A global pandemic – contrary to what is said on social media – does not only affect children in the traditional classroom. In its own way, it affects us homeschoolers too. Admittedly, we are used to learning from home. We don’t have to crawl to find curriculum options. Our days already follow a somewhat organized routine. We chose this life. It feels normal to us.
But homeschooling amid a global crisis is not the same type of homeschooling that we are all used to. We’re stuck inside too. We too are facing endless hours of equality.
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Libraries, museums, zoos, cooperatives, replay dates – all of our normal meeting places have been canceled or closed. Despite what the curious lady in the grocery store has to say, our children are used to having many opportunities to be with others. For the first time, we all feel a bit unsocialized.
If your children are like mine, they are likely to have a feeling of loneliness. You need a change of scene or a change. Golly, I need it too.
Fortunately, a few weeks ago – before the national crisis hit – I ordered a new art curriculum for us. It’s pretty typical for me. I almost always buy a new fun item in the spring to give my school a boost during the typical burnout months. It’s like a defibrillator – it brings our settings back to a good place.
Now, a full week after the start of a mass quarantine, I am particularly grateful for this little bit “different”.
Over the next few weeks, let’s do everything we can to mix it up, add a few jazz hands and do something extraordinary in our homeschools to help our kids get over the lull, stay indoors. Fortunately, so many companies and educational institutions offer free resources for all children who teach from home – including ours.
Here are some options to consider.
Task Cards – Set your homeschool day on autopilot with these free printable image-controlled task cards. You no longer have to nudge or persuade your children a million times a day to continue their tasks. The motivation is built directly into the system.
Daily Printable Schedule – Create a smooth routine for homeschool day and give your kids age-appropriate expectations so they don’t always wonder what to do next with this free printout that doesn’t just involve ordinary homeschooling academics , but also fun!
New learning activities
Chalk art tutorials– All you need for these video art tutorials is a supply of printer paper and a series of chalk pastels. Each lesson is simple and short enough to easily fit into an otherwise normal day at school. And in the end you and your children have a wonderful piece of art to show!
Epic! – Is your library as closed as ours? With this online children’s library, your kids can read books instead of watching Netflix!
Maestro Classics– Help your family with Maestro Classics Stories in Music to cultivate a love of classical music in a sneaky way! With over a dozen tracks to choose from, this series is designed to develop listening skills and encourage families to listen together. Each CD / MP3 contains music with funny stories, educational titles, singing along and much more. A 24-page activity booklet is also included, and curricula and other teaching materials are available free of charge on their website.
Groovy Lab in a box– STEM not your present? That’s okay. With Groovy Lab in a Box, a finished STEM kit can be sent directly to your door every month. Each box contains complete instructions and project accessories for the manufacture of bottle rockets or work cranes.
Read horizons– This is a fantastic online reading program designed specifically for people with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. It can be used as a complete curriculum or as a fun addition to what you already do at home. (Get a 20% discount until March 31, 2020 if you use TUH20 at checkout.)
Child-friendly podcasts– You can learn a lot while your children are doing a handicraft project or doing housework. Encourage them to listen to an informative podcast while they work. Adventures in Odyssey, Wow in the World, The Daily Poem, The Story Pirates, Storynory, Brains On !, and The Past and the Curious are some of our favorites, but be sure to check them out great suggestions also!
Audible– As long as the schools are closed, Audible offers an incredible selection of free audio books for children. You don’t need an Audible subscription or the app to listen. This is a special website with curated titles that will be added and removed in the coming weeks. It belongs to Audible, but was specially developed for this time of crisis.
Virtual field trips – There’s no reason to let a season at home or a closed door policy keep great learning adventures away. Here you will find a list of more than 50 virtual excursions to museums, science centers, art galleries, national parks and aquariums around the world. Enjoy an excursion without ever leaving your couch.
Adventure in the Odyssey– Get a 4-week free trial of the popular radio play. Or subscribe to the podcast “The Official Adventures in Odyssey” in your favorite podcast app and listen to old episodes for free.
Home safari– Turn on every weekday at 3:00 p.m. EST to watch free Facebook live videos from the Cincinnati Zoo. An animal keeper or zoologist gives a precise and personal insight into an animal’s enclosure and provides a lot of interesting information about the natural instincts, feeding and breeding habits of each animal.
Other helpful links
If everything else fails, try finding unconventional ways to bring friends closer. Let your kids use your Messenger or Facetime app to play a game of Guess Who, Battleship or Close the box with a friend.
Encourage your cooperative leaders to set one up Zoom Meet with every class.
Put a teddy bear in your windowsill and text your neighbors to do the same. The next time you go for a walk with your family, pretend you’re hunting for a bear. Take pictures of the bears you see and send them to their neighbors to let them know that their bears have been “caught”.
Do you have any other ideas for us homeschoolers? Leave them in the comments so the rest of us can enjoy them!
Social distance aid for you, mom
If your extroversion, like me, starts to itch during all this social distancing, it will help you remember what you don’t need to distance yourself from. Namely the company of a good book.
My TBR list is longer than the tax code, so I’m trying to see all this quiet, single time as an opportunity to build new literary friendships and improve some new skills for me. Do you wanna join me We can be book buddies from a distance. I’ll even sweeten the deal by introducing some helpful titles to help you get started.
I teamed up with another book-loving Jamie to offer a happy mother and her friend some kind of socially distant survival kit. We give away copies of Give the world to your child, Introverted mother, Homeschool Bravelyand a $ 10 Starbucks card (which can be redeemed from a reasonable distance at the transit window.)
Go on to Instagram from now until Friday, March 27th, for your chance to win!
Set your homeschool day to autopilot!
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