Families Across the World Now Homeschooling Due to School Closures
Parents around the globe are being forced into a paradigm shift regarding their children’s education because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Numbers are increasing daily, but current estimates are that over 1.2 billion children are now learning from home, with more than 120 countries closing their schools nationwide for anywhere from a currently projected few weeks to the remainder of the school year. While some school districts are making use of technology, still more lack the equipment, money, or technical knowledge to do so quickly and efficiently, creating a disconnect between their intentions and the reality for a large number of students. Many U.S. school districts have told their teachers that they may not grade the lessons their students do complete or even communicate a level of expectation that the assignments must be completed at all.
This unexpected crisis has left parents scrambling to find suitable ways to educate their children from home in an attempt to help them progress in their learning and avoid an intensified “summer slide.” Without formal training in teaching and with increased stresses over their own job modifications and potential income loss during this time, parents are left feeling overwhelmed and inadequate for the task of teaching their children. SchoolhouseTeachers.com has the resources to help parents navigate through this experience with confidence, at an affordable membership rate that covers the entire family. SchoolhouseTeachers.com families enjoy not just quality academic content, but a wealth of additional resources and the opportunity to participate in a dynamic online community as well.
But how do I begin homeschooling due to school closures without preparation or maybe even the desire to take on this responsibility?
First, it is important to recognize that this sudden upheaval in routine is a major stressor for all members of the family, and it is okay to take some time to simply process and regroup together. Cozy up for an afternoon of wholesome video watching. The SchoolhouseTeachers.com video library contains more than 450 fun and educational titles for all ages. Short unit studies are available to help you dip your toes into homeschooling while exploring subjects of interest to your children, like knights and castles, fashion, video games, nature, and more. While libraries have closed their doors temporarily, eBooks remain available, and SchoolhouseTeachers.com has over 60 book lists that cover a broad range of topics to get you and your children started on shared or independent reading activities. You can spend the day making crafts, doing science experiments, playing interactive educational games, performing a family skit, or completing word puzzles with the help of the World Book Online access that’s included in your SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership. Meal planning is even covered with a year’s worth of monthly menus, recipes to help you answer the question, “What’s for dinner?” while dining out is not an option. Or, make meal preparation a family affair using Fun with Cooking as your guide.
So, what does a homeschool day look like when I want to include more structure and systematic lessons?
First of all, homeschooling due to school closures doesn’t mean your family’s day has to be a carbon copy of the bell schedule at school. Remember that schools are structured to meet the needs of large groups of children with differing abilities, while maintaining group order and discipline. Your children’s academic routine can, and should, be individualized to meet your needs around work and family life. Also, working at their own pace and without the need for group transitions between activities, students can generally complete their academic lessons in much less time at home than at school. Each day may even look different, as some students work better by alternating larger blocks of time on subjects like history and science across fewer days instead of completing shorter assignments across each subject every day. SchoolhouseTeachers.com has both prepared lesson plans and a custom schedule builder to give you the flexibility of having structure provided or creating your own plan. If you want to learn more about the basics of homeschooling, we even provide a Just for Parents section that includes dozens of titles like, “Growing in Homeschool Confidence” and “Homeschooling Through the Rough Spots.”
How can I meet all the necessary academic requirements?
Since SchoolhouseTeachers.com has a full curriculum for all core subjects from preschool through high school, children don’t have to miss a beat in the academic learning while homeschooling due to school closures. Whether your children need Beginning Handwriting or College Admission Essay, Multiplication Workshop or Precalculus, Kindergarten Science or Advanced Chemistry, SchoolhouseTeachers.com has what they need for a strong finish to the school year. More than 400 courses are available, including geography, world and American history, foreign language, health and fitness, grammar and spelling, writing, literature and poetry, math and sciences, government and economics, plus numerous elective options. You can get it all for one affordable membership rate at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
What about my beginning reader or my child who has special learning needs?
It can be especially intimidating to think about homeschooling a child who is struggling with reading or who has special learning challenges. Federal law requires that school districts provide equal opportunities for students of all ability levels to participate in school activities with appropriate accommodations. Many districts who are trying to establish online learning for their students during the closures have been stopped in their tracks because they can’t adequately provide for their students who require specialized instruction or accommodations. But parents who are homeschooling due to school closures do have quality options available to provide learning opportunities for their exceptional students. SchoolhouseTeachers.com’s Teach Your Child to Read in 101 Simple Steps provides the tools to assist you in meeting your child’s current reading level and moving forward, from letter awareness through comprehension at a 3rd-4th grade reading level. The skills are outlined in a clear format that allows you to easily identify gaps in a child’s skills at any age and help get those filled. The SchoolhouseTeachers.com Special Needs Focused Learning Center gives you resources at your fingertips to strengthen your understanding of your child’s unique learning style and challenges, as well as practical tips and activities you can use to teach to your child’s specific needs.
But what about my high school student who is preparing for graduation and the adult world?
High school students, especially seniors, have questions about what school shuttering will mean for their futures. It may take time for individual districts and national education departments to figure out all the answers, but students can still be preparing well for their futures while homeschooling due to school closures. SchoolhouseTeachers.com members have access to the High School Help center that includes resources on recordkeeping and transcripts, college prep tips, college admissions steps and checklists, writing resumes, and career exploration. Course options like Personal Finance in Bite-Size Chunks, Leadership 101, and Internet Entrepreneurship for Teens prepare teens for life beyond school. They can also take this unexpected free time in their schedules to explore interests like photography, architecture, filmmaking, apologetics, studio art, music, and more. They can even express their views and ideas in constructive ways following the lessons in the six-unit Podcasting to Change the World course at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
What if I don’t want my child sitting in front of a computer all day while homeschooling due to school closures?
Social distancing puts significant limits on the average school’s ability to meet the needs children have to experience learning through movement and their senses. But within the family, you can facilitate hands-on learning, and SchoolhouseTeachers.com can help. Unlike many online curriculum providers that limit content delivery to the student’s computer or mobile device, SchoolhouseTeachers.com provides a combination of print and internet-based options, including numerous courses for all ages that take place away from the computer and encourage interaction among family members. Besides engaging in diverse art, music, literature, and hands-on science courses, your family can choose to Ditch the Desk, play Everyday Games in language arts and math skills, tap into your theatrical skills through Reader’s Theater, and keep fit by setting and tracking goals outlined in the Physical Education Center.
The country is in a state of change and uncertainty, but meeting children’s educational needs doesn’t have to be on the list of impossible challenges facing families during this time. Homeschooling affords families opportunities to work, live, and play together in ways that meet the needs of each family member, and SchoolhouseTeachers.com is here to equip families with the tools and resources to be successful not just surviving homeschooling due to school closures, but in thriving as a family and as individuals.
Actually, most of the families whose kids’ schools closed are participating in homebound learning. Unless they’ve withdrawn their kids from their institutional schools and begun following their states’ homeschool laws, they are not actually homeschooling. Even as we empathize with the stress of those parents, it remains important to keep the lines distinct.