory

On-line Art Class. Live every day.

Here is something for the kids to do. Mr. Mark’s Response to COVID-19 Global School Closures:

“We are all in this together, albeit 6-feet apart. I am now Webcasting LIVE daily at NOON CST my FREE Kid’s Special “Hour Of Pencil Power!”  This at-home virtual learning is LIVE and FREE for the children of the world on Facebook, YouTube AND Instagram. My fun, zany, art lessons are not going to cure anyone, but perhaps together we can distract, comfort, and inspire our children.”

www.markkistler.com

Language Arts

Three weeks of free writing instruction videos: https://iew.com/three-weeks-of-language-arts-instruction-from-iew

Go to the theater at home

A different opera from the MET every night: https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/

Cirque du Soleil hour long shows: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/cirqueconnect

Read-aloud for all the family

Quite a few are free titles to choose from while schools are out:

Audible Stories | Audible.com  

Visit a museum from your house

And many more!