Well, they’re home. What now?

Many of my friend’s children started “homeschooling” on Monday. My children start today. Since we’ve homeschooled before, we’re a little ahead of the game, but things are going to be very different this go ’round. For starters, I am not the teacher this time. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing teachers we have that have worked so hard to have all the materials and plans ready for us. Our teachers have done everything in their power to make this as painless as possible, but I’m kidding myself if I think it’s going to be easy peasy. But we’ll make it, and so will you.

(Gratuitous photo of my children because their cute little faces haven’t been on this blog in so long and it’s high time to resolve that)

These are a few things I needed to remind myself about before we start this journey. Here’s hoping it can help you out a little, too.

10. Have a to do list, but keep it simple.
We’ll be using BINGO charts for each kid, and I’ll be doing my 3 MITs. At the beginning of the day, I’ll write down three of the Most Important Things that must be done. It’s okay if one of those things is “Take a shower.”

9. Take breaks when you need them, but set a timer.
It’s suuuuuuper easy for your breaks to run long. So, seriously, set a timer.

8. Do work when it works best for your family.
We’re not morning people over here, so I expect we won’t start “school” until at least 9, maybe later. (Some days? Probably much later). If you have to work all day and your care giver can’t help with school work, try doing the “easy” stuff after work and save the “hard” stuff for the weekend. (Also, see number 1).

7. If you have multiple children, encourage them to help each other.
Older kids can help younger kids in obvious ways, but, believe it or not, younger kids can help older kids, too. The best way to learn something is to teach it, right? If an older child is struggling with one of their concepts, have them explain it to the younger child. Being forced to “dumb it down” is sometimes exactly what you need to make it click! If you don’t have multiple children, call us. I have plenty of extra children to share via FaceTime.

6. Dance breaks are a must.
You don’t have to be a good dancer. As a matter of fact, it’s a bonus if you’re not. I promise you’ll have even the most stoic teenager smiling if you shake that groove thang hard enough.

5. Remember that every child is different.
Some kids are going to fly through all of their work and ask for more. Other kids are going to take 2 hours to write 10 vocab words. I have one of each of those, so I know how easy it is to compare them. I promise it’ll be a lot easier on all of you in the long run if you don’t.

4. Celebrate the big stuff…and the little stuff.
Set goals and celebrate them. The super-speedy kid? Give them accolades for finishing all their work in a timely manner, but don’t forget about the kid doing 10 vocab words in 2 hours. You may need to try doing a little dance or cheer or song after every word.

3. If something’s not working out, stop and come back to it later.
If you’re trying and trying and trying and it just.isn’t.working. Just stop. Change gears. Do something different, and come back to it later.

2. Get the work done, but don’t freak out if you don’t.
While continuing education and learning is incredibly important, the main goal right now is to stay healthy. That means physically as well as mentally.

1. Remember that you are not alone.
For all of the trouble it can cause, I really think social media is going to be our lifeline during this time. Ask if you need help.

I know that every situation is different, and that for some folks it won’t be all that hard to slow down and enjoy this time with their family. But I also know that there will be many people who are having to work overtime, and it will be an incredibly difficult season. I see you. I am praying for you. I am here for you. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

P.S. I forgot one thing! The best part about schooling at home is that you don’t have to put on pants(!!!!), but in all the excitement of that, don’t forget to brush your teeth and put on deodorant.

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