Homeschooling is an option that a lot of families have never considered in the past. After all, when the parents have never been homeschooled, they tend to feel like their kids will be missing out on a lot of things if they do it now.
Despite that, because of the pandemic, homeschooling appears to be the best choice. Although the government insists that everything can now return to normal, many parents like me remain unconvinced. Until we get our hands on a functional vaccine, regular schooling will be out of the picture.
In the meantime, here’s how you can make your family homeschool-ready.
Fix Your Schedule Around The Kids’ Classes
The first thing you must do is fix your schedule based on your children’s classes. That is especially true if you and your spouse are both busy at work. In case you used to leave the house empty after 7 A.M. when the kids are already at school, you cannot do that anymore. Your home is their new classroom, and the little ones should never fend for themselves.
Get A Laptop For Every Child
It is typical for every household to find two laptops for mom and dad and a computer that all the kids are supposed to share. The latter stays in the family room or living room where the parents can always supervise.
However, now that they are about to start homeschooling, every child needs to get a laptop. After all, taking online classes entails that they need to do every school-related activity virtually, including listening to lectures and getting quizzes. They can’t continue sharing one gadget since all classes tend to occur at the same time.
Make Sure That You Have A Stable Home Internet Connection
Another important factor is your internet connection. When the adults are using it most of the time, the minimum plan may have sufficed. Even if the youngsters used the internet in the past, they might have only had access to it for two hours max, so the connection has never suffered. Despite that, it may be essential to get a connectivity upgrade to accommodate more users, a.k.a. your homeschoolers.
Once the school year begins, the kids likely need to be online for as long as the classes last. There may be a few minutes of break in between, but they must be connected for seven hours or so weekly. Then, you may have to add at least a couple of hours to that if the teachers have given them assignments or lessons to study for the next day. In case your home internet cannot handle multiple long-term users, your children’s education may be in jeopardy.
Learn How To Use The School Portal And Other Video-Conferencing Apps
Way before the need for homeschooling has risen, the school may already have a website that every student can log into for after-school tasks. For instance, that’s where they can send projects and homework to their teachers. If they miss a lesson due to unforeseen reasons, they can get a copy of that through the portal.
The thing is, no one has seen the significance of this portal back then. Many educators even admit to not using it with their students. They say, “Tangible papers are still the best.” However, because of the circumstances we are all facing, it matters for even the parents to learn how to use the school’s portal to help their children with it. The same goes for video-conferencing apps like Google Meeting, Zoom, or Skype, which some teachers may prefer using aside from the school website.
Continue Regulating The Kids’ Bedtime Even While Homeschooling
Preparedness is key to making sure that your kids can keep up with their lessons even when they cannot see their classmates and teachers face-to-face. I know that being surrounded by their peers has allowed them to get interested in studying at a young age, but it is inadvisable for now. If we insist on regular schooling, it may put the children’s health in danger.
One of the things that seemed to help prepare my students for homeschooling is regulating their bedtime. When there are no classes, they are used to staying up until 10 P.M. and not waking up until it’s time for brunch. That’s our routine during vacations and weekends. To make their body clock realize that they must get up early for school the next day, we ask them to sleep at 8 P.M. It appears to be working, considering they are never late for their online classes.
The transition from regular to at-home schooling typically requires a lengthy process. After all, when the children remember playing with their friends and giving high-fives to the teachers every day, not being able to do that may make them feel confused about the situation.
Nevertheless, kids find it more effortless to adapt to new circumstances compared to adults. If you explain all the why’s and how’s to them, it may not take too long before seeing the perks of homeschooling.