About once a month, someone stops to ask me why my kids are not in school. When I cheerfully explain that we homeschool, they will most often look back at me with wide eyes, laugh, and say, “I could never do that.”
Now it looks like most states in our great nation will have their schools closed and children at home to help lower the risk of virus transmission. If you don’t homeschool and have never thought about homeschooling, the idea of taking charge of your child's education might seem hugely daunting. I’m here to tell you — you’ve got this.
I’ve heard from local families that many teachers are either sending homework packets home with the children or doing online classes. This simplifies your task greatly. You need only to make sure your child is doing the work their teacher already assigned to them. But if your school isn’t giving homework packets out and you want to help them, here is your moment to shine. Let me share with you the way we shape our children’s schooling.
Shaping a homeschool curriculum from scratch
Homeschooling can be very fluid and flexible. Many of us like to call it life learning. What works for one family might not work for another. There is a spectrum of learning from the hardcore unschoolers (people who let their children lead the way entirely) to the schooling-at-home crowd (who have a schedule much like school and use a curriculum with quizzes and tests). The majority of homeschoolers fall somewhere in between — and you can too. Remember: this isn’t forever, this too shall pass, and who knows? You might find yourself in love with homeschooling!
If you find yourself isolated at home with your children, this can be a great opportunity to help your kids expand their learning through online programs or learning about something together. You can read books, watch videos or movies, cook food that relates to the topic, and more. For example, right now we are learning about the Celts. We read about them in our history book, look up the section about them in the encyclopedia, then we move to watching YouTube videos about their history and customs. To tie it all together, we read pieces of the story of Beowulf, then make war axes and brooches in the Celtic style from clay.
The possibilities for learning are endless. You could take a trip around the world with Google Earth, choose a country that looks interesting, make food from that country, then see if they have any movies on Netflix set there. Look up that culture’s fairy tales and explore the stories they tell to their kids to educate them in the ways of the world.
Not everyone homeschools in this way — this is just one model. Below I’ve gathered a few links to resources online that might be helpful in your search for life learning with kids. Only you will be able to determine what is best for you and your family’s learning style.
- Types of Homeschooling
- Homeschool Math.Net - NASA Kids Club
- Common Sense Media
- History For Kids
- Homebound Online Conference
- Veteran home-schoolers share tips for parents during coronavirus closures
Simple Homeschool (this is my favorite for all things homeschool)
Crash Course There are many versions of crash course, just explore them all!
Survive the Jive Lot's fun ancient history videos.
Voices of the Past First hand accounts of ancient and historical happenings read aloud.
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About the Author
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.