Looking to learn at home? We could all use some homeschooling tips.
Before we dive in, allow me to reassure you that you are doing a GREAT job. These homeschooling tips are intended to help tweak what you have available at home. Let’s give ourselves some grace as we take on this new role.
As a former Kindergarten teacher, I remember walking in that first day of school at 21 years of age.
I had 13 small children looking up to me, wondering what I was going to do next with only a vague understanding of what to do.
I was sweating.
It was only noon.
A little boy raised his hand to state that he was, “a little bit bored”. (yikes!)
What I had planned was NOT working.
We ended up playing many rounds of “Ring Around the Rosie” (isn’t that what they did in 2001?), and I went home knowing changes needed to be made.
I needed to fail to persevere.
Over time, I figured it out. ⠀
You will be successful too.
at a ⠀
Homeschool has a light at the end of the tunnel.
We just need some tools and time to get us there.
I am here to help YOU feel successful with these homeschooling tips.
Your new homeschool room doesn’t need to be glamourous.
This adjustment is not the time for a makeover amid a pandemic.
What we want to do is find the same space every day to call the homeschool classroom – a place to meet and connect.
The homeschool room can be:
the kitchen table
a repurposed, designated space
Find one area in your home and claim it as your homeschool room.
Remember, this is a simple place to meet and connect.
As a former educator, and now a homeschooling parent due to COVID-19, we have finally found a rhythm.
I am confident our homeschooling tips will help you see a simple way to manage your space.
RELATED: It is helpful to have resources you can keep at home! That is why we made our preschool activity cards.
Becoming a homeschool parent can be a tall order.
Overnight every caregiver not only continued carrying the load of daily duties but also became a homeschooling parent.
This new task is an overwhelming expectation and can leave us walking in circles, feeling defeated.
You are not alone, which is why I put together these homeschooling tips.
Many of us have elementary students with toddlers in tow that constantly interrupt instruction.
We may also have children that refuse to be taught by mom or dad. – yup, you’re not alone. You may be met with pushback and disinterest.
As a classroom teacher for 13+ years, I can assure you that most children are more well behaved for the teacher than the parents. And now here you are, the parent becoming the teacher.
Rest assured, you are not alone.
So, where do we start when it comes to helping our children learn at home?
Inside this homeschool tips post, you will find:
How to make homeschooling work for multiple ages.
Understand how to structure the school day at home.
Setup a simple homeschool room. (or space)
RELATED: Want simple ideas to keep at home? You will find our activity cards helpful!
So what happens when we have toddlers to entertain as we teach elementary-aged children?
Allow grace without seeking teacher perfection.
Acknowledge that the new homeschool routine to develop organically.
Slowly build a tolerance for the toddler’s interruptions.
- Allow our big kids to work on hands-on activities that foster working independently.
What toddlers need is to feel included for the minute they need us, and space to roam after being acknowledged.
The more we push a toddler away, the more demanding a toddler will become.
The solution? Encourage your toddler’s participation when they show up.
Over time, your toddler will see the homeschool routine as usual and may even require less of our attention.
In our home, we welcome our toddler to sing the Days of the Week Song even when that includes pink toy glasses, socks as mittens, and mumbled words.
These quick four minutes of inclusion buys me time to teach.
Favorite toddler activities:
If you only have preschoolers, Take a close look at this routine below.
This routine is how our days would look for preschooler and younger. Please remember the importance of play is precious.
We all enjoy beginning our day with a Breakfast Invitation play prompt.
Here is an important homeschooling tip with multiple ages.
I have a toddler, preschooler, and a Kindergartener.
Every morning, I write the list of activities on the board, and my Kindergartener checks them off as we go.
The videos we need to watch and assignments are in line with what my son’s Kindergarten teacher sends us via email.
Calendar, weather, and alphabet chart are not requirements.
I do calendar because it is a familiar routine that my preschooler and kindergartener associate with school.
In school, CHILDREN takes the lead and rotate being the calendar and weather helper.
As a parent, you do not need to know a thing about the calendar.
Ask your child to be the calendar helper and sit back to watch what happens next. You will be blown away and impressed by what they have practiced up until this point, and it will make the transition into assignments so much simpler.
Oh, My Glory has fantastic videos on Youtube to gain insight into circle time. Scroll to the bottom of her video list to see all.
We have a flexible 8:15 start time to meet in the homeschool room.
Why is our homeschool start time flexible?
Because many mornings the boys are off and busy playing. On a typical school day, my child has about 30 minutes of recess.
Thirty minutes is far less than what a child needs to truly develop confidence in themselves and understand how to collaborate with others.
Now that we are home and can begin to bring play back into our young learner’s day.
I can use the morning to take a step back in time and remember the power of play.
Children develop skills through play.
Skills children learn through unstructured playtime are
Higher-level thinking – much more substantial than a worksheet
A safe place to express ideas and emotions
Growing confidence in understanding self
Arguing and gaining a better sense of how to work through different opinions
Forming plans in play and allowing the idea to come to fruition
I am going to allow a flexible start time, depending on the energy in the room.
The homeschool routine does not have to be as long as a traditional school day.
As a former educator, I was not teaching the class from the first bell to the last.
The school day includes planning, lunch, recess, and specials.
A typical school day has 30-90 minute blocks of time for a large group of children.
Some experts believe that children concentrate on a given task for 2-3 times their age. If you are working with a five-year-old, expect 10-15 minutes of concentration.
At home, you have a much smaller group of children. The time you spend completing classwork will be completed quicker with a 1:3 ratio.
Do I need a homeschool room?
In my opinion, you certainly do not need to spend hours transforming the living room into your child’s classroom.
However, you can dedicate a small space to help build predictability and comfort with this new school day at home.
In our home, we restructured the playroom to be our temporary homeschool room.
Five simple ideas to include in the space you create for your homeschool room:
Pick two toys to choose from at the start of each school day.
2. Create a homeschool room workspace:
Add name tags for ownership.
Use painter’s tape to list essential skills like the alphabet or number line.
Find a folder to keep completed work.
3. Keep learning resources at eye level.
Here, we listed uppercase and lower case letters on the painter’s tape.
We also listed numbers 1-20 for quick reference when needed.
We also made the alphabet chart my son uses every day in his Kindergarten class.
Every morning we go over the letter name, picture clue, and letter sound.
4. Allow your child to take the lead with calendar time. – Trust me. Your child will know what to do.
Here, I used a calendar I already owned and added post-it notes to create a pattern.
5. Make a daily checklist to keep everyone on track with assignments.
Add the checklist to your magnet board or even write on a piece of paper.
Supplies in our homeschool room:
Over the years, we have built a supply of open-ended toys that have helped tremendously with this transition.
We also use Little Pine Learner’s Gratitude Journal. It is a $3 download and a terrific way to start our school day.
Remember, your homeschool room does not have to be a fancy or an expensive transition.
Homeschooling will look different in every home.
All you need is a place to connect and learn that seems familiar to your young child.