Schooling children at home has always been an option, and for the many centuries before there were schools children were taught at home. Now, in the present day time of COVID, 19 schools in many places are closed, and in places where they are open, the option of homeschooling by virtue of online classes is given. Many parents and caregivers are finding their homes becoming classrooms as well as places to live. For some, those who have large homes and incomes to match, setting up an area for homeschooling is relatively simple. But, for the majority of families, trying to organize a place in the home conducive for schooling is a challenge. Here are some ideas that may help:
Even if your home is small, there is likely an area such as the corner of a bedroom, living room, or even a kitchen that can be set aside and designated for school learning.
For each child to have a work area, hopefully, a desk or a small table for each though children can share a bigger table. For younger children, let them decorate a nameplate for their special study area.
Have drawers or shelves handy where books, paper (plain, lined, and colored), notebooks, writing utensils, crayons, scissors, glue, pencil sharpener ( the small ones you get at a dollar store are fine), erasers, small chalkboard and chalk, and markers are kept. Inexpensive small chest of drawers and shelves can be found at thrift stores and large outlet stores.
Sometimes letting each child have a shoe box, which they can decorate, to keep their individual supplies in works well. Sharing such items as crayons, pencils, erasers, glue, and scissors doesn’t usually work well,
When possible, with the children, make a list of what school supplies they will need (just like you used to do each year before school started) and let then go shopping for them with you.
If possible, allow the children a place to display their work and colorful pictures appropriate to their studies.
Make sure there are adequate outlets for keeping electronics charged as much of their work will require online access. Schools are usually providing tablets for each child, so that expense is not a burden for families.
Make a schedule to be followed each day and try to keep it. Be sure there are breaks in the schedule for some fun, snacks, lunch, and, when possible, outdoor time.
With the children’s help, think of interesting field trips to take when possible. Many parks and stores are open and can be used for learning purposes. Even a walk in the neighborhood with follow-up art or language assignment related to nature, people observed, shapes, colors, clouds, etc. makes learning more interesting. Children are used to getting out and can become difficult if kept in all day.
On rainy or very cold days, plan extra activities inside such as cooking, science experiments, art projects, and even a picnic on the rug.
As your child’s helper, if you are using the school online classes, you want to stay in touch with his or her teacher. Most teachers have regular Zoom meetings for this. If you are their teacher, be sure to plug into proper homeschooling programs approved by your school board.
There are several home school organizations already in place with regular get-together. Even with COVID l9, there are planned activities, so go online and find out what is happening in your area.
While it may seem, and some time is difficult to have your children home 24/7, there are benefits that will outweigh the challenges. Children grow up quickly, and being able to spend time with your children and to be an active part of their learning experience is something that will be with them their entire lives. You, too, will build memories to be cherished as you watch your child grow and learn and know you had a major part in this.