CHANDLER, AZ — With all of the unknowns when it comes to COVID-19 and children being in a brick-and-mortar school setting, have you thought of homeschooling your kids?
If the answer is yes, ABC15 took a dive into this daunting task of finding curriculum, support and the dos and don'ts of homeschooling.
"I decided that if I was just gonna spend my time worrying about the kids being at school, not sleeping at night, it was just good for my own peace of mind and my own mental stability to keep them home," said Heather Kucenski, a Chandler mother of three boys who decided to homeschool her boys.
Kucenski even had a meet-the-teacher night at home last week, all in preparation for Monday and Wednesday. Those are the days her homeschool classes start.
"One thing we encourage parents to do is to interview your child, say, 'what did you like about school, what parts were harder, what subjects did you like best, what subjects do you want to work on more, what subjects were challenging?'" says Rachel Coleman, with the Coalition for Responsible Homeschooling.
Coleman adds that flexibility is key in order for true learning to happen.
"If the parent and student are frustrated, then learning is going to be happening, and to the extent that learning is, it's going to become associated with that frustration," adds Coleman.
She stresses the following points:
- Know that when it comes to curriculum, one size doesn't fit all
- Curriculum depends on your teaching style, your educational goals and the type of learner your child is
- Think outside the box; homeschooling is not the way school is done at a brick-and-mortar building
- Tough subjects like math should be taught in the morning; project-based and "fun" learning for afternoons
"Take a walk and start identifying trees in the neighborhood or start figuring out what are all the different bugs you see. 'Let's take a picture of the bug and identify them when you get home,'" adds Coleman.
If you are thinking of homeschooling a high-schooler, Coleman recommends you do enroll him or her in an online program through the school system and provide home support. Requirements for college entrance exams may not be supportive of a home-schooling option only.
The Coalition for Responsible Homeschooling has an eight-week introductory course on how to homeschool. More details can be found here.