Kids are off school: What do I do?

March 20, 2020

To everyone self isolating with their children do not panic!

Speaking, (or rather typing) as someone who was homeschooled for 14 years, I can tell you this is a wonderful opportunity for you and your children.

For primary school aged children I would suggest typing their school year followed by a subject into goolge. You will be amazed at how much stuff is online.  Education Otherwise is also a great resource.

For older children I would say read as much as possible. Explore your creativity. Read, draw, write. You have the basics and this is the perfect time to see what you can do.

Government guide line for home educators are a minimum of 90mins of learning everyday for children aged over 12. There are no guide lines for children under 12. This is because the learning environment at home is more intense once they get used to it. There is no competition, and the program should be structed around them.  So don’t expect your children to be putting in 8-10 hour school days!

For perents- don’t be afraid to share your interests with your children. Was there a particular book you liked to read? Do you know how to sew or knit? Can you play a musical instrument, sing or dance? Maybe this could be the time to share those skills? Even better, learn a new skill with your children. You don’t have to know everything!

Cooking/baking is a great family activity!

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. When it comes to homeschooling there is really no limit. My favourite activity was writing my own plays and performing them for parents and friends. Try dressing up as people from different time periods.  Once we dressed as Victorians.

The best piece of advice I can give you is: don’t be disheartened. You will find that your children won’t enjoy everything you do. And just like in school they will prefer some subjects to others.

Use what you can find around you. We would have daily projects, such as making a paper farm or collecting leaves.  Are there any interesting family stories? Do they know their family history? Do you? Maybe this could be a project for all of you?

When your children are grown up they will appreciate the effort you put in. And not to brag, by the time I did eventually go to school (aged 14) I already knew who I was. Everyone else was still figuring that out. I also found out I had a better relationship with my parents then my peers.

What I am trying to say is, use this time to find out about your children and don’t be afraid to let them know who you are as well.  The relationship will be different because you will all have to work together. There will be some give and take from both you and your children.

When you inevitably fall out, forgiveness is key. Don’t isolate yourself in a room or allow them to do the same. You will have to face each other eventually.  It is ok to apologise to your children sometimes. In fact it sets a good example, and they are more likely to admit to their own mistakes going forward.  Never leave a room in anger. Even if your children are being impossible, always leave saying “I love you.” Trust me, the positive influence will be greater than you can imagine.

By the end, you will be a stronger family.

I will be sharing my thoughts and insights. Any questions, comments, panic attacks- I’m here for you.

Just leave a comment and I will get back to you!