Top 5 Tips for Homeschooling Your Littles
With everything happening in the world right now, homeschooling is becoming more and more prominent in local communities. The idea of homeschooling can be scary. It can seem like a daunting task, and a lot of people don’t know where to start - And I get that! But fear shouldn’t stop you from moving forward with something that could also be so enriching and fulfilling, for both you and your kids.
Here are my top 5 tips to get you started on your homeschooling journey:
1. Don’t Over Do It
Contrary to popular belief, kids don’t need as much structured learning as you might think – especially when it’s one on one learning time. Here is a rough guideline that I pulled from the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents:
- Pre-K: 1 hour per day
- Kindergarten-Grade 2: 1.5 hours per day
- Grade 3-5: 2 hours per day
In addition, learning activities should take no longer than 5-20 minutes per activity, to ensure maximum length of sustained attention for these young kiddos.
2. Follow and Post a Daily Schedule
You’ll need to be flexible in your homeschooling routine, but having a basic schedule to follow will help keep you and your kids organized and ready to learn.
Involve your kids when creating your schedule and post it up near your supplies so you can refer to your schedule when necessary.
Our simple schedule for my Kindergartner will be something like this:
8AM: Wake, Breakfast, Wash, Tidy
9AM: Outdoor Free Play
10AM: Nutrition Break
10:15AM: Learning Station Exploring
11:15AM: Movement Break
11:30AM: Circle Time (songs and stories)
12PM: Lunch, Wash, Tidy
1PM: Quiet Time Activities or iPad
2PM: Nutrition Break
2:15PM: Educational Worksheets
2:45PM: Outdoor Free Play
3:30PM: Life Skills
3. Create a Designated Workspace
Everyone’s homeschooling space will look different. Sometimes you may not have a separate room or space to use as a dedicated classroom – and that’s ok! It is important, though, to create a space that houses all of the materials you’ll be using to homeschool. A space that is easily accessible by your kids so that they can access whatever materials they need, when they need them. Here are a couple ideas to get you started:
Organizing art and home schooling supplies make your everyday routine a lot easier. Keeping things easily accessible means your kids can be more independent and gives them a clear view of what tools are available to them without having to include you every step of the way.
I have young kids, so I like to keep my writing tools in horizontal storage baskets instead of things like cups or mason jars. Not only does it hold a lower centre of gravity, but it looks neater and is easier to store on top of the moveable carts. The categories that work for our Writing Tool baskets include:
- Washable Markers
- Dry Erase Markers
- Fine Tip Markers
I used my printer and laminator to create the drawer labels and adhered them with Velcro so that they are easily interchangeable if we need to switch them out. The labels that worked for us include:
- Tissue Paper & Pompoms
- Felt & Fabric
- Popsicle Sticks, Feathers, Beads
- Wooden Letters & Numbers
- Loose Parts
- Paper Rolls
- Measuring & Analyzing
- Ties & Clips
- Straws, Q-Tips & Cotton Balls
- Paint Brushes
- Paint Accessories
Writing Tool Boxes: Dollarama (3/$2)
Art Carts: 10 Drawer Rolling Cart by Recollections at Michaels ($48 each) + Kidtivities Art Cart Labels ($10)
Worksheets, Colouring Books & Stickers in Bankers Boxes
And you thought Banker’s Boxes were just for filing away your taxes!
All of those colouring books, reusable worksheets and stickers can be tucked away into one, organized, tidy box that’s easily accessible by you and your kids.
The labels that are currently working for us include:
- Dough Mats
- Alphabet Cue Cards
- Learning Letters
- Learning Numbers
- Lego Bases
- Colouring Books
- Activity Books
- Dot Stickers
- Jewel Stickers
- Misc. Stickers
- Letter & Number Stickers
AmazonBasics Hanging Files (25/$16) + Bankers Box Heavy Duty File Box ($30) at my Amazon Storefront https://linktr.ee/Discoverkidtivities
4. Take Learning Outside the Classroom
Structure is great (and necessary) but the beauty of homeschooling is that you have the opportunity to interact and learn one-on-one with your kids and veer off the direct path of the curriculum in order to create broader learning experiences.
Here are some activities to incorporate into your everyday schedule:
- Board Games
- Baking and Cooking
- Life Skills (Laundry, Budgeting, Lawn Mowing)
- Writing letters and emails to friends
- Read together
- Explore a new hobby
- Go hiking and explore nature
- Plan a field trip
5. Organize School Memories
You’ll have so many great memories from your homeschooling experience, and you’ll want to document those memories just the same as if your child was in a conventional school setting. Keep all of your kids’ school memorabilia safely organized and in one place. I’ve designated each grade to a folder so that, every year, you can add things like awards, report cards, photos, birthday cards and special memories to the folder. Each folder includes a cover sheet with room to include a school photo and a summary of your child’s year.
AmazonBasics Hanging Files (25/$16) + Bankers Box Heavy Duty File Box ($30) at my Amazon Storefront https://linktr.ee/Discoverkidtivities + Kidtivities Preschool-12 Cover Sheets ($15)
However your homeschooling journey goes, remember that there’s a whole community of homeschoolers doing the same thing that you’re doing! Research your local homeschooling associations, join some homeschooling facebook groups, and search pinterest for great ideas to help you along your way!