What You Need To Know About Homeschooling : Pandemic Edition

The pandemic is acting as a catalyst for parents to adopt homeschooling. Here’s a guide for beginners on how you can homeschool your kids during the pandemic.
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No matter how awful the Covid-19 pandemic is, considering its positive aspects, it has brought to light the truth that traditional schooling methods are not the only way that kids can be educated. It has escalated various other methods, the most prominent one being Homeschooling. While a huge number of parents are thinking to consider homeschooling as a short-term solution, some others are considering this period of self-isolation as an opportunity to experiment with it, and yet others call online learning as homeschooling. But homeschooling isn’t any of this.

Homeschooling is not the same as distance learning or online learning. No, homeschooling doesn’t look like the crisis learning that you are doing right now. Homeschooling does mean to educate kids at home, but it doesn’t mean homeschoolers are stuck up at home. Homeschooling has changed during the pandemic, but the change is also only until it is done.

 So then what is homeschooling?

Homeschooling is a form of education in which the parents teach their kids at home instead of sending them to traditional schools.

A mother asking for help with teaching her kids
Photo by : freepik

Now, as a parent, you have decided to homeschool your kids and make the most of this opportunity that you have got to reshape your kid’s education. For, as Elizabeth Foss said,

When the atmosphere encourages learning, the learning is inevitable.

So, if you are one of those parents willing to use this quarantine period as an opportunity to gift your kids with the best of learning and memories, let me take you through how you could make homeschooling work with some steps to follow and tips to remember.

BEGINNING WITH HOMESCHOOLING

The process of homeschooling can be broken down into 3 steps.

    1.    ANALYSE THE STATE GUIDELINES

    As a parent, this step requires you to do a good review of the state guidelines on homeschooling. Homeschooling has been made legal in all 50 states, but every state has its legal requirements for it to be carried out. For example, there are moderate regulations in places like Florida and Washington, strict regulations in places like New York and Pennsylvania, while no notice is required in places like Texas and Illinois. This variation in legal requirements includes the regulations on writing a letter of withdrawal to the higher authority of the school your kid is already studying in, to inform them about your decision and get consent. So, make sure you check with all the prerequisites and proceed to the next step only after the notification.

    2.    DECIDE WHAT YOU AND YOUR KIDS CHOOSE TO LEARN

    Now, this is a step, that requires you and your kids to sit down and list down things into 2 columns: what the kids need to learn and what the kids want to learn. It doesn’t always work as a discussion with some kids, so it may need you to observe your kid’s activities or play games like ‘would you rather’ to identify their interests. The best part of homeschooling is that you have the complete freedom to shape your kids’ education as per their needs. So, make the best use of this step! 

kids holding chalk
Photo by : freepik

    3.   MONITOR THE PROCESS AND BE OPEN TO CHANGES

    Once you have started with homeschooling your kids, don’t forget to keep a track of your kid’s performance. Remember that out of the many pros of homeschooling is the flexibility in time, curriculum and methods of learning. Don’t hesitate to make changes if an approach doesn’t suit you, for there is no such approach as a perfect approach when it comes to homeschooling.

TIPS ON HOMESCHOOLING

Now that we have divided the whole process into simpler steps, let me make it more comprehensible for you. Below are a few tips that could help you in homeschooling your kids.

a mother reading a book to her toddler
Photo by : pexels

        While some kids are strong learners some others aren’t. But no kid is a good learner or a bad learner. The difference in pace and level of learning things usually shout the need for a change, in the environment, the learning style or sometimes the topic itself. A clear understanding of your kid’s area of interests, their weaknesses and their needs is the most important when it comes to homeschooling.

         When you start working towards a goal that you have set, giving it a purpose and a direction matters a lot, and this applies even in the case of homeschooling. Be it you are just beginning with it or you have been doing this for years, homeschooling could get hard on you on some days, due to various reasons. Giving yourself a reason to do this even before you start will help you to stick through it.

     Do not forget that they are kids and distraction is something they are vulnerable to, and one of the ways you could avoid it is by setting aside a part of your home for their studies. It could be a separate room or just a desk, depending on your comfort. This will also save you from juggling around with your household chores and things.

      Setting aside a defined amount of time for educating your kids is as essential a thing to do as it is to set aside a dedicated space for it. This will let you have time for your work and not make homeschooling look like a burden to you or your kids.

      This is one point at which the majority of the beginners go wrong. Homeschooling doesn’t mean to replicate another classroom environment at home, it just means to educate your kids at home. Maintaining a certain level of discipline does matter, but that doesn’t mean you would make your home a classroom. Make learning fun for the kids by using different ways to teach them like organizing quests, experiments, projects, and watching some educational films as a part of the day-to-day learning activity. 

Hoemschooling
Photo by : pexels

     At the start, things are usually exciting and fun to do, but adds on stress and become a burden with time. So, make sure you maintain consistency in the process. At the same time remember that taking a day off when you are too stressed is completely fine. You don’t lose things by homeschooling, you only gain.

 

learning made fun
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      One of the most beautiful aspects of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. So, don’t be hard on yourself and resistant to changes when it comes to homeschooling. Homeschooling gives you the liberty to change your curriculum, schedule, and methods of learning. Make the most of it.

       Yes, indeed you are a parent who is new to this role of being a teacher. You cannot be expected to remember the subjects you studied years ago and there will be certain subjects which you aren’t good at or you have no knowledge about. And during this pandemic, you cannot go to the libraries or hire a tutor for your kid. In such a case, online resources are always helpful. Check for PDFs on the topics, use different apps like Khan Academy, Scholastic, Audible, Epic, Duolingo and many more.

 

Using online resources
Photo by : freepik

    This tip will help you know what other homeschooling families are doing and also help your kids socialize. Also, in this manner, you will be able to improvise in your ways of teaching by learning newer ways from the others. And this tip is very useful especially post-pandemic as you can attend the community activities as well.

This is a one-time opportunity that you have to give your kids the kind of education they need. Set aside the negative aspects of the pandemic and use this golden chance to make learning a daily routine that becomes a lifestyle. Children like to learn and they thrive by learning in ways they like. Give them a chance. Will you?

Just a girl with a curious mind and an excited heart, living with an enthusiasm to explore herself and the world.

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