Education Series Week 8: How to Make the Homeschool Transition

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FROM REMOTE LEARNING TO HOMESCHOOLING

Remember that time I posted about how to set up a remote learning classroom? Oh yea…a month ago?

Well I’m over it. Not the setup—the remote learning.

I’m not here to complain about what the teachers are doing because I know THEY ARE DOING A PHENOMENAL JOB.

HOWEVER…nothing about remote learning for my two kiddos is convincing me to keep this up. If I’m going to be sitting there helping them all day, then it would be nice to be in control a little bit more, instead of trying to coordinate with 5 different teachers on passwords and assignments, while teaching my kids how to type…

Yikes.

But before I get into how I made the homeschool transition (at least until this mask ordinance ends and the kids can have a much safer experience) let me give a shout out to why these remote learning teachers are awesome…

WHY REMOTE LEARNING TEACHERS ARE SUPERHEROES

  • Most are teaching in-person and online classes AT THE SAME TIME.
  • No one’s done this before, so teachers are creating lesson plans from scratch.
  • The workload has doubled for most, so weekends are even less restful than they already were.
  • Kids are filled with big emotions, and this situation has turned teachers into super-counselors.
  • Um…because who wants to be in a zoom meeting with adults, let alone 25 students you’re trying to have follow “zoom etiquette”?
  • They’ve upped the creativity factor in entertaining, teaching and encouraging your kids.
  • Oh yea, plus trying to teach a class while the kids are dealing with “family life” in the background.

Teaching is hard. What they’re doing is even harder. Give them some love.

SO…ONTO MY HOMESCHOOL TRANSITION TIPS…

Ready? Here we go!!

1. RESEARCH YOUR STATE’S LAWS

The easiest way to find these resources are to ask someone you know who is already homeschooling, or join a local Facebook homeschooling group. Depending on your state, there are certain guidelines on what you need to cover. I used this form to make our homeschool transition official.

Because I plan on re-enrolling at some point, I am trying to stick as closely as I can to the school’s curriculum. Since I live in Texas, I’m also referring to The Texas Education Agency and the TEKS that go along with each grade level that companies and teachers base their lessons on.

2. DECIDE ON A CURRICULUM

I kind of have a leg up on what my kids need to know because of my teaching experience, so I am creating my own hodgepodge of lessons through resources I personally enjoy. There are a ton of different ones you can choose from depending on your style and goals, but I prefer a mix of companies.

Here’s what I’m using for my Kindergartner:

Here’s what I’m using for my 4th grader:

3. SCHEDULE YOUR DAY

What do you want to cover during the day? Texas doesn’t require that I teach Science or Social Studies, but I enjoy making them part of the day. I also like easing into the day with a fun morning work paper and I love adding Bible time to our routine.

Our schedule begins at 8, but isn’t set in stone for start and stop times. Get a teacher planner to keep track of your lessons and any grades for assessments (I love this simple one from Pretty Simple Planners).

My daily breakdown looks something like this:

  • MORNING WORK: Fun activity sheet, pledge and calendar
  • BIBLE LESSON: We are reading The Jesus Storybook Bible and using these journals
  • SPELLING: Pretest, write 3x, word search, illustrate, test
  • HANDWRITING or GRAMMAR: Workbook page
  • READING: Weekly concept lesson with read-aloud, 30 minutes silent reading, Fry word list practice
  • WRITING: Work through writing process each week or journal prompts
  • MATH: 1 lesson from book, test at end of chapter, math game
  • SCIENCE and SOCIAL STUDIES: Rotate subject after each unit, read lesson, project or game

If I were to cut out the “fun” parts of our day (Morning Work, Bible, Handwriting, Science/SS), we would definitely be done by lunchtime. But by adding these lessons, I can allow my kids to explore topics they’re interested in or learn about other cultures and celebrate holidays.

4. COME UP WITH A BEHAVIOR PLAN

In the homeschool transition, going from Mommy to teaching can be a little tricky, and finding the balance between work and play took a little trial and error.

Go back to your family’s goals. Post them where your kids can see them and use them as guidelines for your classroom rules. Ours are:

  1. Be helpful and kind.
  2. Wait your turn.
  3. Do your best.
  4. Don’t complain.
  5. No cats at the table…

Find a way to motivate your children to do better. I don’t like charts where it’s one and done, but I enjoy strategies that include ways to restart your day by correcting your attitude. My kids move their clothespin up one space every time they do something above and beyond (like finish a paper without getting out of their seat, raising their hands and answering questions, using manners, trying their best) and move it down when they need redirecting (off-task, disruptive, complaining, whining).

I use the “earn a star” space to give the kids a chance to choose a toy. They have to get 10 days of “earn a star”, (where I put a star sticker on a piece of paper) to reach their goal.

Remember you are in charge so you can always add your own rules and special circumstances. My kids know that even if they’re at the top of the chart, I can skip all the steps and send them to the bottom if their behavior is disrespectful or unsafe to others. Make that the exception though, not the rule.

5. PLAN ON MULTI-TASKING

If you are teaching two different lessons during math like I am, a good tip is to have independent activities set up for one child while you teach the other and then switch. Some ideas are:

  • Educational activities
  • Flashcards, puzzles, logic games
  • Worksheets
  • Computer games
  • Reading books
  • Calling a relative, showing what they’ve done this week
  • Finishing morning work

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

Whew! That was a lot of information–but you know what’s best for your child. Do some research, and find a style that works for your family as you work through your own homeschool transition. Did you remember to print your FREE behavior chart?

Now head on over to the rest of my posts in the Education Series or join my Parenting Resources Group on Facebook:

You’ve got this, mama!

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