Homeschooling Tips by Mich Nicolas
It’s a puppet show of sorts, but in place of puppets are stuffed toys “talking” to each other without a script. They’re on a book and are about to discuss some lessons. They exchange jokes, and even if they aren’t so funny, the ones controlling the plushies still end up laughing. It’s a normal day in our homeschool, and the stuffed-toy-handlers are my son and me. We’re weird…or I mean, wired that way, haha. We love having fun while learning.
With the world changing overnight due to the global crisis, parents have suddenly found themselves having to teach their kids at home. All this while also having to work from home. It’s not easy, and it may not even be fun. I totally get it. Having worked from home for 14 years now, and homeschooling for 12, I’ve felt overwhelmed many times. Juggling work deadlines, and homeschooling, and ministry concerns, plus a layer of depression in the early years—if it weren’t for God’s grace, I could’ve really lost my sanity!
With that, let me share with you some tips to help you homeschool amidst all your other responsibilities:
This is always at the top of the list!
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33, NLT).
We need His wisdom, grace, and strength each and every day. We can easily burn out and lose our joy if we don’t nurture our relationship with Him. Prayer is a non-negotiable!
2. Plan according to your energy levels.
Plan according to your children’s energy levels, as well as yours.
What time of the day do you feel most energized?
What time of the day do you feel tired and drained? When are your children most receptive?
It would be wise and ideal to homeschool when you and your kids are “alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic!” That may not always happen, and that’s fine. But if it’s naptime for your kid, and you know that she starts getting cranky when she doesn’t get that naptime, then please let her nap! The alphabet and the numbers will not matter if she’s all upset!
That goes for us moms as well. If you know that your energy dips at a certain time of the day, then that might not be the best time to have an activity that will require your full engagement.
You do not have to cram everything in one day. We’re all going through a lot right now, so keep to the essentials. If you feel lost at the start of the day, then let the following one question guide you: Given these circumstances in our life right now, what will work best for us today? If all you can manage is a read-aloud, or giving your kids some art materials, or having them play a board game (yes, games can teach lessons, too!), then that is OK.
4. Learn as you go.
Confession: I don’t know everything that’s written in my son’s lessons. There are times I get the answers wrong and he gets it right (like in Math). Sometimes, my answer is “I don’t know, but let’s figure it out together.” And so you lift the pressure off of yourself to know it all. You can learn alongside your child, and you are also training him or her to seek for the answers.
5. Make it fun!
How can you add creativity to the lesson?
How can it come alive for your child?
What is he or she interested in that might make this lesson even more interesting?
How about making it into an art project?
Or incorporate music?
Or add a science experiment?
If you need some help with ideas, you might want to check out my e-book:
50 Fun & Simple Activities for Your Homeschool:
Creative hacks to bust those boredom blues.
I hope these tips help you in this season. Be assured that Jesus knows what you are going through. In this uncertain time, you and I can be certain of His promise: