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Stay home and stay safe. In these times, I found educational videos that could fill the spaces, where my children could still be learning, but I was able to focus on the meetings and my work. Trust that everyone is working toward a common goal, for example, is one type of trust. Given the current closure of public schools, many publishers are providing content online for free, as well.

It is also very important to note, especially when you are reading and researching your options, that there are two extremes to the homeschooling debate or conversation, especially in Connecticut, but it is likely evident elsewhere, as well. With everyone rushing around trying to figure out what they are going to do for the fall, it is important to also pause, step back, and consider how the plans you make for the fall fit into your future educational plans. (Dont forget to include what you used to keep your fort together tape, staples, clothes pins, etc. With some states canceling in-person schooling for the rest of the academic year and others extending the closures for additional time periods or indefinitely, but messages coming from politicians that we need to re-open the country, we are in a state of wait and see. While the kids play, you can plan your day(s). Many of our kids had packed schedules of school, sports, and other activities, with barely enough time to grab a sandwich in the car for supper. What is Montessori Education? The first consideration is the age levels you are teaching. While you are working on a schedule more customized to you, your kids and your work schedule, two companies, Khan Academy and Scholastic, have recently provided lesson plans and activities free for children who are now staying home due to school closings. The one thing that all of those spaces had in common was a dedicated space to store all of our supplies and work. Retrieved March 19, 2020, from, The new challenge to keep the kids occupied during conference calls is: FORT MAKING!!! Yours will too. For later years (grades 3-5 and 6-8) we elected to study math and language arts every day, and study science, history/social studies, art and music one day per week each, leaving the additional day (which happened to be Friday for us) for making up work we didnt complete earlier in the week. Other paid options exist for states which do not offer state virtual schools, like K12, ConnectionsAcademy, although many others exist, as well (Connections Academy, 2020; K12, 2020).

Roblox. Being completely clear on goals, roles, and contributions can promote commitment and team cohesion. Retrieved March 19, 2020 from, Bestow. 2) Identify the subjects you would like to teach each of the children. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from, Common Sense Media. To commit to common goals, everyone on the team has to be aware of the goals, understand why those goals are important, and be aware and accepting of their role in helping the team attain those goals. Ultimately, only you can decide what is best for you and your children. Patrick Lencioni wrote a book called, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, which gives a simple, straightforward way to think about what is needed for teams to function well and to thrive.

dunst kirsten push actors won Some subjects that lend themselves to video lessons are art, music, history, and even physical education, for example. State Virtual Schools. There are also many online tours of national parks, zoos, and aquariums. Thats all any of us can do, and the only way we are going to figure out what will work is for everyone to be comfortable communicating and providing constructive feedback when things are not working. For example, one was created by E. Gilliam, and is accessible here: with the printable version accessible directly here: The pause for them is a huge change and requires adjustment, but provides an opportunity for us, as parents, to teach them how to slow down and be ok with being bored or finding their own activities. An example of this is a new kindergartener starting homeschool in the first year of school eligibility. Its also important to understand what is and what is not likely to happen in the next year curriculum and academic-wise and how that might impact you and your children. ), 2) Do you (and your student) want the ability or option to participate in after school activities? Here are a few suggestions of where we might start: 1) Develop (and ensure everyone knows and understands) clearly defined goals. If you have decided that you are not yet comfortable physically sending your kids back to a school building, thinking through some of the following questions might be helpful in deciding between distance learning (assuming this option is available/offered through your school) and homeschooling: 1) Do you want to choose your own curriculum, make your own lesson plans, etc., or do you want to assist your children in completing teacher-assigned activities? One combined list of these is accessible on, here: Starting your day with gratitude and calm activities has been said to start your day off on a positive note. If you plan to homeschool long-term or permanently, focusing on this alignment might not be quite as important or impactful. (n.d.). The answer to this question can provide further guidance for what choice might be best for you and your family, on top of the obvious comfort level with sending them to a physical school building in August or September. (2020). Retrieved March 25, 2020, from For those who are not experienced or knowledgeable about publishers used for K-12 education, the National University Library System has a list on their website, accessible here:

This is not true, legally. The fourth consideration is the schedule of the subjects you have selected to teach. You can then try to save each others sanity by intermittently saying or doing the things you know are on the card, so that everyone has a chance to keep their kids engaged, but quiet (because shhhwe have to hear what is going on, so we dont miss out on a bingo square!).

