Whether we want to think about it or not, the fact remains that when emergencies strike, whether it be a natural disaster or a national emergency, schools can close and remain that way for weeks or possibly even months at a time.
For those of you with school-aged children, you might find yourself in the role of teacher, in order to keep your children not only occupied but prevent them from falling behind.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to visit museums or national monument sites, but you can still be an effective teacher right in your own home.
If you have never done homeschooling before and you decide that you are going to take on this role, even if it’s just to try it out for the rest of the year, you should look at some of the requirements that you state has for homeschooling children. You can find that information here.
Let’s look at the top 5 tips for homeschooling your children, should you find it necessary. It might be a good idea to print this list, in case electricity or internet services should also fail.
Tip #1 – Make a Schedule
Kids love routine, it makes them feel safe to know what is expected. You don’t have to be a drill sergeant, but creating a list of things to do and study one week at a time will help. It will also help you if you need to brush up on some of your skills for that upcoming history chat, for example. If you aren’t sure which subjects are being covered, call or email your school district.
Tip #2 – Create a Teaching Environment
Let your kids decide (very young children may need a little help) where their new “classroom” will be. Whether it’s the kitchen table or the basement, make it comfortable and let them make it their own space. Hang positive posters that your children create themselves, and stock it with all the books, paper, and other supplies you would find in a classroom, such as pencils and pens.
Tip #3 – Let Technology Help
Assuming that our homes will still have electricity and internet service, there are some wonderful online resources that can help to take the place of traditional teachers and classrooms. These sites can help give parents a break. A few of these sites include Outschool, Prodigygame, and Khanacademy. Parents who are working from home will find these sites invaluable.
Tip #4 – Don’t Forget Recess and Exercise
You probably remember that recess was one of the best parts of the day, but what can you do if kids are forced to stay inside or within their own backyard? The good part of being at home is that children have their own toys, but kids exercise sites such as GoNoodle, can be super helpful. These help kids to have fun and get some exercise at the same time without jungle gyms or other special equipment.
Tip #5 – Make It a Hands-On Classroom
Nothing captures a child’s interest like learning something by doing it or making it themselves. Pre-schoolers and younger children will love learning and creating things such as habitat gardens, why some things sink or float, and other hands-on experiments. There is a list of 12 here that you can try, or for those with older kids, this site has a plethora of learning opportunities designed for high-schoolers.
Don’t make it overly complicated and remember that you aren’t necessarily on any schedule. If you and the kids want a stay-in-our PJs-day, that’s just fine.
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