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Tips for Home Schooling During The Lockdown

It has been another news-filled week, as well as the end of the first quarter. We are busy summarizing data and thoughts on the quarter to share next week, but have a special guest post that is especially relevant today. Sylvia Chin is one of MFA's longest-serving team members, but you might not know that she also home schools her kids. Now that we are all sheltering-in-place and nearly all parents are homeschooling in one way or another, Sylvia has put together some great tips for those of you with kids at home.

1. Don’t try to imitate the regular school. That’s an unrealistic expectation and you will feel bad about yourself. Kids learn through observations. School is not around anymore, so let them observe how you juggle being a mom/dad, an educator, and your occupation. That’s real life and one day they’ll have to juggle too. Talk out loud about the thinking process you go through and the struggles you are facing. Empower them by giving tasks and responsibilities when you are working and have them report back. Help them understand that you are all on the same team.

2. Think about what you want to remember from this pandemic in three years and what family memories you want to make together. You certainly don’t want to be left with “Oh it was so stressful and it sucked!” Maybe there is a book to read aloud together as a family? Maybe there is a country that you want to visit as a family and you can all research it together? Keep it simple and achievable. You can build upon it once it gains momentum.

3. I know this still leaves many many hours in a day for kids to possibly do nothing. Pick five books and have them available for reading when there is nothing to do; have the children write cards to grandparents or other seniors they know; they can give a 5-min presentation whenever they finish a book; check out outschool.com for classes that build meta skills or just for fun; kiwi crate is a good vendor if you want the kids to tinker; math-drills.com has free worksheets for different topics; TedEd is a good place for social studies knowledge. Doing all of these low stress activities covers a wide range of subjects. The key is consistency. If you do a bit of it every day, in a month’s time you will have covered quite a bit of schooling without a lot of effort. Just don’t try to pretend to be the school they go to. And remember that kids are very forgiving.

Have a great weekend!