How to not lose your S@#$ while homeschooling or distance learning

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Are you unexpectedly homeschooling this year due to the current state of the world? Are you feeling completely overwhelmed and unqualified because of it? Here are a few encouraging things to keep in mind. (From a homeschooling mom and former preschool teacher)

When we hear the word sacrifice, we tend to associate the term with negativity and loss. But what we should be focusing on is the reason WHY we are making this sacrifice. We make the sacrifice because the reward that comes from it will be so much greater.

You can't do it all, so don't pressure yourself to do it all.

As you prepare to homeschool or aid in your child's distance learning, reflect on these few things.

What can you give up? Chances are you will have to give up or cut back on something to fit it all in. Reflect on what that can be. Can it be work? Can it be relaxing more about the organization of the house? Take time to think about your day and what aspects of it can you cut back on to make time to aid in or teach your child's academics.

School does not need to be 6 to 8 hours a day. Have you ever had days at a job where you got everything done within a few hours but couldn't leave till a specific time? School can be like this too. Do not be intimidated by the length of a traditional school day. If you are homeschooling, they will get one-on-one attention. They won't need to wait their turn in a class of 30 people if they need further assistance. Schools also run this length of time because they need to account for class changes, recess, breaks, lunch, PE, and elective courses. Chances are your child is involved in some of these extracurriculars outside of school. So when it comes time to teach, you will only have to focus on the curriculum.

You can teach at any time. Who says you have to get school done by 2:00 pm? Who says you have to start at 7:00 or 8:00 am? The beauty of homeschooling is you have the flexibility to accommodate your child's learning patterns. Some children (and adults!) have a tough time focusing too early in the morning and tend to be more productive in the early afternoon. I understand the need for structure and predictability. Still, in the event you find yourself fighting with your children or forcing something to fit a traditional schedule, take a moment and ask, "Can we do this later?" I homeschool my preschoolers and have a baby. There are days the baby doesn't nap long enough, and I end up having to cut my school day short with my older kids. On those days, I will either finish the curriculum when my husband is off work or do it on the weekend.

"But I am terrible at math! How will I teach it?!" This is the most common fear amongst parents who homeschool. How to prepare a subject they know nothing about. Depending on the child's age and the level they are at, you may be able to quickly pick up this topic and feel comfortable teaching once you have refreshed your memory about it. Now, if it's entirely out of your wheelhouse, here are some options you can explore.

  • Online courses: The beauty of the internet is you have access to information right at your fingertips. Research some online courses that are geared to the subject and your child's age.
  • Hire a tutor: A friend of mine has her children enrolled in a private school. Due to the new mandates, she cannot justify the expense of learning remotely and has decided to homeschool instead. She will now be using some of the money that would usually be spent on tuition to a private tutor.
  • Co-Op: This is very popular amongst homeschool families. "A homeschool co-op is a group of families who meet together and work cooperatively to achieve common goals. Co-ops can be organized around academics, social time, the arts, activities, crafts, service work, or projects — or some combination of these" ( You can find a local co-op through a simple google search, Facebook group, and even some government websites through your state!

There will be hard days, but when the day gets rough, ask yourself, "Is it that big of a deal if my children don't finish this assignment right now?" What will be worse, them being a day late on this or tensions and stress rising?"

The fact that you are even reading this and taking the time to research different methods to enrich your child's learning experience during these strange times indicates you are a loving parent. What does that have to do with your child's academic success? EVERYTHING. This shows that your children come from a home where there are people they can depend on, who love them, and will fight for them. This is the foundation in which they will learn everything else, and if you ask me, that is a pretty solid foundation!

Their success will not be determined by how well they do in something like algebra this year.

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