School Closed, Now What? Help from a Veteran Homeschool Mom

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It’s one thing to make the decision to homeschool, it’s another to have a decision made for you which closes your child’s school, interrupting their learning.

What is one to do?

Step one: Stock up! If you’re going to be home for a while, and if there is a possibility stores may limit hours, you want to be prepared. You can download a supply list here.

Step two: Make a plan! It’s likely your appointments for next week are being canceled or rescheduled. If you do not work outside of your home, it is likely you’re not facing the same dilemma that many parents are facing. You should be able to get a grasp on what commitments you are and aren’t keeping and move forward.

If you do work outside of your home, childcare will be the first bridge you have to cross. You know your life and limitations, all I can do is encourage you that the rest of the advice will be something you can work in outside of your work hours. It won’t be easy, but you can do this.

“Form, like topsoil (which is intricately formal) empowers time to do good.” – Wendell Berry

Might I encourage you to let this time grow something good. Give it shape. Give it a form. You may find that this interruption provides your family time you couldn’t have found on your own.

Step three: Make a schedule! A friend of mine once called the tasks during a day which you work around an anchor, and I like that. Your schedule will need some anchors.

Anchor Examples:

  • Baby’s nap
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Chores (feeding animals, emptying dishwasher, changing laundry)
  • Private Music Lessons (you may choose to keep those)
  • 20-Minute Clean-up (all hands on deck)

Outside of those anchors, you may have a rough plan of what you can accomplish. I work in lists of 3’s. I’ll brainstorm things I know we need to do for the day, then group them into lists of 3’s and slot them in around the anchors. So a day may take shape like this:

  • Anchor – Coffee & Answer Email
  • Take a walk with littles, listen to Elsie read aloud, discuss Emma’s book she’s reading
  • Anchor – Switch Laundry
  • Math with Elsie, History with Emma while Easton and Elsie paint, Spelling with Elsie

You get the idea.

I don’t start my day out wondering if things are going to fall apart, I kind of start the day out wondering how much we can make happen before things fall apart.

Step four: Before I start linking away, I have two mantras you should memorize and repeat.

Do less, do it well.

Don’t take on the world here. Talk with your kids and let them help you come up with your game plan, but if this becomes a checklist to mark off tasks, no one is going to enjoy it.

Pick a few things, and enjoy them.

Know when to stop.

Don’t get greedy. You play a math game and it goes so well, so you want to do it again and again and again. Don’t. Stop for today and they’ll be excited to play again tomorrow.

They breeze through 10 spelling words, so you think what’s 2 more lists? Don’t do it. Stop for today and go outside.

You read a chapter, and no one is yawning. It’s okay, stop and move on before they start yawning.

Step five: Watch my 1-hour LIVE video from March 14th! I cover 5 things you can do to continue learning outside of the classroom.

  1. Scheduling
  2. Reading aloud
  3. Teaching math without a degree
  4. Backyard learning
  5. Language skills all day long

ONE LAST THING: Devices – There is good advice in the Help for Parents link below, but let me just say this, if you don’t have a plan to manage devices, you won’t win the war. Make some rules, stick with them, let the kids be bored, and lead the way by disciplining yourself as you embark on this journey together. Screen-addicted kids have to be detoxed. Sure I’ve relied on them to entertain my kids on days when I’m struggling to manage my work, but I always regret it. You have an uphill battle, friend. If devices become a constant, you’re adding to your load.

LINKS to Resources Mentioned in LIVE

Book Lists

MORE LINKS to Resources for Learning

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