The days leading up to the start of a school year are also the most exciting for children. For them, it means going back to classes and learning and seeing their friends again and making new ones. But aside from that, a new school year also means getting a new set of uniforms, bags, lunch boxes, and school supplies from their parents.
But with children staying at home and having their classes online, the setup will be slightly different, especially for those who are homeschooled. But even if they don’t go to physical classrooms, there are still some important tools that parents need to prepare for their children so that their learning continues at home.
According to author, wife, and homeschooling mom Joy Mendoza, one important tool that parents should have is a schedule, which lists the subjects to be studied by their children and the time each day. Mendoza says that parents should make a schedule that makes sense for them and their children and that they can be creative with it. The exercise time for the family in the morning, for instance, can be turned into Physical Education classes for the children, while doing household chores can be Home Economics and Livelihood Education or HELE.
Parents also don’t have to teach all subjects every day to avoid overwhelming their children and they can use their schedule to plan accordingly. One way to do this is to teach one set of subjects on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and teach another set on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that the children don’t study the same subjects on consecutive days.
Another important tool for homeschooling is a lesson plan, and fortunately, Mendoza says that there is a lot of curriculum and materials where the lessons to be taught are already built-in. Because of this, parents only have to follow the lessons in this curriculum and materials when teaching their children.
Materials are still needed by children even when they are homeschooled. Different subjects require different sets of materials, and parents need to prepare them ahead of time. For instance, some science lessons will require specific materials for experiments, and these materials need to be prepared and on-hand by the time the lessons start.
In the end, Mendoza says that each child has a unique learning journey and that they shouldn’t compare themselves to others. Homeschooling is personalized education for children, and parents should make sure that the schedule works for both of them and they get enough breaks.
She quotes Psalms 90:12 “Teach us to number our days,” emphasizing the importance of setting up a schedule, having a lesson plan, and preparing materials ahead of time to organize a routine for children. But Mendoza adds that there are things in the learning journey of our children that we can’t control, and we have to surrender those to the Lord.