Okay so we’ve all kind of been thrusted into a completely new world over the past week. Our kids are learning from home and from what I’ve seen and heard from friends and on the interwebs, I think we’re all doing a pretty darn good job! I may be in the minority but I’m honestly REALLY liking it. Yes, it’s day 3 of “homeschooling” and I know the honeymoon phase may wear off but I’ve really enjoyed learning alongside Brian and Grace. The one-on-one thing is pretty cool, and I like that I can use my judgement on what I’m seeing is either too easy or challenging for them, and adjust our time based on their needs.
For Brian, we are following along on a curriculum his teacher put together for us on Google Classroom and it’s been AMAZING. The google classroom is the “hub”, and our teacher posts various clickable subject blocks where we have access to a PDF for the week, links to videos and websites to explore further. The subjects we’re working on everyday are Literacy, Phonics, Math, Social Studies and Science. We also have access to Gym, Art, and Music content put together by their specials teachers.
Grace has her own Google Classroom, too, and her teacher has been posting videos reading to the class, as well as suggestions on what to do with the kids. We’re mainly working on letters, numbers, and coloring with her, and letting her guide us on how much time she wants to spend doing certain things. She’s loving this Pre-School workbook from Highlights, coloring with markers and crayons, and random crafts we’re finding on Pinterest. I try and bring her in to as much as I can with Brian which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t 🤣
2 resources the kids have been LOVING are GoNoodle and Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. Brian is OBSESSED with author Mo Willems and everyday Mo is doing videos where he teaches the kids how to make his illustrations. Tonight B told us that he no longer wants to be the President but an author when he grows up.
A couple of tips I’ve picked up on regarding homeschooling in this short time, and some I’ve learned over the years from balancing the whole working from home alongside kids thing:
Don’t be a stickler. We have a gift the time right now, and we’re all adjusting to this new normal. No one is going to show up at your door on Fridays to collect the work and test your kids. Do your best, and don’t stress!
Make it fun! I think the beauty part of this whole thing is that you’re not in a classroom! You can take learning wherever and however. Use what your school has provided as a guide and every case differs but feel free to change it up and run with it. We’re learning about clouds this week so lots of outdoor discovery, looking up at the sky and I’m currently looking for a cloud craft on Pinterest.
More on the stickler thing, I’ve 100% put work on the back burner while I figured out the needs of my kids first. I’ve had to, and still will have to, cash in a couple “I’m late on the deadline” coins as we get into our groove, but very soon I’ll be working on balancing both. You’ll see their schedule below and I get my work in during the times they can do their own thing, in the AM from 8-9 (breakfast and chores) and at rest time. I can also wake up earlier and work at night. I’ve basically been doing some form this since Brian’s birth so I’m kind of used to it. I think it’s really important to first get to their needs, and then work a “working schedule” around that. Your boss should understand if they don’t, they must be completely ignorant on what’s happening right now. And trust me, it can work, but you have to lower your expectations.
Lower your expectations of productivity when they’re awake. This is the #1 tip I have to give to friends who are working from home with their kids. You will NOT be able to do both at the same time. Here’s where it gets bad, when you attempt both, you’re going to get super frustrated and want to pull your hair out. You HAVE to accept that it won’t happen, just put it out of your mind and focus what’s in front of you. If your kid is reading a book, and you’re trying to type an email, he’s going to ask you about words he can’t read, you’re going to get aggravated because you’re just trying to write a simple email and you keep getting interrupted. He’s going to get upset seeing you upset. It’s just setting both of you up for failure. This took me a long time to learn, but once I made that mental shift in my approach, it got SO much better.
Remember… this is your show, you know your family best, have fun with it, be flexible, take it day-by-day.
My friend Kendra over at Hen&Co made this SUPER CUTE printable schedule for us to use! This is the schedule we’ve been loosely following and it’s been working great! This printable is high-res so you can drag it right onto your desktop and print it out to use at home to hopefully bring some structure/sanity to your days!
Oh and also, I placed a HUGE amazon order the other day to stock up on arts + crafts, here are some things I ordered: