• Shea Kropiwnicki

There is Freedom in the Quarantine

Welcome to dark side!

You’ve unexpectedly been thrown into the world of homeschooling thanks to the newest national holiday, Corona Break. What? How? Huh?

As I’ve watched suggestions pour in from homeschooling families around my area and answered a few questions from Mom friends myself, I have truly fantastic news for you.

Your kids will not suffer from taking a break from "school" for two weeks.

I don’t have any capital letters behind my name nor have I composed any statistical studies (unless you count making bar graphs from Skittle colors), but I have survived homeschooling with 4 kiddos, and I feel like I should at least get the Participation Award and Perfect Attendance considering we homeschool whenever I want.

Here’s the thing…

Unless your child is not on grade level, he/she will retain the majority of what he/she has already been taught in school. Our family can do complete our bookwork in less than 2 hours if we’re on our game and have no meltdowns and the three year old isn’t plotting to overthrow the government. Homeschool rarely looks like public or private school.

So what do we do the other SIX hours?

1. Play outside.

It’s good for them (and me). Is it cold? Put a jacket on! Is it raining? Put your boots on! Is it hot? Get some water from the hose!

In the two hours my kids have been outside this morning, they’ve jumped on the trampoline, swung on the swings, and built some random contraption from leftover wood they’ve found around the yard.

Pro tip: Throw them a bag of cheeseballs and a Capri Sun for sustenance, and you can extend the play time for approximately 30 more minutes.

2. Prepare a meal together.

I know, I know. It’s reckless and dangerous and 100x messier (I don’t understand that math either, but it’s proven by experience). I let them peel the carrots or make the PB&J’s or measure the flour. And use knives because I live on the wild side.

3. Let them color/cut/paste/create at their own leisure.

Again with the mess, but my kids LOVE it. They love creating without any prompting from me. If direction is needed, have them make a card to send to a friend or family member with a personal note written in it. Or staple printing paper together, and have them write and illustrate their own book.

4. Read books together.

Read, read, read! We read while eating lunch, we read snuggled on the couch, and they read independently (or look at pictures if they can’t read yet). If you are short on books and don’t want to head to to library, they have also have children’s ebooks online through your local library.

5. Have a time of family worship.

Read the Bible, act out the story, color a picture of what was happening, sing worship songs together, ask hard questions. The discussion will be priceless.

6. Take a bubble bath.

All that butter and sour cream tupperware you've been saving like your Granny is now a bath toy. Medicine syringes, measuring cups, and sponges will also keep them busy. Plus, the bubbles practically bathe your kids for you. Win, win.

7. Play a board/card game.

Family favorites: Uno, Go Fish, Matching, Charades, & Pictionary

8. Have a dance party.

I love making my kids laugh. I love making my kids tired. This accomplishes both. Youtube is great for inspiration! You can also do a workout with your kids, and that will make you laugh instead, which also burns calories.

9. Host a talent show.

Sometimes this looks like show-and-tell. Sometimes we let our kids perform a song that they’ve made up (bring the earplugs). Sometimes they use stuffed animals to act out a play. My kids love my undivided attention and encouragement.

10. Talk as you go about your day.

They learn so much from proximity as they follow you around seeing what you do and how you do it. It’s free education, and they usually don’t realize it’s happening.

Above all, enjoy the freedom!

Being imprisoned in your own home with little people who talk all the time and touch everything doesn't sound like freedom, but there is so much freedom in schooling at your leisure. Freedom in what you teach, when you teach it, how you teach it, and where you teach it.

Revel in that!

(or rebel in that depending on your homeschool philosophy).

And remember that everything is education.

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