So that last two weeks have felt like 5,000 years, right? Things are changing so much, so quickly and the days are starting to run together. It kind of feels like that week between Christmas and New Years only we don’t know when it’s going to end. ????????
The first week we were out was kind of a free for all–sleep until when you want, eat what you want, do what you want. Anarchy was fun, but after a week of that, we needed a little structure. I came up with a plan for our family that’s easily customizable for your own needs and own family. I deliberately left off actual school and church stuff because I figured people could add those things own depending on their needs, wants, and beliefs. For us, we don’t have any actual graded assignments right now, but kids have been assigned things they’re being encouraged to do. I’m kind of letting my kids take their own pace here. Our third quarter had just ended and they didn’t have a ton of new material to learn–it was mostly review. My only kid with actual real-world consequences for missing the last nine weeks of school is my oldest, so I told him he needs to use the district resources to learn anything in geometry he hasn’t learned yet and study for his AP tests. Otherwise, I’ll be happy if they stick to this plan.
What plan, you ask? Hold tight. I’m almost there.
“But don’t you love your kids? I can’t believe you don’t value their education!” I can hear from the stretches of the interwebs (because I’ve already heard it). I do love my kids and I very much value their education. If we had more information, if this was the beginning of the school year and not the end, “if” a lot of things, I might be approaching this differently. But. My kids are in a good spot academically…I’m not particularly worried about them. I’m trying to preserve our family relationships right now and then, when the dust settles, we can pick up the places.
For now, let me present our Emergency Homeschool Plan! Click HERE to download a copy (the printable download also has journal prompts–you can print one out for each kid and laminate it or put it in a binder so they can use it as a reference).
Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but we also had to explain once that you had to unwrap the peanut butter cups in this recipe, so since then, I’ve basically become my dad who once drew me a 4-page diagram when I asked him how a copy machine worked.
Do something active
While everything else on this list is supposed to be done weekly, being active is daily. Depending on safety regulations where you live, it could be going for a walk, doing a home workout (my friend Dylon is doing home workouts that my teenager and I are doing together–follow him on Instagram here!), jumping on a trampoline, going for a hike, or even a dance party.
read a book
“Yes, a whole book,” I told my children who once upon a time read like it was their job. This is customizable, too–if you have little kids reading little books, maybe it’s a book a day or you read 20 minutes of a longer chapter book together. If it’s bigger kids reading very difficult books, they may need more time. But I told them they need to make a significant dent in their reading material.
I’ve given my kids a lot of leeway on this. It could be an art project, it could be a song, filming a TikTok video, building Hogwarts in Minecraft, following a recipe (and cleaning up afterwards), building a Lego set, etc.
learn something new
Again, the internet is FULL of information for them to learn new things, and I’ve given them a lot of leeway on what they learn. My 7-year-old learned all about different kinds of beans and how to make scrambled eggs. My teenager learned how to increase the concentration of alcohol in rubbing alcohol. My daughter learned how to play the Bob’s Burger theme on her ukulele.
teach your parents something
This is meant to built the relationship between parents and kids, but bonus points if they teach someone else something as well! Like yesterday, my teenager taught his grandma how to use Instagram. My son and his friend (via Facetime) are going to teach me how to do the TikTok dances.
This is tricky while social distancing, but we can serve other people in our house and there are ways to serve without coming in contact with people. One of my kids edited a video for my friend to use in her Wednesday night virtual church service. She even offered to pay him and he said no. A lot of people are sewing masks for healthcare workers (I’ve told my kids these categories can overlap–they could learn to sew masks and then donate them).
treat yo self
I’m trying to teach my kids about self care–identifying their needs and finding ways to meet them. Whether it’s taking a couple hours to play a video game or FaceTime with a friend or take an epsom salt bubble bath (epsom soaks help with anxiety) or vent their feelings to someone or their journal, learning to take care of themselves in times of stress is a critical life skill.
I hope this helps give you some structure as we navigate this crazy time! Here’s the download to the full printable, complete with journal prompts–we’re all living through something historical and someday, our kids and their kids (and us!) will love to look back and catch a glimpse of what things were like. I’ve got lots of awesome things planned this week, so keep checking in! Additionally, don’t forget to follow Sara and me on Instagram. And if you haven’t checked out our 50 free activities, check it out here!
I’m going to print this out for me! I’ve turned into a big slug during this time. I no longer have kids at home so don’t have to worry about that. Thanks for making this!
Oh man…. I could never be a blogger. I’m sorry you have to deal with all the judgemental comments (in reference to the “Don’t you love your kids and value their education?!” comment). Some people need to learn to be kind and mind their own business. Everyone has different circumstances, talents, and capabilities. Homeschooling is not one of my talents, so everyday I feel like I’m just trying to survive and winging it right now. Good luck Kate! We are all in this together…or at least I’m right there with you. 🙂
Thanks for the great post Kate! My kiddos are 18 and 20 and, while this is a strange, hard and scary time, I am cherishing this time with my family. It is hard (in the middle of a huge home remodel and we’re all quarantining in the basement) but, this uninterrupted time together is precious and, when this is over, may not come again. #forcedfamilybonding #hugyourbabies Stay well, Friend!
I really appreciate you keeping it real. My kids are 3 and 5, I don’t feel like I need to sit them down and do academics. We are coloring and we spend as much time as possible in our big backyard. (That bounce house we bought last year is worth its weight in gold). Just getting through this is what we need to do. Fighting and stressing is just not going to help me or my kids. So thank you for this!
Great ideas and so varied. I wish I were a kid again, but, oh wait. Adults can have fun, too. I consider it fun when I have time, to try something new. This would be the time to do it.
Keep up the good work and keep well.