I think we can all agree at this point that what we’re doing is not “true” homeschooling. It’s not traditional classroom learning either, even if our teachers have been rock stars at teaching what they can through eLearning.
As Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, told National Geographic, “Trying to replicate school at home when you’re not trained and you don’t have the materials, that’s like mission impossible.”
Throw work and housework into the mix too, and teaching our kids and doing work can, frankly, feel a bit overwhelming.
But what if we change the way we approach learning? And, instead, focus on other ways (and things) kids can learn?
For starters, kids don’t need to sit at a computer for seven-plus hours a day. Some states, like Illinois Board of Education, have even shared that kids need far less time in front of a computer. So if they’re spending less time online and they have all this “free time,” what should they be doing?
Change the Way We View Learning
Kids are naturally curious. Of course they learn a lot from worksheets and schoolwork, but they learn in other ways too. The other day, as we were cleaning up our garden and adding some new soil, my kids asked about when we would see the plants grow. They were shocked when I told them it might be a few months, because they needed roots first. They continued to ask questions, and when I didn’t know the answer, I told them, “Let’s research it!”
We read books about plants. We watched some videos. We made crafts with rocks, pinecones, and, flowers. We did some more planting in the garden. In the process, they learned a whole lot about plants and how they grow.
Along the same lines, focus on the things you know and find ways of sharing your knowledge with your kids. Love to bake? This is a great opportunity to teach kids about numbers, measuring, and time management. Love to work on your car? Involve your child and teach them about how cars work, why paying attention to details matter, and patience. Change the way you look at learning, and suddenly the way you view homeschooling changes too!
Focus On Life Skills
Through at all, there are also household chores to get done. Chores around the house are a wonderful way of teaching kids life skills: from loading the washing machine and folding clothes, to emptying the dishwasher. Whether your kid is three or 13, there are ways of involving them in chores and teaching them life skills that will serve them for a long, long time.
Pay Attention to Their Interests
As parents we know that if a child is interested in something, they’re more likely to engage. In the process, they’re also more likely to learn. For example, if your kid loves video games, those games can be learning opportunities too. In addition to playing video games, suggest they read a graphic novel on Minecraft for instance. If they love to play with Barbies, like my oldest does, encourage them to write stories about their dolls.
Learning at home is different. But hopefully all of these tips — and activity ideas shared at Kids Activities Blog — make it a little bit less stressful.
FOR MORE STUCK AT HOME RESOURCES:
- Join one of your kids’ favorite authors or illustrators for online story time!
- Make a headband with button for mask.
- Travel the world from your couch with this list of 40+ virtual field trips.
- A dozen moms shared how they are keeping sane with a schedule for school at home.
- Let kids explore this virtual Hogwarts escape room!
- Get kids off technology and back to basics with learning worksheets you can print at home!
- Make being stuck at home fun with our favorite indoor games for kids.
- Print out some Frozen 2 coloring pages.
- My kids are obsessed with these active indoor games.
- 5 minute crafts are saving my bacon right now — so easy!
- Impress your “students” with fun facts for kids!
- Make a quarantine time capsule.
- Make bread!
- Use this hand washing trick for kids… it’s baby shark time!
- Check out tips for how to homeschool preschool.
- Try these favorite halloween games.
- Make reading even more fun with this PB kid summer reading challenge.