My homeschooling journey during the pandemic

April 6, 2020 Megan Schier

We are entering Week 3 of our homeschooling journey and I’m sure, like ours, it has been a tale of trial and error to find out what works best for your family. I’m hoping this is the week we get into a good rhythm with plans for each child that work well for them.

Our family is taking a “hybrid” approach to home schooling. We have a to-do list but outside of calls we are letting each child find their own schedule. We originally tried to time schooling with conference calls my spouse and I were on, but then we had the experience of one or both children coming in and asking us questions while we were on our respective calls.  We have also discovered one of our children LOVES video conferences and hams it up when they see our cameras are on, so we have created a to-do list approach for this week that lets the kids each know what they need to accomplish that day, but gives us the ability to say do not disturb during certain times. This approach has also allowed us to best balance two different schools and their different approaches to schooling at home.

One school has been very on top of technology and setting up Google Meets, Zoom calls and Google Classroom along with having an organized outline of what to do each day and how much time to spend. The other school is still trying to adapt and more is falling on families to teach. We are printing worksheets and learning the material right along with the child, which takes more time out of our day and has made us both “lose” any breathing room we had in our schedules, which I am sure many can relate to. We have discovered one tip that has made things easier is adding our children’s school calls on our schedule (showing as free) so we don’t miss any, and then when possible blocking 30 minutes between meetings once or twice a day to spend teaching.

Along with schooling we are really trying to focus on their mental health, as they are feeling the stress and anxiety of the situation as well. We have woven some time into their to dos to make sure they get out and play sports, connect with friends and grandparents, and do something they personally enjoy; for one child that is art and for the other it is reading or Legos. We have also made the decision that home school for us should only be part of the day and our children have worked hard to make sure that happens for them, so they have plenty of fun time each day.

Below are some ideas on how we have made learning fun and relatable in real life for our children.

I would love to hear about your experiences with homeschooling. Post your photos, tips and lessons for keeping the kiddos engaged at home on the Vitality Virtual Training club.

We’re all in this together!

Learning Suggestions

Math:

  • Learn a card game. This can be everything from matching games to Blackjack depending on your child’s age
  • Cook a meal. Use measurements to learn math (split a recipe in half or double it).
  • Lego challenge. Provide them certain pieces and an idea and see what they create with a finite amount of bricks.

Writing:

  • Write letters to nursing homes or hospitals that patients can’t leave.
  • Write letters to classmates and family.
  • Write emails to teachers and learn the proper way to communicate through writing.

Reading:

  • Each person picks an item they want to learn more about and reads up on it from internet articles. We talk about it over dinner.
  • Watch an animal documentary on a streaming channel and then do more research on any questions they have.

Science:

  • Watch animals on the San Diego Zoo animal cams.
  • Dig a hole in the dirt and see what lives there – worms, rolli pollis, etc.
  • See what plants and animals you can spot from your front yard.

 

Megan Schier, client relations and operational lead at Vitality, has a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University, where she focused on marketing and strategic leadership. That, combined with her undergraduate focus in Sports Medicine, has allowed her to find the perfect fit at Vitality. She loves to travel and can be found on a beach, the mountains, in wine country or at Disney when not at work.

 

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