There is a pandemic among us; more and more people are finding themselves isolated at home with their families for what seems to be and extended period of time. Kids aren’t going to school and parents are becoming concerned with the interruption of their education. I have been homeschooling my child for many years now and have had many friends and associates ask the same question: “How do you do it?”
It seems like such a funny question as homeschooling is so natural to us that it doesn’t seem like extra work. When it’s integrated into your lifestyle it becomes a joy and really takes no extra time at all.
Some people ask: “How do you find the time?” – “How do you know what to teach?” – “How do you have the patience?”
The answer is simple. Integrate their learning into your lifestyle.
For example: I was able to teach my child fractions and how to add and subtract them through baking. We made it a fun pass-time with incentive. My 8 year old (at the time) had no problem adding and subtracting fractions and it happened naturally with full understanding. Not only is she learning arithmetic but she is also learning chemistry and how different substances work with each other. She also learned how to be self-sufficient by gaining the experience and knowledge to be able to cook for herself.
Another example of integrating homeschooling into your lifestyle is to have them keep track of the cost of items when shopping. My daughter has some paper and a pencil, I tell her the price of the item and she keeps tally. This is more than simple addition because it also teaches her how to stay within budget, value of products and recognition of valuable products. These life skills are necessary and she learned it like it was a game. (I realize that during a pandemic this may not be the best option but in usual circumstances this is great.)
Knowing what to teach is easy. There are many resources on the internet that can be used as guides. I personally bought the Canadian Curriculum and use it as a guide for the topics taught at that particular level. I only spend about 2 hours a day on actual book work and the rest is integrated into our lifestyle. Arts and crafts happen in my home on a regular basis. Reading time occurs every morning before breakfast and every night before bed. We usually do our studies/work at the same time together.
Leading by example is the best way to implement good learning habits.
Consistency is key. As much as they don’t want to admit it, kids need structure and routine. And let’s face it, so do we! Keeping a regular “schooling” schedule ensures steady progress, well developed learning habits and it gives us time to do some work simultaneously. You don’t need to be super strict with the schedule, after all, that’s one of the best things about homeschooling. Sometimes my daughter sleeps in a bit but that’s ok, the routine can adjust. Typically our routine starts with breakfast followed by 1 hour of one curriculum subject, then a 15 min. break to stretch and we do one more hour of another subject. At this point it is usually lunch time and then the afternoon is full of crafts and exercises or outdoor play.
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