Tips for homeschooling during COVID-19

COVID -19 has, literally overnight, turned parents into temporary homeschoolers, managing the educational needs of their children, while juggling their work responsibilities.

It is important for parents to understand that temporary homeschooling is not school, but to bear in mind that there are things they can do to make the most effective use of their instructional time, and, in so doing, make their children feel calm and secure.

Until kindergarten, the focus is on learning by means of play, easy to implement and continue at home.
For grades 1- 3, the focus is on reading and math and for grades 4 – 6, the focus is on dialogue and debate to explore different subjects.
Grades 7 – 8, and high school, are more challenging, but online learning modules instituted by schools will assist parents.

Tips for homeschooling:
• Make it fun, fun, fun, eg. teach math by having a baking marathon.
• Display a schedule for everyone to be aware of the expectations.
• Be cognizant of the learning needs of different children in the family.
• Include recess, incorporating active outdoor time.
• Include downtime for quiet, independent work.
• Include crafts, with the understanding that art is an important component of education.

As far as the amount of time allocated for the above, “research suggests a simple rule for figuring out how long children can stay focused: multiply the child’s age by 2-5 minutes. If a child is 4-years-old, the maximum time he/she will be able to focus is 8-20 minutes.”

Story written by Cheryl Marcus, Community Librarian, Markham Public Library.

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