Tools for a successful virtual learning experience
2020: The year dining rooms had a renaissance. Parents all over the world transformed a space into classrooms to help their children receive a virtual education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeling overwhelmed or in need of inspiration? Learn from sisters who are veteran homeschoolers.
By Nicole Springer Gilleland, Zeta Rho-Ohio. She is in her 6th year of homeschooling her three children ages 10, 7 and 4.
I say that “most days we survive, but many more days we thrive.” It’s those thriving days that keep me going. Overnight my lifestyle has become the normal for so many families whether they were ready or not. Here are some words I want to put in your heart. Education, like parenthood, is an adventure, so try to see the best in each day, even the awful days full of screaming and flying pencils. School can happen anywhere, and learning does not have to happen in a building down the road between 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. In fact, you may find the best learning happens on a drive to the grocery store as you discuss the weather; which leads to teaching about types of clouds; which leads to talking about atmosphere and airplanes, and before you know it you have stopped by the library to grab a book about the Wright brothers.
Tangents happen and they are beautiful and something you can’t always find in a traditional learning environment.
Don’t be afraid to take schoolwork outside in the grass or to just meet your kid wherever they are that day. Some days are hard and emotional so for your sanity and your child’s mental health you may need adjust your expectations for that hour. There is no “behind” when it comes to education, there is only learning and most importantly, learning HOW to learn.
Another great lesson I have learned in my journey is do not underestimate the importance of reading aloud a good book to your kids of any age (yes even those who can read or even drive on their own). It can really be a magical way to calm kids, enhance vocabulary, and just go on an adventure from your couch.
Finally, at the end of the day when you look at the stacks of worksheets that may or may not have been completed, also look around at what else was accomplished—Did they build with Legos? Bake cookies? Watch a knitting video on YouTube and craft along? Maybe they visited an elderly neighbor and brought in their trash cans. Every action with a purpose can be educational and you can’t make a worksheet for that.
So, whether you are in this for the long haul and plan to make homeschooling a lifestyle or you’re literally counting the days until you can send them back to their teacher, we are all teachers and have been teaching our kids since the day they were born.
5 Keys to Homeschooling Success
Overwhelmed with homeschooling? Let these tips free you up to enjoy the journey.
By Kelly Goza, Delta Pi-Southern Mississippi. Kelly is beginning her 10th year of homeschooling her four boys, ages 14, 12, 8, 7.
1. Jump in and learn alongside your kids. The biggest concern I hear is, “how do I teach my kids about a subject I know nothing about?” Not a big deal. Learn right alongside your kids and discover new topics and interests together.
2. Learning can happen anywhere. You don’t need the perfect schoolroom. Learning can take place at the kitchen table, a hammock or on the way to a field trip.
3. Read aloud often. Kids of all ages love being read to and it can redeem any bad day.
4. Connect with a local homeschooling community and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find seasoned homeschool families to help you sift through curriculum, local laws, learning styles and the transition to homeschooling.
5. Homeschool does not have to look like a traditional school. Kids can accomplish schoolwork in a fraction of the time it takes at traditional school. Don’t feel boxed in to keeping the same school hours or completing every detail in your curriculum.
My goal in homeschooling is to foster a lifelong love of learning, not to cram every fact into their brains.
These stories and more can be found in the Fall 2020 ANCHORA.