So, we’re a week or two (or even more in some parts of the country) into school, and just about everyone is partaking in some form of either homeschooling or school at home (there is a difference!). Whether you’re going with full-on homeschooling (great choice!), even if it’s just for a year, or are helping your child navigate remote/virtual learning through your school district, the 2020-21 school year is certainly shaping up to be an interesting one.
This felt like a good time to check-in and see how homeschooling is going so far. We might even be able to answer some questions and give you a little bit of advice to help out. Here are a few common concerns and questions that might arise, especially for those new to homeschooling.
I feel like I haven’t been able to establish a consistent schedule yet.
Don’t worry…it’s completely normal, and you’re far from alone. It can take at least a few weeks to really get into a rhythm, whether it’s your first time homeschooling or you’re a seasoned pro. Why? Because every school year is different. Classes and curriculum are different. Your home life could be different from the year before. Your kids are different.
Think about how many different variables can contribute to a rocky or unsteady start to the year. There could be a new baby in the house…or even a new pet. You may have a sick loved one that requires extra care and attention. Someone may have started a new job. There’s COVID-19 still hanging around. Any life change, really. Plus, your student is a year older–and we know what a difference a year can make in kids and adolescents. Life doesn’t stop for anything or anyone, and that includes school.
Advice? Stick it out and work your way around whatever curveballs life may (or may not) be throwing you. Is it ideal to have a nice, consistent schedule you can rely on each day? Absolutely. But on the other hand, one of the true benefits and beauties of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. You need to take a few days off to deal with some things? Go ahead. You can always make it up later.
The thing with homeschooling is, you don’t have to have a firm schedule. It can really be done whenever is convenient for you and your family. However, if establishing a set schedule is a goal, just stick with it. You’ll develop a routine before you know it, and you’ll be set for the rest of the school year.
Is the curriculum I’m using too easy/challenging?
At this point in the school year, it’s probably too early to tell. Unless your child is answering questions before you can even finish asking them. Or the mere mention of a particular subject or concept visibly blows up a portion of their brain. In those rare instances, yes, you might have your answer.
But in most cases, it’ll take a little bit of time to determine whether your child is either getting challenged enough with the school material or being challenged too much. Again, one of the advantages of homeschooling is that, regardless of if the subject matter is too difficult or way too easy, it’s much easier to change than it would be to switch classes in a public or private school a month or so into the year.
If your student is effortlessly acing tests and projects, try to push them a little harder with more difficult materials and subjects. You’ll have a good idea of when to keep, and stop, pushing–after all, you know your child better than anyone else. If you keep pushing, and they keep succeeding…great! You probably have a very talented and brilliant kid on your hands.
More than likely, kids are going to hit a certain point where the material is simply too advanced. And that’s a good place to stop–they just might not be ready for it yet. That’s where you want to pull back a bit and perhaps focus on subjects that are right around that milestone.
If your child isn’t grasping the subject matter that you started with, it’s okay to take a step back and work on topics that he or she may have already learned. Reinforcement is never a bad thing. Once your student is comfortable, then try to forge ahead.
Give it all some time though–it’s tough to determine whether they’re going to “get it” after only a few weeks.
My child seems bored with me and with the curriculum.
Don’t take it personally…especially if you’re new to homeschooling. Look at it this way–your child has been listening to you for every single one of his or her days on Earth, and sometimes a bit of fatigue sets in. But don’t be discouraged; it’s normal, and it will pass. You just might need to get a little bit creative with your lessons and schoolwork.
And that’s not too difficult to do. There are plenty of resources out there that make learning more fun and interesting. One of those is our educational partner, Elephango. Elephango.com is absolutely packed with engaging online lessons that involve interaction, creativity, and fun–with a nice dose of video learning to complement the subject matter.
Elephango offers some free lessons, but a subscription (for less than $1 a day!) really opens the doors to learning, with hundreds of topics, resources, and activities that make school fun and keep things interesting.
Another way to get your student psyched about learning is through online classes…specifically, Bridgeway Academy’s Live Online Classes or our Total Care Online package. Our Live Online Classes, available for grades 1 through 12, give your child the classroom experience, with expert instructors teaching exciting and engaging lessons live via Zoom. Your student logs on at class time each week and can interact with both the teacher and classmates from all over the world. He or she will also partake in class discussions and projects, which allows your child to enjoy school–without the worry of what could be spreading inside physical classrooms.
Another option is our Total Care Online Self-Paced package. These classes (available entirely online for middle school and high school students, and as a blended textbook/online program for elementary school students) offer everything you want for your student:
- High-quality lessons and interesting subjects
- Top-notch accreditation
- Complete record-keeping
- Unlimited support from an academic advisor
- The flexibility to take the classes whenever it’s convenient for your family
- The ability to work at a pace that’s comfortable for your child
All the resources you and your student need
But, the best part of our Live Online Classes or Self-Paced Online courses? A much-needed break for you!! Use the time to unwind, have a cup of coffee, read a book, watch a Netflix show, and just take a break from teaching. It’ll also give your child a break from you (no offense!) and allow him or her to recharge their batteries so they’re ready to learn with you again after their online classes. Win-win!
If you decided to homeschool, especially in light of the lingering pandemic, relax…you made a great choice. Don’t second-guess yourself if you’re running into some early school-year struggles. It happens, and you’ll get through them. And if you’re not homeschooling with Bridgeway, we’d love to help and be your homeschool partner!
Call us today at (800) 863-1474 for more information about our programs. Remember, it’s never too late to join or switch homeschools!