Most people are not teachers and have no idea how to set up an emergency homeschool classroom. Many of us will be doing this for the rest of the school year and help is necessary. Here are some tips from someone who was a teacher but doesn’t homeschool normally.
1.Find a place to have students work
I am using my dining room. My dining room, kitchen, and living room are one big room so my youngest (not school age) is running around, screaming, watching shows, playing, etc. We also have a puppy and two cats.
It is what it is.
My first grader can’t work in his room because he is not an independent learner yet. That is an emerging middle school skill. Elementary students need someone to help and motivate and push.
I may still have him work on some of his math computer programs in his room but haven’t made a decision yet. So far the table is working out well.
2. Find an alternative place for students to work
Your student, no matter the age is used to moving around during the school day. Library time is in a library. They use the gymnasium for gym class. In other words, find a subject they can do in a different place. This will help stimulate their brains and keep them pushing.
Currently, we are using his bedroom for limited computer time and we are utilizing the floor. Our choices are limited. The basement is expansive but not at all set up for school. The sunroom is currently housing my laundry that I do not have time to put away.
The floor is working out really well. Plus he is young. He doesn’t care about being on the floor.
3. Keep your schedule flexible. But have one.
Write it out. Make a spreadsheet. Whatever you need to do but have a schedule. Do not just wing it.
Pick a time to start and start at that time. Have an end time in mind and push for it but don’t be a dictator about it. If they wear out, then stop. School and homeschool are different and your students may be wearing themselves out now but they will build that stamina. And so will you.
We are starting at 9 and doing very easy “morning work” to help us transition from being home to thinking about learning. He spends most of his morning on math, at his request. He breaks for 20 – 30 minutes in the morning and we end at noon. Today we ended at 11:55 because he worked quickly and he was quite pleased he got that extra five minutes.
I am giving him a long afternoon break because I NEED ONE! We are starting again at 1:30 and will push until 3 and in that hour and a half he will take the dog for a quick walk.
4. Ask your students about their daily school schedules. Take notes.
My son has a math and reading lesson every day. Otherwise, the subjects are different every day. This makes it easier to plan since I am not trying to figure out how to fit in spelling, writing, reading, literature work, social studies, science, art, music, gym, computer, and all of the other little (but still very important subjects) in a single day.
Older students are used to switching subjects at specific times so the actual creation of a schedule will be easier with them. Your challenge with older students is helping them some of their more specialized work like algebra (I am of no use. Algebra is beyond me. Geometry? Yes, please.) or chemistry (thank you to my high school boyfriend who did all of my chemistry homework).
Regardless of the age of your student, take the opportunity to model curiosity yourself. Keep your cool and explore the subjects with them. If they ask a question, Google it. See what you come up with. Think out loud and talk it out. And if you really can’t help, don’t get mad and especially don’t get mad at them. Explain that you really don’t understand the work either and that you need more time to find help.
5. Get outside help when you need it
Google answers a lot of questions so use it. I love Wikipedia for simple answers and there is no point in arguing the problems with Wikipedia at the moment. We are in crunch time. Explore YouTube as well. There are a lot of educators who make videos.
Also, I hate to keep pushing TpT (Teachers Pay Teachers) because this blog series isn’t about selling resources but I’ve already used TpT three times today. All free resources too.
To check out my TpT store for social studies curriculum click my logo.
To go to TpT’s main page, click here.
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