To the parents who just found out your child’s school has been canceled indefinitely… I see you. I know this could be really terrifying… but you are not alone. I don’t know how you feel about homeschoolers… but let’s put aside stereotypes and assumptions… and let’s find where we can help each other!!!

The Corona Virus (COVID-19) has reached the status of pandemic. This is a time that allows for much fear. Much frustration. Much confusion. Much incovenience and loss of comfort. Schools are closing throughout the US. I’m not really sure what the implications of that are for the students affected. My heart goes out to the working parents who are finding themselves in a bind. If you are one of these families who has been thrust unexpectely into home based learning, I want to help. I want to let you know that you are going to be ok. Your kid is going to be ok. There is a whole, huge community of homeschoolers who are here to help.

Whether you are doing remote learning with school provided online by the public school system or online classes still being conducted by amazing teachers… or you have decided to go ahead and take the plunge and go full on homeschooling… there are some tips and tricks of the trade that can help.

  1. Give yourself some grace. This isn’t summer break or Christmas break. This is your kid… at home… all day… doing school. It takes time to adjust to a new normal. It might even be ok to just let school, as you know it, go for a time.
  2. School at home doesn’t look like school in a classroom. Don’t be surprised if your student is finished with his or her work in an hour or two. Without the transitions and extras, your student will likely knock it out.
  3. Take to the Great Outdoors. Y’all. It is spring time. Go outside! Breathe the fresh air. Order a hammock, tie it to a tree, and send your kid out to read. Go for a hike. Take a walk. Look at the flowers. Do some nature journaling (Click HERE for a FREE Printable).
  4. Do a puzzle, play a game, build a thing. Y’all seriously…. this is school. Even for your older kids. This is school. They are problem solving, socializing, thinking critically.
  5. Read to your kids. I don’t care how old your kids are… babies to highschoolers. Read to them. You have a captive audience. Pull out your childhood favorite. Invite your children in. Read and enter into another world since you are currently trapped in ours. Some of our favorite read alouds include the Little House on the Prairie Series, Chronicles of Narnia, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and the Christian Heroes Then and Now biographies. We live in a time when you can just check out the book on your phone. Utilize your library’s online services through apps like Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla. You could read a book, then watch the movie that goes with it, and then compare.
  6. Use Technology. This is your friend. Let your kid play minecraft online with his or her friends. Watch videos. Let Miss Frizzle teach your kids science. Check out the documentaries on Disney Plus. Look into Khan Academy… it is FREE and has some AMAZING classes.
  7. You don’t have to do every subject every day. I’ll just leave that right there. Read it again. It’s true.
  8. Take Virtual Fieldtrips. See # 6…. Technology is your friend. Pick a country, a museum, a state… research it online and learn as much as you can. Teach your kid to put together a slide show in Google Slides and have him or her present findings from the virtual fieldtrip to the rest of the family.
  9. Get to know your kids in a new way. You know your child. You do. You are the parent. But hey… here is a new environment to learn your kid. Find out what makes them tick. Dive deep and learn how they learn. Ask them what they would like to learn while they are on this forced hiatus from a brick and mortar school.
  10. Enjoy this time. It won’t last forever. This too shall pass. I really believe that. I really think we will eventually be back to business as usual. Toilet paper will once again grace the shelves of the store. Your child will go back to school. You will go back to work. I don’t know when and I don’t know what will happen in the in between. But… enjoy this time. Treasure these moments with your child. You have been given a gift.

I really hope this helps. I hope that this gives at least one person hope and encouragement in the midst of the unknown. In the last few hours, Western North Carolina has effectively begun to shut down. It is scary and sad and confusing. I don’t know what information to trust. I only know one thing for certain. God has not changed. He is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow. The promises of the Bible are in tact and true. My brain has no category for a worldwide pandemic… but four years ago I had no category for childhood cancer. We walked through that… we learned the language. Our lives changed forever… and eventually settled back into a rhythm. I believe the rhythm will return in this current crisis as well.

In the mean time… check out these sites for some help:

Free online helps (**Updated 3/16/2020):

All Ages:

Khan Academy (free classes and math help)

Easy Peasy Homeschool (free all in one curriculum)

NGAkids Art Zone

Youngzine (magazine online for kids to keep up with current events)

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Science Bob

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

McHarper Manor- Free Art Tutorials

Elementary:

ABCya (Educational Games)

Burning Cargo (Free Typing Game)

Reading Eggs (free 4 Week trial- reading and math for elementary)

National Geographic Kids (Educational Videos, Articles, Games)

Fuel the Brain

Turtle Diary

Middle and High School

Cells Alive

Grid Club

Parent Helps

HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense)

What are some of your favorite resources online… comment below and share the wealth!!