10 Tips for Homeschooling in the Age of Coronavirus

With schools across the country shut down due to the pandemic sweeping the world right now, parents everywhere are having to learn quickly about homeschooling. For many, this is a new and daunting task, but fortunately there is help! Here, homeschooling mums Francesca, Maria and Grace share their tips.

1. Make your bed 

Everyone needs to make their bed first thing in the morning, along with agreed wake-up times for older children. 

2. Keep your routines strict but your content relaxed 

Keeping to a basic routine means everyone knows when and what is expected of them. Housework and prayers need to be scheduled in too so that life doesn’t become overwhelming. Keeping the content relaxed opens doors to learning, enjoyment, interest, tangents, experiments, observations, discussions, research and individual development.

3. Thematic Units 

Choose a subject of interest and spend two weeks or more on it. Everything can become incredibly cross-curricular if you think outside the box. 

4. Learning Through Play 

Children’s brains grow when they play: make a topographic map out of play dough, make Queen Victoria’s favourite recipe, reenact the Spanish Armada in the garden, experiment with Moroccan Henna designs, listen to the Chronicles of Narnia on audio book while you draw lions with finger paint. The list is beautifully endless!

5. Don’t panic and have fun 

Enjoy your time! Learn something new with the children. Start each new day fresh. Make sure to get some exercise and fresh air between lessons, such as playing games in the garden or going for a walk.

6. Hybrid model 

The hybrid model used by Regina Caeli Academy, of two days a week in a formal school setting and three days from home, is amazing as it helps challenge the kids, increase motivation, develop consistent friends and build community. 

7. About isolation learning 

Learning in isolation – as is the case during the coronavirus lockdown – is VERY different to homeschooling or hybrid schooling. And every parent is going to want to work differently through this situation but for me its structure, structure, structure. We do Poetry over porridge, start early and always do Maths and then Phonics first.

8. Eat well 

Being at home all day might give you the temptation of relaxing some rules and let them go crazy on sweets. But we don’t want kids stuck at home powered up on sugar. Try to keep a routine of healthy meals and leave the treats for the weekends.

9. Plan time for mummy time 

It can become quite overwhelming to have all the family together at home all day – especially if you are used to having the kids at school. Make sure you separate a time in the day (maybe after the children go to bed) to have some me-time. Have a treat, do something you enjoy, pray. This will help you to keep calm and be ready for the next day.

10. You are doing a great job! 

Don’t beat up yourself if things don’t go exactly how you planned or your homeschooling day doesn’t look like the perfect family on Instagram. We are all doing the best we can in these difficult times and things will get better with time!