(n.d.). However, we can control our reaction to it by staying safe, keeping our family safe, and following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) (2020) guidelines posted here: In my experience homeschooling and working full time (from various locations and time zones), the biggest lesson I learned was that I needed to be organized, but also flexible.

It is also an opportunity for us to find ways for our kids to help around the house and to teach them new life skills that are no longer taught in schools. 100 Things to Teach Your Teen While Youre Stuck at Home. (This is a big deciding factor that can save or cost you a lot of time and stress. durango downtown pooch dine spots five How Timeboxing Works and Why it Will Make You More Productive. (n.d.). Attention to results is the top and smallest portion of the pyramid. Uncertainty and lack of direction and why can cause unnecessary stress and a lack of commitment. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from, National University Library. Having a dedicated space will allow you to put everything away in a neat and orderly fashion after every day, so that it is available and easy to access the following day. While we await final proposals for opening of schools in the fall from states and local districts, we are all asking what if? What if schools open as usual in the fall at full capacity? You will need to research your options in your area if this is a deciding factor for you. Write a list of the equipment you used to make your fort. The most effective approach I found was to create a basket of schoolwork for the toddler and let her choose her schoolwork from the basket. All movies, for example, have ratings from Common Sense Media, as well as a kids rating and a parents rating, but even more helpful are the details provided by Common Sense Media behind their specific rating. Its important that parents, educators and administrators clearly define what the goals are and monitor progress toward those goals. 5) Understand and be honest and open about what you (and your student) can and cannot reasonably take on and complete given everything you have going on outside of school responsibilities, and be open to working with your student and their teachers and school administrators. Retrieved June 24, 2020, from, HSLDA. One option is for grades 3-5, called Digital Passport, and is accessible here: Educators need to be able to express concerns to parents and administrators when things arent working for them, their class, or even particular students. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from, Common Sense Media. Administrators have never run schools, districts or boards of education during a global pandemic. Trust that everyone is doing their best (whatever their best looks like on a given day) and trust that everyone has the childrens best interest at heart are a couple of others. You can research options for full-time online schooling, which some states offer for free (Digital Learning Collaborative, 2018). It is important to remember this. You dont need to go crazy buying organizing supplies. The last thing we need is to waste time searching for books, pencils, paper and other supplies while we are trying to work and homeschool. However, with everything clearly defined and with trust, constructive conflict and commitment, holding each other accountable for their respective parts becomes much easier, and does not need to involve finger pointing or other negative non-constructive behaviors. Khan Academy Schedules for School Closures. Accountability is the forth level in the pyramid identified by Lencioni, and aligns closely with constructive conflict and commitment. A lesson I learned the hard way many times is that they cant both be done (effectively) at the same time. Accountability involves all levels, including our children consistently being held responsible for their work. Well, the best approach comes down to whether this is a temporary or long-term/permanent option for you and your family. How We Rate and Review. Awake and Mindful. Everything else is a bonus. In work environments, especially when working on projects, everyone has clearly defined roles and responsibilities which are laid out on a project plan. (Many states do not allow homeschoolers to participate in activities at the public school, but some states do. Below, I will provide a few options and considerations for finding content for your children that is age-appropriate and safe for them, as well as being safe for you and your computer. Youre Probably Homeschooling Way More Than You Need To. Considerations for Schools. Retrieved April 19, 2020, from, Roblox. Florida is more strict, but does have umbrella schools that allow for smoother navigation of the requirements. The third consideration is the mode you wish to use to teach the subjects you have selected. Literally blocking it off on your calendar and communicating your schedule with your bosses and colleagues will make sure you are all on the same page and that everyone will respect that time. You are the parent, and you know what is best for your children. You will need to determine what is best for you and your children. 4) *BONUS* You can also take an inventory of what you have for school supplies (paper, pencils, pens, markers, crayons, glue, scizzors, stapler, tape, whole punch, etc.). Coronavirus Closed Schools: 27 Activities to Keep Kids Busy During School Closures. They are asking because they truly care about your children and your input. While you are determining how much time you want to dedicate to your work, also consider if there are specific days or times of day that you have regularly scheduled meetings, deadlines for regular work, or other time-specific restrictions. If yours has not done so, or you would like to supplement the work provided to your kids, there are many approaches to doing so. Connections Academy. (Various factors played into our decision, but one major factor for us was for the girls to have the option to participate in sports, clubs and other activities, and we were living in a location where they were districted into good schools.). What Are the Non-Core Subjects?. Digital Passport. The reality is