School Closures vs. Homeschooling

Starting on Friday, my little homeschooling blog has gotten a big spike in stats. No doubt this is due to the number of parents who are now required to teach their children at home due to the school closures surrounding COVID-19. I wish I could tell them right now not to worry.  And, this probably isn’t the best time to read my blog. When I started homeschooling, I realized quickly that homeschooling is very different from a regular classroom. Classroom materials, teacher lessons and strategy does not work in a homeschool environment. And kids who are used to the school environment usually need a long time to adjust to homeschooling, so don’t worry, if things don’t start off well.

A lot of homeschoolers may give you advice on how to “deschool” your children, let them do their own thing, let them play, etc. While I think this can be good advice, I’m not sure that’s what you need right now. You just need to get through the next two or more weeks that this is going to last. Unless you think you’d like to try to keep homeschooling after all this over, try to follow your own instincts on how to get through this. What is best for you and your kids?

I’m sure your teachers and administrators are already working hard to create online learning for your child, and they will guide you through it. Having said that, remember that your main job is to try to keep your child from losing the skills they have learned in school, and your online lessons will probably not take as long as your regular school day. It will be helpful to try to keep your regular routine (same wake up and bedtime etc.), but don’t try to recreate school at home.

You can fill in extra time in any way that seems right for you and your children. Read books, play math games, explore your yard, watch documentaries, and play board games together. Ultimately, everything is educational, especially if you are spending quality time together and having conversations. Remember not to push your children too hard, if they can’t or won’t do something easily. Contact their teacher before you get frustrated. (Homeschool parents are not naturally patient! We understand!)

Alternate fun stuff with the work stuff. Enjoy your extra time together. I wrote a post with several ideas that my boys and I enjoy doing together. It may or may not resonate with you, but maybe it’ll inspire you to come up with your own thing.

What it comes down to is that I want to say: don’t stress out or think that this is “too hard.” Homeschoolers have had the luxury of time (sometimes years) to figure out a routine and find the right materials that work for their families. So don’t get frustrated, if you don’t feel you’re doing a good job. I’m sure you’re doing just fine.

Feel free to email me, if you want to ask me questions. I’m always happy to chat with homeschool parents via email (for free), and I’d be happy to do the same for you. Good luck!

15 thoughts on “School Closures vs. Homeschooling

  1. Our not schools haven’t closed yet… 7 cases in our state so far but one independent school has shut in my town. Can I ask how many cases in your state till your school closures? Thanks Emma

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    1. Hi — At the moment there are 99, but the schools announced that they were going to close on Thursday, I think? At that time there was maybe 20~30 cases? I’m not sure really. Someone died that day, and then everyone jumped to action. I’m sorry everything is happening so fast I can’t remember details. :/ Good luck to you.

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      1. That’s ok we are closing early and next term be distance or something. We have 47 cases in our state. Hopefully in a few weeks the numbers will dwindle fingers crossed!

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      2. I think we have over 4000 cases and 13 deaths maybe? That’s the whole of Australia. We are in lockdown stage 3 so only essential workers kids at school. I’m hoping with what the governments doing it will be over soon.

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      3. I hope the Australian government is better at containing this than the U.S.! I have a good friend in Melbourne. Wishing you all the best!

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      4. Thanks Shelli I’m in Tasmania the island below. Definitely our government has moved
        faster than the u.s. I watch the world news sometimes and it is scary how many dead.

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      5. Glad you’re in a safer place. I’m dreading what is going to happen here. We are staying self-isolated as best as we can.

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      6. Ok hope you haven’t been in lock down too long. Ours is getting lifted. Monday the cafes are opening for ten people and school is back next week.

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      7. Our state is one of the first to open up, which I think is a mistake. We’ll stay as isolated as possible until it’s truly safe not to. It’s been 9 weeks so far.

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      8. I have lost count but I’m not worried as there’s a bit over twenty active cases in the state. Just waiting for everything to go back to normal. Stay safe.

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  2. This is a helpful post. I’m going to share it with the moms in my neighborhood since the public schools here in Utah have all closed for at least two weeks. 🙂

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Part of the reason I keep a blog is because being a stay-at-home mom can be lonely! So please reach out with a message, if you have a question or would like to chat. I usually write back within 24 hours, but please be patient.

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