From My Makeshift Homeschool to Yours

Crisis Schooling Day 1 & Make Something Monday 2

Why Crisis Schooling? Read this FANTASTIC article. Highlights:

“You are NOT homeschooling. You are CRISIS schooling. There is a huge difference…. Homeschool parents who choose this research for months or even years before embarking on this journey. We have vast networks of support from charter schools like where I teach, in person classes, online classes, co-op groups, park days, field trips, chess clubs, scout troops, etc. We have huge groups on social media that we get involved in. Choosing to homeschool makes all the difference in your mindset and preparedness. Crisis schooling is stressful and even trauma inducing. “

“Don’t artificially create busy work to do school for 6 hours a day. That is soul sucking, will anger and bore your child and make you tear your hair out. When you’re done, you’re done! Go do some fun things! Or… even crazier… have fun learning! … Tests and worksheets are NOT the only way or the best way to learn. This might make some people cringe, but textbooks and worksheets used incorrectly are lowest common denominator learning. Gobbling facts to regurgitate them later is not enlightened nor does it instill a lifelong love of learning.”

“Life will go on if you are not stellar during a worldwide crisis. Maybe your best today will be cuddle up with the kids and just be together. “

I am still patiently waiting for something from Logan’s teacher, so we are back to our pre-spring break plan. The older boys have their course work posted for them through D2L, which is nice. Jax might need a little guidance (ADHD), but I trust Nate to get his work done on his own.

I resurrected my old job board that hangs in our house, but doesn’t get used. Our new Shaw device allows us to put limits and timers on the boys devices, as well as pause their internet, so it’s perfect for this. Downside – teenagers need to use the internet to get their schoolwork done, which forces me to parent. 🙄🤭 We have a Disney Circle which we no longer need, so if anyone wants to buy it, it’s for sale!

Read: Again, I have Logan read out loud to me from his novel of choice, otherwise I am not sure he is really reading. He still misses quite a few words, so I want to make sure he knows what they are so he is improving his skills as he goes. Fingers crossed.

Math: Multiplication skills are SO important and not strong with this one, so we are going to continue with some math games to help reinforce these skills. Prodigy is a great online resource for math practice and Logan already uses it and enjoys it at school. Until we get further direction from his teacher, I think this will be a good way for him to practice math.

Writing: I am sure we will be getting ELA assignments from Logan’s teacher, but for now, we are going to start a journal. I want Logan to write about this whole experience from his perspective. One important thing about this type of writing for your students is not to worry about spelling and grammar at this point. They just need to get their ideas down on paper. We can edit later – more on that another day. If you have a student with a Learning Disability (LD) or ADHD, you will need to accommodate for them. Likely, as their parent, you already know the best way to go about this. Some ideas are to use speech to text applications on your computer or write their words for them. Reading their words back to them is another great way to help students hear what they have written and helps them self-edit. Some students (most students) will think faster than they can write and will forget words, ideas, etc. Again, don’t worry about editing today – focus on writing and creativity. Don’t tell them what to write, don’t fix their errors, don’t tell them to come up with better vocabulary. Encourage them to be descriptive and use “juicy words”, but again, don’t have them change anything or tell them their words aren’t interesting enough. The idea is to get their ideas down and to enjoy the process. Here is a good link for some word ideas in case your student asks or needs some inspiration WHILE writing.

Today’s writing prompt: What has changed in your life since the Covid-19 Pandemic? (If you want to simplify this and not cause anxiety by bringing up the pandemic, just ask what has changed since you’ve started school at home.) What do you like the most? Why? What do you like the least? Why?

Physical Activity: I’d love to get outside for a walk, but I heard the weather is not supposed to be very nice, so I am happy to have the boys do something inside. I found this awesome idea from Mom on the Side. (The teenagers can actually work out, but I’ll let them figure that out on their own.)

Make Something Monday: And for fun and to keep things interesting, we might try to build something like this…

Inspiration from Pages From Serendipity

Lego Challenge: Make a flag.

Daily Dose from the Calgary Zoo:

As promised, I would like to share some tips for you for students who struggle with traditional schoolwork. Today’s tip is the Time Timer. The Time Timer is a great idea for any student, but especially helpful for a student with ADHD.

Another fab tip for our crisis schooling is this amazing website from Edmonton Public School Board. They have made all of their teacher resources free during this time and they are GREAT. I used them in my last two practicums and if you are looking to supplement your work, check this out!

One other tip for today. If you are struggling to get along with your child, try this:

From here

I find teaching my own children completely different from teaching at school. Finding healthy ways to communicate with each other in this difficult time will be key to keeping your sanity. Take breaks. Walk away. And DON’T WORRY. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: your child will be OK. All students in Alberta (the world, really) will be in the same position come September. I do not think it is the parents job to cover curriculum at this point. I think it is your job to keep your child engaged and maintain some sense of normalcy. Mental health is SO MUCH more important than academics at this point. If it becomes a fight or a struggle, move on. Find another way to approach that subject at another time. Enjoy your time together. Make memories. Have fun.

PLEASE let me know if you have any requests, questions or comments! Don’t forget, your e-mail will not show up on your comment, it’s just to reduce spam comments for me!

2 thoughts on “Crisis Schooling Day 1 & Make Something Monday 2

  1. Emmaline

    So helpful Jamie! I also have a kid with adhd, and it feels like we tried every trick in the book just for normal school days, never mind trying to find things that work for this super weird time. I’m going to check out the Edmonton website too. 🙂