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Educating at home


By Sherry Heavin

Parents are facing an extended break with little to no idea of when they’ll get back to work themselves and/or when the children will go back to school. Along with the worry that is caused by the COVID-19 virus and worries about money and jobs – what will we do with the kids – is the big question. This may turn out to be less of a problem than the media makes it out to be, if you set a daily schedule and stick to it!
While parents are home with their children they need a plan and answers to many questions. How will we keep them busy? How do we know what they are learning at school? How can we keep them on track while they are at home so they do not fall behind? Hopefully, this article will give you a couple of ideas to implement, so that they will stay busy and you will stay sane. One of the best ideas is setting a school day schedule – the students are already accustomed to a routine and it will give them some normalcy during the day.
Setting a daily schedule for students is of the utmost importance for several reasons: 1) children need and thrive on routine, 2) you’ll feel better about keeping them on level for school if you are keeping them busy, and 3) keeping busy keeps your mind (and theirs) off of all the problems in the world right now. This is scary for adults and must be terrifying for children.
Educating young people is a difficult job now – school is not the same as it was ten years ago, let alone when you were there. Teaching school is hard work for teachers (we can’t replace teachers these next few weeks) but, as I’m sure you are about to find out – it will require some planning and preparation. First of all, many schools have posted curriculum on their website and have given online ideas to continue learning, and/or provided packets of learning for their students. If that is the case, then that is exactly where you need to begin. If not, I will provide some links below to keep them learning and entertained.
If you are working on your own to provide school work for an elementary student, and are seeking ideas of how to keep them busy throughout the day/week, here is a sample daily schedule for home.   
A daily schedule for home learning might look something like this:
Wake Up – Breakfast.
9 – 10 a.m. – Reading.
10 – 10:30 a.m. – Play outside or help parents (physical activity).
10:30 – 11 a.m. – Word Practice/English (see school curriculum).
11 – 11:30 a.m. – Writing/Art.
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Lunch and Fresh Air.
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Explore your world (Social Studies/Science).
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Math.
2:30 – 3 p.m. - Physical Education/Music.
Setting a schedule for activities and sticking to it will probably help young children stay focused and keep learning on target while at home. The activities should follow the same time frame each day, but be a new learning experience each day. Incorporating fun online activities from the resources below using YouTube, etc., will help. If we are off for an extended period of time, these links below (and many more available online) will provide you with ideas for your children. 
Here is a partial list of online resources to help you with the daily schedule:
www.ScaryMommy.com (a link for watching astronauts read stories)
www.havefunteaching.com/resources/relief-packs/ (zip file can be saved to the computer for future use)
www.abcmouse.com (free membership now – Code:  SCHOOL771)
Read alouds, storytimes, sing alongs and more at www.Growingbookbybook.com
Virtual field trips – www.adventuresinfamilyhood.com
30 Day Lego Challenge at https://theshirleyjourney.com/lego-play-free-printable-calendar
Assorted activities by subject at www.learnincolor.com
Scholastic activities at www.scholastic.com
This can be a wonderful opportunity for your children to spend quality time with their parents, continue learning and have fun!

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