In the last couple of weeks, the virtual space has been flooded with “schooling” parents turning to “homeschooling” parents for help, support and guidance. The homeschooling community has gone above and beyond with sharing working curriculums, daily schedules, and on-line
The most important thing right now is to be kind to yourself. Homeschooling veteran moms – and dads – did not arrive at this decision overnight. They went back and forth, frequently choosing not to homeschool all children at the household at once. Some of their children still attended schools either full or part time. They often had one parent stay at home or on a flexible work schedule. They belonged to a co-op where children learned and socialized. They played soccer and took swimming classes. But most importantly, the decision to homeschool was never imposed on them by the government.
What is happening right now is NOT homeschooling. This message, once heard loud and clear, should alleviate an enormous amount of tension from the shoulders of both adults and children. What is taking place right now is a state of emergency with adults hoping to keep their jobs and be able to put food on the dinner tables tomorrow. Adults trying to work their usual day and homeschool at the same time. Families tied all up together for the mission impossible.
Like at any state of emergency, it’s most important to keep your spirits up. Homeschooling is foremost about bonding the family together and creating lasting experiences. Baking cookies is homeschooling. Reading a book out loud is homeschooling. Watching a good movie at night counts as homeschooling, too.
Your kids are not going to get dumb overnight if they are taken out of school for a few months. If you do feel that you need to create an academic schedule, please remember that students only truly learn academics for a few hours a day. The rest of the school day is taken with art,
gym, lunch, recess and assemblies. An SK student should progress with daily 30 minutes uninterrupted work assisted by an engaged parent, a gr 5 student should thrive on two hours of individual learning, while your high schooler might probably need up to three hours of daily academic time.
What happens if it doesn’t work? You’ve tried, but they are totally unable to sit and concentrate along with a parent, let alone by themselves. Well, once the state of emergency lifts, you’ll be able to address the independent study skills, but for now, repeat – they will not lose their skills if they don’t go to school for the nearest… time being. And finally, here is something that we already know- we for most times do not remember what we did, but we do remember how we felt. Let’s all take a deep breath and create great memories while we all do our best to homeschool.