Quarantine Schooling Doesn’t Have to Suck
*Welp* I’m seeing a theme. There are soooo many parents out there who are overwhelmed by the state of their homes, families, workload, and quarantine schooling.
For anyone new to this lifestyle, I can imagine that it is feeling a bit chaotic. But for those of us who have lived this freedom-filled lifestyle for a while, it might actually feel easier. I know it does for me.
The pressure to produce and explain our educational choices seems to be removed. I feel calm and balanced. It’s actually the first time in my life that I have been allowed to focus on being a mom. And I love it!
For those of you experiencing stress during this time of quarantine schooling, I have some tips to make your days run smoother and to remove the pressure to produce and to focus on your emotional well-being.
1) Un-enroll and Re-enroll in the Fall
This needs to be said before anything else. If you are so overwhelmed by the tasks that the public schools have placed on you, then un-enroll.
These are unprecedented times and your family’s emotional health comes first. Your kids WILL BE OK, trust me. Some kids will not do well with school expectations at home and real homeschooling does not look like this.
Most homeschooling families are out in the community, taking classes with other teachers, and delineating tasks with other homeschoolers. We aren’t stuck in our homes doing worksheets for 7 hours.
2) Lower Your Homeschooling Expectations
Let go of the mom…or dad… guilt! You are trying to manage work from home and homeschooling your kids. Your days are not going to look the same and you need to find a new balance until things go back to normal.
Maybe that looks like video games and media for the kids while you work. Your kids will be entertained and happy and you will get your work done.
In our home, we are usually out of the house all day, so media is limited to night time and it evens itself out. With isolating ourselves, it has been filled with far more media time, which makes me feel super guilty. Once I set aside the guilt, I realized, that there is so much learning going on!
My son is reading and spelling when he’s usually resistant to both. He’s asking how to spell things that he’s looking up on YouTube. We have the subtitles set on Netflix and Youtube, so he’s always being exposed to a text-rich environment. Homeschooling is happening in all his activities.
With fewer restrictions on media, it takes away the desire to consume as much as possible. He often gets bored with media so we are intentionally playing together. We play games, do science experiments, create art, and go on bike rides.
This quarantine schooling has been a perfect opportunity to start the Harry Potter series. It has been so much fun! My son is understanding the importance of the written word and starting to love it. Plus, my British accents have been 100%!
We have been enjoying each other.
3) Structure Daily Life Around Learning Opportunities
Some of you may have heard of Unschooling and thought that it meant that there are zero educational opportunities. That’s so far from the truth!
Every second of our day is an opportunity to learn something.
While cooking with your family, you are learning math and measurements. Your kids are reading when you are baking or cooking with a recipe. They are doing science experiments when they mix up the ingredients and discover that certain ones can change the composition of your meal to go from liquid to solid. And that’s just while cooking dinner with your kids!
Use these home improvement projects to incorporate learning into your day. There are so many learning opportunities that can be tied in. Science, engineering, history, math, reading, you name it!
My suggestion is to print out the grade-level expectations as a loose guide. Write a list of all of the activities that you and your children enjoy in a day. Can you structure their lessons around each activity? Strew items around the house that they can peruse and learn from. Or even watch videos that touch on the things that interest them.
4) Give Up Control
Quarantine Schooling is an opportunity to let go. What other time in your life do you get this much free time to develop hobbies and explore interests? Allow your day to be guided by your interests. Enjoy it!
Let your children develop their own interests outside of daily expectations, too. This might remain as one of your fondest memories, as a family.
5) Develop Homeschooling Rituals and Routines
With each day running into one another, you need to develop something fun to look forward to! Sit down as a family and write a list of all of the things that you love to do and that are possible during this quarantine schooling experience. Tie each activity into a specific day and put it on your calendar as a date for your family.
Friday is our Fast Food and Family Fun Day so we usually order take out and go on a field trip. During quarantine homeschooling, we have switched it to a game night. We make it a learning opportunity by tying the games to educational needs. If you can’t eat out, then make your own healthy version of fast food at your house. There are great recipes for Chinese food at home or homemade french fries.
Saturday is our Cinema and Snacks night, so it’s homemade pizza, popcorn, and fruit leather. Make it extra special by moving the tv outside, putting some blankets down, and having an outdoor movie with the kids. You could even tie it into one of the subjects that they have taken interest in.
Sunday is Sun, Sundaes, and Self-Care. We care for ourselves, our homes, and our bodies. It involves lots of outdoor time, exercise, good food, and family time.
How Are You Going to Make the Most of Now?
There are so many opportunities to make this time in our lives one of the most special times that our kids will remember.
Things are different now. We can’t control what’s happening in the world, but we can control how it affects ourselves and our families. You might end up realizing that you…and your kids.. enjoy homeschooling more than you thought you would!