First of all, I feel it is so important for everyone to identify the fact that this is not you spending your first week homeschooling because you chose to. This was thrust upon you with no notice and no preparation. Everyone needs to give themselves (and their kids really) so much grace in this strange, unexpected season. With everything going on and the chaos of it all, the last thing you need to do is add pressure to yourself because suddenly you are supposed to become your child’s teacher.
From a homeschool mom’s perspective I want to let you know that we constantly feel like we don’t know what we are doing either! It’s an uphill battle and the way I have always been able to combat the chaos in my mind was to be open to changing things up when they weren’t working. If you are trying a certain method to teach your child and all you are getting is resistance and stress, scratch that and try something different! Do not put pressure on yourself to have your homeschooling look like public school. Every single family is different, and every single child is different. What works for one won’t necessarily work for the other so just keep changing it up until it works.
Reach out. Share your frustrations because you probably don’t realize just how many people are struggling with exactly the same issues. But on the flip side of reaching out, remember that those homeschool parents you are going to for advice have entirely different circumstances to their schooling than what you are going through. We were able to make a choice to do this, and weigh the pros and cons and make sure it fit into our lives. You have not had that luxury. So again, give yourself so much grace!
Get creative. You can easily disguise learning with everyday activities like cooking or crafting, and just make it fun! If you are working on letter sounds, make a game out of it. Teaching fractions, have them chop up some fruit. There are tons of super clever ideas all over Pinterest and sites like that.
Utilize the internet. I cannot emphasize enough the endless amounts of resources available online. There are programs for EVERYTHING, and they are fun and my kids actually ask to do them! I used to feel embarrassed about using online programs for our homeschool because it meant more screen time, and I felt a pressure to need to teach them myself but I let that go a long time ago! They learn so much, and it’s less stressful for me, and they enjoy their lessons, which means our house is actually peaceful during school time. I see nothing wrong with that!
Be open to calling it quits for a day. We have had some super awful, traumatizing homeschool days. Everyone is crying, I’m in the fetal position in the corner, someone is throwing themselves on the ground screaming… These days I learned to stand up and say school is over for the day, we are doing something fun instead! We are done, nothing is getting accomplished and we are only driving a wedge between us. So I would choose to turn the day around and just enjoy together. Especially right now! The world is a strange, foreign place and a lot of people are really scared. We have this opportunity to shape the memory of this time for our children. We do have the authority to say no to whatever is making things harder for our household, and choose to do something different and happy. It’s completely okay!
I have attached a link to one resource I do recommend. This is a program our family has used for years. It is a not for profit website with exceptional learning material. They posted suggested schedules for all age groups with links for online curriculum.
I am praying for everyone and so proud of you all. This is so much to take on overnight. You are all so incredible and I know you can do it!! ?