Wow, what a whirlwind this week (or was it a month?) has been! Like many of you, I found myself homeschooling in addition to all of my other responsibilities this week, and it was NOT EASY. I’m grateful that my children’s teachers are available to them 8 hours to them. Still, I played a significant role in working with them, explaining things, and guiding them, especially my first grader.
It was challenging as we adjusted our lives and tried to find a groove. So I reached out to some moms who have been doing this for years for advice. I’ve loved following all of these black homeschooling moms for years, and I’m happy to share their advice for homeschooling during the COVID-19 with you. Make sure to follow their blogs and Instagram pages; I was sure to tag them.
Bianca of Bianca Dottin
“I would say to not overthink it. Schools give a lot of busy work during the day. We’re finished with school in 3 hours every day. Make it fun and don’t stress over what they’re learning. If you think they’re not learning, you’re probably wrong. ” Bianca Dottin
Bianca shared how to create a realistic homeschool schedule here.
Eva of Soca Mom
“Think of one thing you were or are really good at (and enjoy) and make it a class. It could be dance, cheerleading, basketball, cooking, knitting, painting, or anything you enjoy. You can also find out what they love to do and let them teach you – become a video game or Tik Tok master!” Eva of Soca Mom
Read Eva’s Guide to Emergency Homeschooling here.
Ashley of MommyWeek
“As unschoolers, my family practices interest based child led learning. I suggest parents take a relaxed approach and not teach from home. Watch a few documentaries that interest your kids, read books, do some art and science experiments. Talk about random facts and just have fun.” Ashley of MommyWeek
Lisa of The Domestic Lifestylist
“I could offer resources and solutions but, at the end of day mindset is key before you even start. If you’re feeling resentful about having to teach from home, your kids will feel it. They will sense the resentment and give if back to you ten-fold. Secondly, set intent for the day. Start out each day with intent. The teacher should have intent and goals for the day, so should the students, even if they are young. I try to ask my 6-year at the beginning of the day, “What are your homeschool goals for the day”. Many times, his goals are aligned with finishing his school work by a certain time so that he can play. That works for me because he’s more cooperative. When he falls off track I remind him of his goals for the day.
Lastly, this is school at home, not “regular school”. If your kid wants to wear pajamas to math class, let them. Woody costume for the day…so be it. There are tons of resources online, pick the ones that suit your child’s personality and learning style. It’s your school and you get to do it your way.” Dr. Lisa (TheDomesticLifeStylist.com)
Elle of Cleverly Changing
“The best tip I can give first time homeschooling moms is to relax and make sure that you don’t try to duplicate the same time schedule that schools adhere by. Your homeschool schedule can be flexible, but you should have a plan for your day, don’t just wing it. Kids listen better when structure is present. If you’re working from home, remember that schooling can be done in the evening if you’re unable to manage both at the same time. Next, let your kids get fresh air and stretch their arms and legs.” Elle of Cleverly Changing
Elle shared a useful post Vetted Home Educational Resources by Subject here. Elle also has a podcast that covers many topics including homeschooling, you can listen to an episode answering homeschool related questions here.
Christine St. Vil of Moms N Charge
Christine and Elle did a video together, watch it here!
Toia Barry of Toia Barry
“One tip is to use what you have. We’ve been homeschooling since Micah was about 3, using “homemade” methods. We created sight word flash cards just by writing beginner words on colorful index cards & went over about 10 each day to start because… attention span!”
Another helpful method, especially with younger kids, is to keep lessons short at first then slowly increase the time. But also make the lessons as fun as possible. Use funny voices, dance if you have to to keep their attention. Even though our lesson time is short, we subtly reinforce things Micah has learned throughout the day.” Toia Barry
Darcel of The Mahogany Way
“Empower your kids and ask them what they want to do or learn. Take what they say seriously. This is a great time to explore new ideas and ways of learning.
Setup a weekly video chat with your kids and their friends. We need to stay connected as best we can during this time.
Make sure the family gets quiet time every day.
If you have younger children and they nap, take some of that time for yourself, doesn’t have to be long. Ten minutes can do wonders.
If the kids are older, anywhere from 15-30mins seems to work well.
Practice better self-care. You can’t pour into your kids if you have nothing to give. Do something every single day for yourself. Doesn’t have to be an hour. Break it up in small moments throughout the day if you need to.
Incorporate some form of exercise into your days/week. Yoga, walk around the block. FaceTime a friend over coffee(download zoom if you don’t have an iPhone)stay up a little later. Read a book, watch a movie or show. Get dressed for the day, do your hair and whatever else you need or want to feel good during the day.” Darcel of The Mahogany Way
Darcel shared some free resources for those of us now having to homeschool during COVID-19 here.
I hope all of these tips are helpful to you as they have been to me. It’s also inspiring to see these black homeschool moms who are successfully raising smart well-rounded children. Now, enjoy some wine and I’ll check in with you again next week.
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