Right now, everything is feeling unpredictable. With the outbreak of coronavirus, the kids are out of school for a month, stores are running out of non-perishables and we’re all practicing social distancing to make sure that no one gets sick. While Bobby and I are keeping our eye on the latest coronavirus information from the CDC, we also don’t want our kids to worry or feel like their lives are being interrupted.
I’ll admit, it’s a challenge trying to homeschool my kids and maintain a normal schedule for them, but I know keeping them safe and healthy at home is best. But it’s also important to keep them happy, focused and learning. Here’s how I’m homeschooling my kids and keeping them on a school schedule during their month at home.
Older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Keep Kids Focused on Education
Yes, the kids are out of school for 30 days, but it’s not spring break. This is still the time to study and learn, and it’s important that they aren’t missing any of their schoolwork by being home.
While the school likely gave you assignments and lessons your kids should be focusing on, make sure they still feel like they’re in class.
For the youngest kids, give them some free time to draw a picture of their friends or something that they learned today. For older kids, have them write about how they learned to stay healthy or write a summary of a book they recently read. “Class time” may go by quicker at home, so make sure to have a few extra assignments for the kids.
To stay germ-free, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
For Kids Grades K-2:
8:30-10:00: Art and physical activity! Start with something active and fun. Have them work on a drawing, do some coloring or do some stretching. (Boss Baby Brody loves to start his mornings with a little dance!)
10:15-12:00: Have them work on some reading and writing. Use some flashcards, their favorite picture books or an activity book they work on in class to practice their printing or cursive.
12:45-2:00: Math and science! Have them do some counting, addition or subtraction. For science, it’s fun to learn about animals, bugs or planets!
2:15-3:30 Have them work on a fun project to learn about different countries or historic figures. Have them do a little coloring project to see what they learned.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
For Kids Grades 3-5:
8:30-10:00: Start the day with something fun! Complete a puzzle or have them write about a time they solved a problem with a friend.
10:15-12:00: Time for reading and writing. Do a 30-minute reading session then have them write a summary of what they just read. Talk about the meaning of the book and if they would recommend it to a friend.
12:45-2:00: Get focused on math with addition and subtraction sheets, times tables or fractions. For science class, have them draw out charts of the animal kingdoms, plant cycles or solar system.
2:15-3:30: For social science, have them write about something they would like to work on in the community. For history, try memorizing all the states, or writing a paper on one of our Founding Fathers.
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
For Kids Grades 5-8:
8:30-10:00: Don’t forget to start the morning with a light activity! Let them go for a quick run around the yard, play a trivia game or do a write up on how the family can stay healthy at home.
10:15-12:00: Work on writing and reading comprehension with short reading sessions. Then assign a paper on the story, symbolism, meaning and interpretation of the chapter.
12:45-2:00: For math, work on equations, algebra, geometry in worksheets or focus on word problems and real world situations. Have them create a science project for class that shows an understanding of physics, biology, space, etc.
2:15-3:30 For social science have them write a paper on ways they can help or try to solve a problem in the community. In history class, they can learn about the history of our country with a project on their favorite US President.
There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.
Make Sure There’s Still Time to Play
If all six of us had to be cooped up in the house 24/7, we would all go a little crazy—mom and dad included! It’s important that they’re doing their school work, but they need “recess” too! Make sure to take short breaks and a longer lunch so it still feels like school. This is a great time to go out and play with the kids, to get a little break yourself!
Since we’re practicing social distancing when the kids need some real time outdoors, I bundle Brody up on my Bluejay Bike and we all go for a ride around the neighborhood. It’s a great way to get some exercise and sunshine without going anywhere crowded.
If your kids are used to a daily gym class, (or you are missing your daily spin), it’s important to try to get some exercise at home. You can start the morning with some stretching, play tag during lunch or go for a walk in the evening once they’re done with schoolwork.
Luckily, my kids all love to run, play and dance, but mommy needs to get on her Peloton every morning. It’s a great way for me to destress, and get into teacher mode!
The CDC recommends that for the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.
Let Your Kids Lead Their Lessons
Nope, this doesn’t mean your kids can pick and choose what they learn, but if they want to start with history instead of science, go for it!
Letting them have some say in what activities they are doing in their homeschool schedule will make them more interested in what they’re learning. You can let them pick their reading material, decide what animals they want to learn about or choose what game they want to play in the morning. And if they want to switch it up each day, go for it!
As long as my kids are getting their schoolwork done, I’m a happy mom.
Find Alternative Education Methods
My dear friend Brianne, from Stroller in the City, is ahead of the curve when it comes to fun, educational materials for her kids. Try out her homeschool schedule where she uses downtime—like craft or playtime—as another opportunity to educate her kids with projects and toys that feature space, animals and more.
Check out her favorite toys, which include everything from puzzles to coding robots, to see how her kids are learning and playing at the same time!