Homeschooling During Shelter In Place

Hey, y’all! Welcome back to my porch for a visit. Grab you some sweet tea and pull up a chair. Today I want to talk a bit about our younguns. I know most of you are pulling your hair out right now. Hey, no judgment, here. I’m a Mama and a Mi-Mi. I know all about how they can get on your nerves and we get on theirs, too. With a few tweaks and tips, you can have a successful homeschool program for your children during this time and also manage your own work.

I have a Degree in Education and have homeschooled for thirty-six years. Yes, I know I sound country. I am. I’m also highly educated. But, education is only a small part of it. I’ve known some pretty resourceful and genius Mamas in my life who only had a high school diploma. The truth is kids learn more from our example than they do from textbooks. They learn by watching and then doing. They watch everything. So, invite them into the kitchen, which is the heart of the home, to help prepare dinner. Let them help with the laundry, mowing the lawn, and other household chores. No, this isn’t child labor. This is teaching them how to survive on their own. One day, they will need these valuable skills. We, the parents are their first teachers and whether they attend public, private, or school at home, we will always be their teachers.

They also need at least fifteen minutes each day of reading. They can read on their own, or within the family group. One resource I’ve used is text to speech on my grandson’s Kindle and phone. He has to read at least fifteen minutes each day. If he has trouble with the words, he can turn on the text to speech, as long as he reads, I’m good. While we are preparing supper, we talk. I ask him what he read and have him tell me about it.

We have two short sessions each day. In the morning session, we have Language Arts and Math. During the afternoon sessions, we focus on Science and History. Science could be from our textbook or have him watch Animal Planet. History could watch the History Channel, or we do an actual lesson. It really doesn’t take that much time. I am going to list a couple of curriculums I have used, and out of all the curricula I’ve tried through the years, these two are my favorites. I am not affiliated with either of these. I don’t make any money if you order from them. I am supplying the information to help.

Some of my family at South Padre Island in 2016

Time4Learning is a wonderful resource. It is all online and only $19.95 per month and $14.95 for each additional child. They have Pre-K through 12. All lessons are given via video online. The child logs into their classroom and follows the lesson plan already prepared based on the free diagnostic testing they provide. Another thing they do is document your child’s progress on each lesson and exam. So, when your children go back to school, you can print out their transcripts to send with them. There is an activity center for their playtime, but they’re only allowed to enter it after they’ve done a specific amount of work. It is a full curriculum teaching all subjects. It is also helpful for children with special needs. Many perform better digitally than they do with paper and pencil. This is the perfect alternative for those who have to work remotely. While your kids are learning, you can be working.

The Good and The Beautiful I love this curriculum! I saved the best for last. There are many resources out there and I won’t try to tell you that this is the be-all-end-all, as every child learns differently. But, this one is unlike any other I’ve seen.

It is a Christian based curriculum at a minimal cost. That said, I have seen many negative reviews from people who won’t use it because the lady who started this curriculum is LDS/Mormon. She IS, the curriculum IS NOT. She has many educators on staff, who she diligently screens. The first requirement before they can work for The Good and The Beautiful is they must be Christian. They must believe in Jesus Christ. TG&TB staff are all denominations. She also has people to vet the curriculums to make sure there are no doctrines taught other than the basic “God is good” and He created a beautiful world for us to live in and enjoy. I come from a family of all denominations, so I have seen for myself this is true. She simply wants children to learn and to provide an easy and economical way for parents to teach their children at home.

We use this curriculum. Pre-K through Level 5 is FREE if you want to download and print at home. Or, you can order the curriculum. It is advanced, so be sure to do the diagnostic tests to see which curriculum to order or download. They have Pre-K through 8 and Highschool Levels. We use their Language Arts, Math, Science, Reading, and History Game. It is open and go. Not a lot of time to prepare, at all. Lessons are super quick and good discussion times. The Math curriculum comes with a kit. All you need to supply are pencils and crayons. We also use a magnetic dry erase board. It saves paper.

Out of all the Homeschool Curricula I’ve used in the past 36 years, TG&TB and Time4Learning are by far my favorites. I hope this info is helpful to you during these trying times. Hey, we’re all in this together. This tragedy will end. When we can do nothing else, we can always choose to be kind. Be safe, stay healthy, and know you are loved.

Shayla McAnn XOX

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