Resources for homeschooling during the coronavirus pandemic
If you are reading this because you want to keep your child home from school during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, we have some information that can help. This is a quick-start guide directing you to resources if you find yourself all of a sudden homeschooling.
You may be overwhelmed at the thought and responsibility, but take a deep breath, and look at it as an amazing opportunity to spend time with your child, inputting into their education directly and personally.
What should be your priority?
The most important thing to concentrate on right now is making sure your child is feeling secure and safe. Anxiety levels may be higher than normal, and you’ll have your children around you a lot more, so guard against annoyances and pour out the hugs!
As far as academics go, there are three ways you can look at it:
- This is your golden opportunity to give your child one-on-one tutoring for those subjects he may have been struggling with at school, so focus on these areas first.
- Maintain the status quo. Using resources to keep your child up to where he should be while advancing gently.
- Use this time to help your child excel by challenging them in their strengths.
If you are working at home while also trying to homeschool, the first two options may be the best fit for your situation. On the other hand, it may work better for you if your child is keen to advance, providing motivation for him to get on with it and less distraction for you.
This time is also a chance to let your child follow their interests and devote more time to becoming more skilled at something.
Regarding other subjects, see the Dovetail Your Tasks section below.
Homeschool planning and curriculum guides
Gaining confidence to teach your own children relies on having a plan so you don’t get sidetracked by distractions. We have guides for each grade level. However, don’t be stressed too much about dividing your kids into individual learning plans – these are just guides! A good way to save time by learning together is to include as many of your kids into one activity as you can. More on dovetailing your tasks below.
Dovetail your subjects
English – When you’re at home, you can teach multiple subjects all at once, especially English. Read our article on how to use copywork to teach your child. Copywork passages give you the opportunity to teach spelling, grammar, punctuation and good writing models all in one lesson. If you’re not confident in teaching spellng rules or grammar concepts, you could take a look at some of our resources.
Another idea, if this homeschooling gig is a temporary thing for you, is to have your child write a journal about his homeschooling time.
Maths – Take time to reinforce concepts and drill times tables and number facts. Use whatever resources your school has given you. You can read our article on how to help your child learn maths for ideas. We have great maths resources which are suited to a long-term homeschooling situation, so you could check those out in our shop if you’re thinking that may be the case for you.
Keeping a nature journal is an easy way to combine science and art and will get you outside. The weather is perfect for this at this time of year. There are some great resources here at Nature Study Australia. We also have a guide on how to do nature study.
Then there is social studies. Reading aloud some historical fiction together is a great way to just soak it all in. History Pockets are an excellent resource for some hands on fun with history. Borrowing a truckload of books from the library on subjects that interest your child will also provide some good instruction.
Unit studies are ideal for dovetailing subjects and may be just the thing for short term homeschooling so you can involve all your children at once. We have a guide on how to cover the 8 Key Learning Areas in a unit study.
Lastly, PE. This may be a bit challenging during times of social distancing, but you can do many things at home together. Use the time to practice skills and train for your sports.
We provide free homschooling lessons for our subsribers, so sign up (over there on the right) if that appeals to you.
Other fantastic resources can be found at these sites:
Homeschooling Downunder also has some great Australian homeschool resources.
Our homeschool help contact
You can contact us via email or to schedule a phone appointment to discuss your homeschooling needs. Phone appointments are free, however, you can make a donation to us via Paypal if you wish. Appointments are restricted to 30 minutes each in the evenings (Mon-Fri) only. Our help is based on our 23 years of homeschooling experience. Contact details here.
Alternatively, please comment below and we’ll reply asap.
Thinking about meals may be the last thing on your mind right now, but having a good menu plan will save you a lot of stress and help you get on with teaching. Include your children in meal prep and make cooking one of your “subjects”.
You don’t have to stay home all the time when homeschooling. There are many homeschool support groups in Australia, so you’re bound to find one that suits you. These groups also link you to other helpful resources. We’ve listed some below, but a search on Facebook will pull up several more.
Home Education Association (Australia-wide support)
State legal requirements
Homeschooling is legal in every state of Australia. We have links below to every state’s homeschooling page so you can see what your obligations are if you need to register. If you have your child home temporarily from school, your circumstance may not require you to register for homeschooling, so check with your school first.
Homeschool in Victoria. Victoria State Government Education and Training directs you to register for homeschooling with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
These are uncertain times, but whether you are homeschooling temporarily, taking the opportunity to try it out or are committed for the long haul, you and your children are bound to experience some benefits. Throw yourself into it and enjoy the ride!