10 Tips for Unplanned Homeschooling

02 April 2020
  1. Establish a routine and stick to it. Even when they claim otherwise, kids thrive on structure. It helps them feel secure and confident in what they need to do. Try and re-create something approximating a school day, including frequent changes in subject with breaks in between.


  1. Avoid being hard on yourself for lapses in routine.  Your home was not previously a school, you were not previously your child’s only teacher, these are challenging times, and we are imperfect people facing unexpected situations and juggling multiple demands and priorities. 


  1. Try and follow any lessons or tips your kids’ regular teachers sent home or posted. Doing this gives you a sense of confidence and your kids a sense of continuity. Scaffolded learning helps kids build on their experience and understanding to achieve mastery. Each lesson or module builds on the one before it and helps prepare for the one that comes next.


  1. Supplement lessons with School Zone flash cards, workbooks, and activities that sharpen problem-solving and critical thinking such as mazes, crossword puzzles, and skill-based games. Kids need routine, but they also like variety.And they especially like learning activities that feel like play! Change it up for max fun and results.


  1. Create a calm, secure, positive learning environment. For a productive learning session, work with your child’s school lesson plans and supplemental School Zone workbooks and flash cards when you and your child are rested and relaxed. 


  1. Do your best to transmit the message that learning is challenging, enjoyable, and rewarding. Genuine, specific praise will help build your child’s confidence. Support their efforts to move beyond what they can already do, but not to the point of frustration. Leave your child eager to learn more.


  1. Take time to take a step back. One great aspect of being even more closely engaged with your child’s curriculum is noticing what really needs work. Unlike being 1 of 25 in a classroom, your child is getting individualized, personalized time and attention..


  1. Remember that teachable moments take many shapes.  Use the weather; household chores; and meal planning, preparation, and cooking to bring in math, science, and vocabulary lessons. With so many kids and home, lots of weather forecasters are offering up simple lessons for kids. Check your local news station or do some Googling.


  1. Take a deep breath!


  1. Then take another one. You’re doing great!