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Resources for parents, recommended by the panelists from live event, ‘Getting Schooled: Experienced Homeschool Parents Share Their Wisdom’.

Hosted by CuriOdyssey, April 7 and April 9, 2020. See a recording of the panel online here. Like these resources? Donate now to support more content and quality animal care. Check here to see when our next live event will be.

Recommended websites that provide worthwhile content

Recommended books for first-time homeschooling parents  

Resources Compiled by our Panelists  

Recommended Online Classes  

Recommended Additional Resources

STRATEGIES

  • Give yourself a break  
    • There will be good days and bad days  
    • If you’re thinking “I should…” it really negatively impacts your day  
    • Acknowledge that this is difficult even for parents with practice  
    • Recognize how amazing you are  
  • Flexible Space: reading corner or creative activity corner  
    • Kids can stop and go to these areas when they need a break   
    • Have an activity set up all day, like Legos, Tactile Bins  
    • Paper, Scissors, Tape and glue – Set up a space to be creative without a goal  
  • Be okay with messes  
  • Take advantage of opportunity to teach your children what you want and what they want to learn. Enjoy setting the curriculum 
  • Teach your children life skills to help around the house: cleaning, cooking, chores…  
    • Including teaching and older child to help take care of a younger  
  • Scheduling Tips  
    • Use a daily schedule (even a weekly schedule)  
      • Schedule short blocks (10 to 30 minutes) around your work to check in with kids  
      • Review the schedule at beginning of day with your children  
      • Take 10 minutes the night before to review next day’s schedule  
  • Set goals or checklist for the day; when you reach the goal you’re done  
    • Don’t feel obligated to provide 6 hours of schooling per day  
    • You can spread learning out throughout the day, rather than one big chunk  
  • If possible, have one parent teach while the other works, then switch  
  • Build unstructured time into your schedule  
    • Play, social, and/or creative time  
    • Being bored can be okay – it’s an impetus for your kids to get creative  
  • Motivating kids to learn  
    • Let your child help set the schedule for the day – it encourages them to take ownership and can help motivate them.
    • Homeschooling means you can create your own curriculum around what interests your kids  
    • “Custom Schooling” I’m not the one teaching my child most of the time. I’m selecting what classes they take based on their interests  
    • Project-Based Learning lets kids see tangibly what they accomplished  
    • Use positive reinforcement: maybe your child is super motivated by getting stickers, maybe she or he will get their work done to earn social Zoom time  
    • Set expectations: Meet our goals for today, then Minecraft  
    • Growth Wall: big sheet of paper you put post-its on acknowledging good behaviors  
    • Overcame a challenge  
    • Said something kind to a sibling  
  • Kids who have trouble with transitions…  
    • Use a visible schedule: Let your child(ren) see when things will begin and end  
    • Use a visible timer: something kids can check for themselves to see how soon the end is  
    • Use a chime or audible cue  
    • Give lots of warning  
    • Routines: Do the same things every morning and/or evening  
    • Rituals: Like saying the pledge of allegiance at school. Could be fun things you do with your kids  
  • Journaling  
    • Tool for writing, spelling practice  
    • Tool for assessment  
  • Lisa’s (one of the panelists) Daily Checklist   
    • EXERCISE AND SUN  
    • HEALTHY FOOD AND WATER  
    • FUN AND LAUGHTER  
    • CONNECTION WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS  
    • LEARNING  
    • CREATIVITY  
    • SLEEP  

Questions

  • How do you manage teaching different ages of children?  
    • Have older child help take care of the younger  
    • Plan some activities they can all do together (such as writing letters to family)  
    • Schedule online classes for one while you use that time to work with another  
    • Forgive yourself: it may not always be pretty, you may have a bad day or week. That’s okay.  
  • How do you gauge if your kids are getting enough learning/physical exercise/creative outlets/everything. In other words, how do you know if you are doing enough for them?  
    • I-Ready (through Ocean Grove) – for testing to check progress
    • If they’re bouncing off the walls it’s time to get outside  
    • Identify a goal or goals for the year  
      • Try to touch on each goal every week  
      • Try to make each day work toward a goal  
  • For parents who are thinking about pursuing home schooling even after this period, could you also talk about activities to supplement home schooling?  
    • “Custom Schooling” – when you are not always the primary educator and not always at home. Outsourcing schooling based on interests  
    • CuriOdyssey – Science Explorers Program, Homeschool Program  
    • Ocean Grove is a California Charter School that is specifically geared towards homeschooling. It’s a great option for homeschoolers because the curriculum choices are flexible and they set aside $2400/year for you to use towards external programs and resources. 
    • Lots of Field Trips  
    • Dig into hobbies and extracurriculars  
    • Music Classes, Video Editing Classes, Art   

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