Playing the "How to" Game
We are in the midst of a societal shut-down because of a virus. Ok, so that's it in a nutshell and that's all I want to say about it because that is not the focus of this post and if you want to hear about it ad nauseum, you can find those places.
Instead of playing the "what if" game and "maybe" game, let's play the "how to" game.
My number one recommendation is to keep it simple. Plan a simple schedule, for example 9:00 until noon. Basics: English (reading, writing, grammar, spelling), Math. If that is ALL you do, you'll be doing great! Begin with that. Then, when you are ready, add history and science. Plan time for art and music, too. (I know...I can hear some saying that you are not artistic or musical. So what? Is that going to keep you from trying and learning yourself? And THAT is how you help your children. They will see you being a model of how to learn.)
Now, what do you do when you have kids that span the age spectrum: 3 year-olds, 5 year-olds, 10, and 15, for example? Start with a read-aloud for the middle-aged child. The little ones will absorb what they can and the older child[ren] will still enjoy it, too. The 3 year-olds can play with some quiet toys or enjoy snuggle time. The 5 year-olds can do the same or color.
Find some apps or online sources where your older children can do some math review on their own, while you help the younger ones with phonics or writing or whatever. In the public schools in Arizona, they have Moby Max which is an online program free to students for all subjects. But the key word is "while". While the older ones are working independently on typing or reading, you work with the younger ones. While you are working one-on-one with the older ones, the younger ones are coloring, playing, or napping (hopefully). Include them as you can.
Lessons need not be long and should not be long for the younger ones.
One of the funniest things I have gotten asked by non-homeschoolers is, "Where do you get your curriculum?" as if it's a big mystery or must be really difficult to find. No! The problem is making a selection out of the abundance of superior curriculums. Below are some of my favorite resources.
Draw Write Now - This link is a sample lesson you can try. I love this program! It teaches kids how to draw and how to write neatly. It's art and handwriting in one! That's another secret to homeschooling. Combine as many things as you can. They have several books that focus on different topics.
Books for the 10-12 year old crowd: Stick with classics. Yes, seriously. You cannot compete with the classics for stories that build character and also provide elevated sentence structure and vocabulary. When you run out of classics to read, then you can read modern drivel. LOL.
Historical fiction: Books by G.A. Henty
Horse lovers: Books by Marguerite Henry
Series: Books by James Herriot, veterinarian. Hilarious, real-life stories. My kids and I never laughed so hard. A new series on Masterpiece Theatre is coming out in June 2020 based on his books. We are offering a free webinar on it the end of May 2020!
Science: Books by John Hudson Tiner
Geography: The best thing you can do is to just have a globe and look at it with your kids. Tell them about places you have been or things you know. Then search online for more information on a place of your interest. Truly, much learning occurs in an informal setting and self-directed. We learn when we care.
Music: If your kids already take music lessons, keep them practicing their instrument. If not, a recorder is an inexpensive and easy instrument to learn and will teach you how to read music. I recommend Sweet Pipes for recorders and music books. You can play simple duets with your kids!
Art: There is a wealth of instructional material online, but one of my favorite books is Artistic Pursuits.
Well, there you go...that's for starters.
For those of you who've gotten a taste of the homeschool lifestyle and like it and find that you could do this...we have additional help for you! Check out my literature and writing classes for the 2020-2021 school year. I also offer one-on-one tutoring!
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