By Carla Link
March 25, 2020
Our daughter Briana was chronically ill growing up. Each year she ended up in the hospital. To see if that could beavoided, when she was in 4th grade her doctors decided to pull her out of school trying to avoid colds and flu bugs. So like many of you right now, I learned to homeschool on demand.
Thankfully a friend of ours who was a teacher came to my rescue and helped me get through that year. Since she did stay out of the hospital, we became a homeschooling family when homeschool was just starting to catch parent’s attention.
There are a few non-negotiables for schooling at home just like there are for schooling in any format.
- Put a routine on paper that you and your family can stick to.
- Have non-negotiable times to get up in the morning. Have a rule that your kids have to be dressed and beds made before they come down for breakfast. Give them 30 minutes after breakfast to get their teeth brushed and finish morning chores.
- Rachelle, our teacher friend suggested I stick to time periods for each subject like they have in school. (If your school doesn’t provide curriculum there are great things available on the internet like Scholastic Adventures you can use for free.)
- In each day’s time period for each subject, write down what you want your kids to accomplish each day. If you do this weekly it will save you a lot of time.
- We started with Bible Time/Quiet Times, then moved to their hardest subjects
- Give them adequate time for each subject. Stick with the amount of time each period has in school.
- For younger ones, you don’t have to do every subject every day. Where we live they only required Math, Reading, and English every day through 5th
- I got Science and History books from the library for them to read and did science and art projects during “Project Time” in the afternoon. Have them write a book report on every chapter.
- If they take piano lessons or play another instrument work practice time into their school day. I know many teachers who are giving lessons online.
- Do a video exercise program for kids for P.E. Your kids will need to get their restless energy out in a constructive way.
- Have a Study Hall for the last hour of school. I graded my girls’ daily work during this time so they could make corrections and they could finish any subject they didn’t get done earlier in the day.
- They do not get free time until they have completed their school work for the day.
- Plan a routine for your toddlers and preschoolers. Your school-age kids don’t need the distraction of little ones interrupting them while they are trying to concentrate on school. To help you out with this we are giving away Two of the Mom’s Notes presentations “Structuring Your Child’s Day, Pt.1 and Pt. 2” on MP3 and PDF! Giveaway ends 4/3/20. We know this is a difficult time for everyone and want to encourage you in this uncertain time.
- Plan a routine for you.
- What time do you need to get up in the morning and get your day started?
- When can you get a load of laundry in the washer?
- Make your crock or instant pot your new best friend. I loved getting dinner in the crock while my kids ate breakfast and did their morning chores. It gave me such peace of mind to know that dinner was cooking away.
- Plan into the routine your kids’ free time. What is free about time that is planned? I don’t know about you, but kids who are left to do what they want tend to fight and argue with each other and get into trouble. Having time planned for them to be together with your oversight and time for them to be alone keeps peace in your day. You will find lots more information on this in the Mom’s Notes presentation we are giving away.
- Your older kids can plan their own free time, but have them write it on paper so they don’t get lazy and stay on their phones.
Here is a sample day for a 7 yr. old 2nd grader:
7:00 am: Get up, dress, put pj’s away and make bed
7:45 am: Breakfast, morning chores
8:00 am: Bible Time, Quiet Time Devotions for older kids
8:20 am: School starts/Mom gets little ones settled
9:00 am: Math
9:50 am: Break
10:00 am: English
10:30 am: Break
10:45 am: Reading
11:15 am: Finish any work they did not complete above or you could ask each older kid to play with one of their younger siblings while you make lunch
11:45 am: Lunch, lunch clean-up, complete any unfinished morning chores
12:30 pm: Project Time – art
1:30 pm: Free Time – play with Legos
2:30 pm: Play Chutes and Ladders with 5 and 3 yr. old siblings
3:00 pm: Science – watch Cincinnati Zoo’s program online
4:00 pm: Free Time – chooses own activity
4:30 pm: Video Time with siblings
5:00 pm: Sets Table for Dinner & Dinner
6:00 pm: Time with Dad
7:00 pm: Get ready for bed
7:30 pm: Bed, story and prayer time with Mom or Dad