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Handy homeschooling resources

Not long ago, many of us would never have contemplated educating our kids at home. We’re busy, working parents.

But now, it seems like we don’t have a choice. While the government hasn’t officially shut schools down, as of writing this, some state governments are advising that we keep our kids home where possible.

Talk about being thrown in the deep end.

How do working parents keep their kids educated while trying to juggle work responsibilities?

Before we jump into a list of resources you need to make home-schooling a success, the first thing to remember is that you don’t need to replicate the school environment exactly to educate your kids successfully.

The school day is structured based on more than 20 children per classroom, so if your child completes everything they need to do for the day in a couple of hours, that’s okay too.

A decent laptop or tablet

It goes without saying.

In this digital age, it’s so hard, regardless of how young your child is, to successfully home-school without adequate technology.

If you’re in a jam, check out Cashies Online and see if you can grab a bargain.

 

Virtual meeting software

Just because we need to physically isolate ourselves doesn’t mean we need to socially isolate our family.

Try to organise a virtual lunch or recess a couple of times a week with their school friends, sporting club friends etc. so that your kids can still feel connected to their mates. This is especially important for teenagers who may be exceptionally close to their friends at this point in their lives.

Our favourite apps for virtual hangouts are:

  • WhatsApp
  • Google Hangouts
  • Zoom (more of a meeting style app, which is great for virtual classrooms)
  • Skype

If you’re not happy for younger children to use your phone (hello, smashed screen), make sure their laptop or tablet has a built-in microphone. Plug in a set of headphones so you don’t need to hear the ruckus caused by multiple kids online and watch their smiles as they get to catch up with their friends.

Educational resources tailored to your child’s level

We’re all in this together. In addition to what your child’s teacher may have uploaded digitally, there are heaps of online resources to help parents educate their kids at home.

Check your state government education website for the best resources.

Additionally, these sites are great for kids:

Let’s get back to basics

While this time may be incredibly stressful for us adults, the additional time at home with the kids may be what we all need to reset our dynamics as a family.

It’s time to slow down.

Rather than structuring the day around notebooks, flashcards and whiteboards, incorporate learning into everyday activities that can be enjoyable.

My favourite activities to do with my kids:

  • Not only do we get yummy treats, we can teach Home Economics as well as fraction, weight and measurements.
  • Sweeping the yard or going for a walk around the neighbourhood. Ask the kids to collect leaves, gumnuts, pinecones or whatever you can find to use for art projects.
  • Chalk drawings. This teaches art, writing, maths and even physical education if you use the chalk to draw up a hopscotch or four-square game.
  • Dance parties. Crank the tunes and just dance away with your kids. The little ones will remember this fondly and your teens will probably get a laugh at our daggy dance moves (plus – incidental exercise is great for wearing the kids out).

It’s a challenging time trying to juggle work commitments and domestic commitments while worrying about economic stability.

Let’s try to use this time to create some memories with our families and remember – stressed minds can’t teach little minds.

Written by Rebecca Crosby

 

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