Tips and Resources for Homeschooling (During School Closures)
Updated: Mar 20
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In Los Angeles County there are several schools closed and more coming. The University campuses are doing online classes and parents are prepping (and stressing) about the likelihood of having the kids home for a week or two.
We participate in a homeschool-hybrid program, so 3 days a week we are together homeschooling, and 2 days a week they are on campus doing project based learning with their classmates and teachers.
Here are some tips and resources that will hopefully help you, and your kids, make the most of missing school. Some links are affiliate links and I may be paid a small commission if you purchase from them, if you do, thank you!
Spend sometime in local nature, while still practicing social distancing, is a great way to connect and spend some time together- if you have hiking trails, beaches or other large outdoor areas available, think of times when you could go enjoy those as part of your day! As long as everyone is well/feeling well, getting sun and moving your body is definitely going to keep everyone more aligned, honestly even if you aren't well/felling well, get out in the yard for a bit every day! Sun and fresh air are super important! If getting outside on adventures is challenging, there are great options online like Cosmic Yoga, Go Noodle, Fitness Blender, Yoga with Adriene, and PopSugar Fitness just to name a few! Mix it up and keep it moving through out the day- you can always pop on music and have a dance party too.
My kids eat ALL DAY- so buying a MASSIVE sack of carrots, apples, tangerines, cucumbers, bell peppers, garbanzo beans to make hummus with etc so they can graze on fruits and veggies is key. I tend to make a platter or bag things up and put them at their level in the fridge so they are grab-go. Other staples like mac n cheese, granola bars, hard boiled eggs and muffins that that are super easy to make or take no prep cut down on the amount of time I’m making them food and cleaning, so more time to play and relax and learn! We also make smoothies pretty much once a day - full of fruit and spinach so loads of good vitamins for all of us- so keeping lots of frozen fruit on hand (freezing it as it ripens or buying frozen) is helpful too! Instacart is still delivering grocery items in my area and has a new “leave at the door” policy for public health.
Games RULE and unlike TP and hand sanitizer you can still get em pretty easily a few of my absolute favorites are Sequence (there’s a kid version and loads of fun versions really!), Uno, Chickenfoot, Catan Junior, Crainum…..great chance to connect and use critical thinking skills, math etc! Kanoodle and other puzzle games and old school puzzles are also amazing!
It may soound obvious but, READING. Read to them, have them read to you, read together - alllll the reading! when you are having restful times, audio books can be super fun too! We use Audible, but there are other audio book sources out there too! IT's also awesome for road trips. For bigger kiddos or or yourself, you can get a free month of Kindle Unlimited HERE.
"Learn to draw books" (like these) are great for kids of all ages- they help develop fine motor skills and if your kids are anything like mine these keep them busy for HOURS. We also love these little beads you iron into cool stuff and plan to make playdough with tea tree oil in it, soon!
Also, here are a few of my favorite learning resources to check out!
Learning Without Tears- my second grader is doing the Keyboarding Without Tears Program and he and I email each other daily- it;s lots of fun!
Outschool.com- we LOVE Outschool!!! My kindergartner does classes on phonics, math, learning the calendar, learning about money, etc and my second grader does Pokemon creative writing, piano lessons, math, book club and so much more!! The classes are reasonably priced and it’s a great way for your kids to get some interaction with other kids when they are stuck at home.
YouCubed & Class Dojo- I am a huge Jo Boaler fan and love YouCubed as an excellent resource for K-8 mathematics and growth mindset. We also like watching Mojo and friends tackle growth mindset, positive thinking and MORE! We are all going to need loads of that in the coming weeks!
Word Ladders, we do one page a day and these come at various levels, they help emerging readers with word recognition and literacy and help growing writers/learners with spelling and vocabulary!
BrainPop/BrainPop Jr are great as well, there is a cost for an account, but they have free materials as well!
The Smithsonian Photo Archives are great for writing prompts, discussions and more, definitely worth scoping out!
Teachers Pay Teachers is a great place for worksheets and specific focus items, so is Education.com both have good freebies and paid options- but I would steer clear of buying like a "whole curriculum" it will be pricey and overwhelming and totally unnecessary! If the closures last 2-3 weeks you aren't gonna need much, and most of it you will be able to access for free or with out spending much. Always try to find it free first!
I also posted some additional support and resource links below and will continue to add them here so feel free to book mark this post.
Go easy on yourself, whenever there is a big shift away from a normal routine, it’s exhausting and can heighten emotions.
Make sure you subscribe with your email addy below (bottom of this page) to get more resources, tips and freebies as I round them up! You can also follow along on IG HERE.
More tips and resources from my friend Jenni