Resources for homeschooling during COVID-19
At the time of revising this article (November 2021), many more parents are pulling their children out of school.
If you’re reading this then you are likely one of those parents. If it’s not the huge disruption to your child’s education due to Covid, it’s other more frightening things going on in our society as a result. Remote learning just doesn’t cut it for many families. If you want to take control of your child’s education by homeschooling and are needing resources, support and guidance on how to get going, read on for information that can help.
This is a quick-start guide directing you to resources if you want to take on homeschooling and get on with providing a quality education for your children.
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!
After so many prolonged lockdowns, your family is probably feeling very tired and exasperated. Having the opportunity to now take control of your children’s education will help alleviate that, and you can relax into your own homeschooling lifestyle.
As far as academics go, there are three ways you can look at homecshooling on your terms:
- 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.
If there is one thing that can help you get on top of working from home and trying to homeschool, it’s departing from the school’s regime and creating your own. This is key to destressing – you are now the boss.
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 side tracked by distractions. We have planning 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 is by learning together and 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 spelling 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. You can read our article on how to help your child learn maths for ideas. We have great maths resources for both primary and high school well suited to homeschooling.
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. Community sport is a good option, and families that are doing Saturday or weeknight sports won’t really need to focus on anything extra in this department.
If community sports are not for you, you can do many other physical activities at home together.
Other fantastic resources can be found at these sites:
Homeschooling Downunder also has some great Australian homeschool resources.
Choosing the homeschooling style that suits your family
Many teachers have lost their jobs during Covid, and are offerin their services to parents who want to homeschool. This is a great opportunity for working parents to employ them as tutors. You won’t need a teacher every day of the week, so in many cases it could be comparable to the cost of day care.
Choosing to educate your own children will present so many opportunities and open up the new world of real life education. You have so many options and it can be a bit overwhelming to choose how you are to do this homeschooling thing.
We have several articles that can help you create a picture in your mind of how you may want to homeschool your kids, and will assist you in implementing a plan. Learn more about homeschool styles:
The best homeschooling books of all time (for parents)
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 1 hour 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”.
If you’ve pulled your kids out of school, find at least one other family you can start your journey with. Find more than one, of course, but try and find one that you can walk along with for the long haul.
When looking for support, don’t just look to other newbies. There are plenty of old-hands out there who are delighted to help out, and will be a great resource of encouragement as you see their success. You can learn a heap from them, and you’ll make some lovely friends at the same time.
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 homeschooling 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.
In most states, you do not have to ask permission from the school to homeschool. Begin your homeschooling registration process and simply inform your school of your decision.
Homeschool in Victoria. Victoria State Government Education and Training directs you to register for homeschooling with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
With homeschooling on the rise, you are bound to find families that you can interact with. 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 benefit. Throw yourself into it and enjoy your new life!