Hi! I'm Heather Drabant, a team member here at Lessonbee. I grew up learning at home and abiding by a schedule my mom created for me, and later, one I created for myself.
I want to share a few tactics that were successful for me as a kid, and hopefully help you feel better prepared if you find yourself in the position of Homeschool Parent at short notice during this time of COVID-19 and school closures.
Make it a team effort
I loved being a part of the planning process for my schooling as a kid. My mom would ask me what I wanted to learn and what I wanted to focus on. Even if we ended up doing something different, I felt included and aware of the process.
By the age of ten, I was disinterested in school as most kids are. The difference is that I was allowed to shift my schedule and study subjects in ways that made the most sense to me. This helped me learn about time management and prioritization.
Bestselling author of Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker, explains. “…Kids who plan their own time, set weekly goals, and evaluate their own work build up their prefrontal cortex and other parts of the brain that help them exert greater cognitive control over their lives.”
Recognize your kids learning style
We all have a style of learning that works best for us. It will benefit both of you if you can determine what that style is for your kiddo.
In a world where kinesthetic learning is largely considered unruly, rebellious, and disruptive, someone like me would have struggled in a traditional classroom setting.
Does that mean I was a bad student? No. It means I learn through hands-on applications and visuals.
Every child should be given the chance to figure out what their learning style is.
You can read a good breakdown of the three main learning styles and ways to teach to strengths by clicking here.
Shorter days are okay--the school day can be whatever fits your lifestyle the best
Most children do not need to have 6hr+ days of school to retain information.
Sometimes I would finish the bulk of my work early, and then finish anything left over in the evening after dinner. With the “extra time,” I was able to reflect and apply what I’d learned to areas of genuine interest. By having the room to think and absorb, I retained more and enjoyed using the new skill or lesson in real-life situations.
One of the key pros of home education is the flexibility you gain.
“The beauty of homeschooling is that you can cater it—your routine, your curriculum, and your methods—to the unique needs of your kids and your family!” - Erin Vincent, homeschool mom and writer.
Home education does not have to be stressful and chaotic, or rigid and scheduled out every minute.
It looks different for everyone, but the steadfast facts of it are: Listen to each other, experiment, research, and make learning fun (for real)
Life is the best teacher, and your kid will not miss anything crucial by being educated at home. As long as you include them, listen to them, and explore however you can.