New to Homeschooling?
Updated: Apr 15, 2020
As we continue to adapt to our new COVID-19 world, schools are closed indefinitely and many families are faced with the monumental, oftentimes overwhelming, task of educating their children at home. High school students may have virtual classes to attend each day, but middle school and elementary-aged children have more flexibility in their schedules. With thirty-six years of home schooling experience under our belt, Stone Hill Learning Center wants to take this opportunity to offer some practical suggestions to help make the rest of your school year run a little smoother.
1. Keep it Simple.
Your child’s school day is generally filled with both academic courses and electives. Try teaching academic classes in the morning and move the electives to the afternoon. If you start your school day at 8:30, teaching in 45 minute blocks with a short break in between “classes” (bathroom breaks, change textbooks, etc.), you’ll be done by 12:30. Then you can have lunch, take some time for “recess” and start again. Math should be reviewed daily, but take some of the pressure off your shoulders by setting up block scheduling for other classes. For example:
Monday: math, reading, writing, grammar
Tuesday: math, foreign language, science and lab
Wednesday: math, reading, writing, social studies
Thursday: math, foreign language, science and weekly lab report
Friday: math, reading, writing, social studies
Note: I’ve mentioned writing three times in a week. Writing can take many forms (creative, persuasive, informational, journal); don’t be afraid to let your child choose! Save the afternoon for fun activities like art, music, or "gym" (some sort of physical activity). Encourage your student to read a book he/she enjoys every day. This also provides a sacred moment for you to get your own work done!
2. Keep it fun.
Once you have your schedule, try to introduce some creative ways to teach the classes. For example, cooking can be a great way to teach math, especially if your child is just starting with fractions. It’s also a wonderful way to help your child learn some basic cooking skills! There are plenty of fun science experiments to be found on the internet (check out Pinterest) that can be done at home. Reading is always be an exciting opportunity to learn about new places, new discoveries, and new cultures. Find a classic piece of literature or historical fiction to pair with your social studies curriculum. "Fun" need not mean endless hours in front of a screen or computer monitor!
3. Add a little spice.
How many times have you said, “I wish I had more time to spend with my family”? Well, this is your time! Enjoy getting to know your children by introducing new projects: crafting, sewing, cooking, gardening, hiking. Don’t be afraid to learn a new hobby together! Ask questions that prompt conversation and learn to listen. Your children might surprise you with all they have to say. We are living in rare and precious times. Take advantage of the opportunity to build these important relationships. Before you know it, they will be back in school and you will be back at work and the hectic days of our lives will return.
Being a homeschooling parent is an act of sacrifice on your part. We know it is hard work! But the rewards for you and your children can be life changing. Be gentle with yourself during this challenging time and if you ever have any questions, please utilize our new RESOURCES page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here for you and we can't wait to be back in the classroom with you again soon!
Wishing you fun and success,