that we need to accept that nothing is going to be perfect in this imperfect situation, so for the perfectionists out there (like myself), if we are surviving and our families are surviving, we are doing the best we can, and that is good enough. (n.d.). It is important to remain aware (and equally appreciative for any help they provide) that the schools and school districts are not required to assist homeschooling families, and that submitting an intent to withdraw (and/or an intent to homeschool) does have a direct impact on their budget, as they are funded on a per-student basis. So, how do we, as a team of parents, educators, and administrators, work together as a high performing team and not fall into the 5 dysfunctions of a team identified by Lencioni? For other jobs, like when I administered analytics servers, I had more flexibility to design my work day around the desired school schedule. The options are so abundant that it can often be overwhelming, especially for those new to educating their children at home. The public school administrators where we are were extremely helpful in working with us to determine the best placement. Others may be planning their own lessons and activities. These are accessible here: You will need to determine, based on the number and ages of children, your work schedule, and any other constraints, what subjects you want to teach and can manage to do so with minimal stress. They are used to having their days and activities planned out for them months in advance. Our girls were homeschooled since Kindergarten, and I chose materials for each individual subject for each girl, and planned the curriculum and lesson plans myself throughout this entire time. (Note that this is not a comprehensive list.) It will make your planning much easier and less stressful if you acknowledge right now that you are one person and cannot be an effective fulltime teacher for 8 hours and full time worker for 8 hours, nor do you need to be. Yes, movies sometimes work, but how about something possibly more fun (for you and for them)? The first major hurdle for the transition was figuring out what grade they should be in. The best resource we have found for determining age-appropriateness of movies, games, applications and some websites is Common Sense Media, accessible here: (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2020, from Greater Good Magazine. Many other options exist, just be sure that you are accessing them through sites that you trust. It is nice to have a separate table, countertop, or other area that you could leave your work out on all the time, but in most cases, this is not an option. Retrieved March 19, 2020, from, Headspace. A great list of them compiled by STEAMsational is accessible here: Retrieved March 25, 2020, from, Common Sense Media. If you are teaching one child, you can skip this section. To step back and take a look at what this truly means, it is helpful to have a lens through which to view this team and the relationships and responsibilities of the members of the team. In my personal opinion, consistency in accountability, especially for online learners, is fundamental to their success, I believe, but it takes everyone involved being on the same page to maintain an appropriate level of accountability. Khan Academy has provided help and getting started pages for their content here:, and the lessons themselves are accessible here:, Scholastic has provided schedules and lessons here: In the middle of the fall, we collectively decided that it was time for the girls to attend public school. This is when choosing distance learning through the school, working with the school on curriculum or even taking advantage of optional portfolio reviews, or employing a certified teacher in a pandemic pod could work out better than doing what we did with creating a custom curriculum. For gratitude, an easy option to start your day would be to talk about three good or positive things. More details about the rating systems used for the Common Sense Media ratings can be found here: How might it impact their learning? Find a fort posted by someone else and draw a picture of their fort and estimate how many people you think could fit in their fort. In Connecticut, the only thing you are legally required to do is file with your local board of education a letter of Notice of Withdrawal. (This is the option rated as highest risk by the CDC) (CDC, 2020). Free Printable Homeschool Planners. Schedules created and posted in a common location provide clarity to everyone involved and help the parents avoid questions like what are we doing today? and what subjects are we working on today? There are many free printable planners and schedules available online. The second consideration is the subjects you wish to teach. If you have chosen to homeschool instead of opt into distance learning through your school, and the option is temporary, you may wish to file the notice of intent to homeschool and proceed to work closely with the school to ensure the smoothest transition back into the school when the time is right. If you are unsure, Common Sense Media is a great place to start. When I started homeschooling and working from home, we had one preschooler and one toddler. Are you comfortable sending your children to school in the fall, as long as CDC guidelines for schools are followed (CDC, 2020)? The activities in the basket could be anything from printed mazes, cut and paste activities, manipulative for counting, coloring books, etc. If you want to really make it fun and engaging with everyone involved, you or the meeting organizer can make up a bingo card and send it out to everyone on the call. These can be accessed here: (n.d.). In my classroom, I start my classes off by having my students volunteer to Tell me something good. The good things could literally be anything, and they have ranged from I had a good breakfast this morning, to My football team won last night. If you want to add variety or switch things up a bit, the Bestow Team created a list of 30 gratitude games and activities for kids, accessible here: amber heard scars fight friend depp johnny still testifies
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