By: Andrea Dillon
We are all dealing with the global pandemic of the coronavirus (COVID-19). I am sure you are well aware of the precautions put in place and the impacts that this is causing for everyone in the world. One of those major life-changing impacts is the closing of many school systems. However, even if your school system isn’t shut down, you might be considering your alternative schooling options to help minimize the risk to your family and other vulnerable loved ones.
You have many options for your family. To help you narrow it down, we are going to explore some of those options below.
First, take a deep breath and know we are in this with you. There are many different routes you can take at this point. Each of these will have a different level of parental involvement, which is something you need to consider during this process.
Public School Online
Many states do offer free public schooling online, which might be an excellent option for you if you are unsure how to go about educating your children at home on your own.
Some benefits of public schooling online option are:
- Free schooling
- Education for students kindergarten through twelfth grade
- State-certified teachers that provide the instruction and the support
- A calendar that follows the school system
- Assessments that follow your state’s guidelines and requirements
What if your state doesn’t offer this type of schooling, or this doesn’t fit with your family’s current needs? That’s okay. There are other options to consider.
Homeschooling is a viable alternative to public education and might be the answer for your family right now. Whether you are considering homeschooling for good or for just a short time frame, we are here to help.
Your first thought might be, “can I homeschool my child?”
Yes, yes, you can!
There are many different methods and styles of homeschooling. Not all homeschooling methods will be practical for those homeschooling during coronavirus, as it may be challenging to obtain the materials needed. Therefore, I am going to focus on the ones that are the most logical for this specific time period.
Online Schools and Programs
There are a multitude of online schools and programs that can ease the stress of homeschooling. Online homeschooling programs are the easiest for those who are emergency homeschooling or temporarily homeschooling because all you need is an internet connection and a compatible device. This is also the most parent-friendly option in homeschooling because it takes the teaching aspect off the shoulders of the parents. Here are a few of the faith-neutral curricula we recommend checking out.
Time4Learning is a web-based curriculum that offers online education for students from preschool to twelfth grade. This program is contract-free, which makes it a great educational option for those that are planning on schooling at home for a short time. Time4Learning also offers a free Welcome to Homeschooling eBook. This eBook provides helpful tips for new homeschoolers, so I highly recommend this download. Read Homeschool.com’s in-depth review here.
Calvert Homeschool offers online courses for grades 3-12 and covers language arts, mathematics, history, geography, and science. Calvert Homeschool provides both yearly and monthly plans to fit your needs. Read Secular Homeschool’s in-depth review here.
Power Homeschool is an online program for homeschoolers that can provide children with the same Acellus courses that are used in thousands of schools nationwide. This online school covers the core subjects plus offers electives. Power Homeschool has monthly and yearly plans to help with your current schooling needs. Please read our review of Power Homeschool for more information.
The online schools and programs above are a small amount of those available. For additional schools and programs, check out our full list of online homeschooling programs.
Other Coronavirus Homeschooling Friendly Methods
If you have the resources available, any of the homeschooling methods are at your disposal. However, the ones listed below are the easiest to use right now with the recent CDC recommendation of limiting contact with others.
- Unit studies or thematic units focus on a topic that integrates science, social studies, language arts, math, and fine arts as they apply. Unit studies can be a great option for those homeschooling as you can use the resources you have at hand. Now would be a perfect time to complete a unit on germs. You could read about how to avoid getting sick, learn the science behind the coronavirus, run a science experiment on the best way to avoid transferring germs, and so on. We also have a section on free unit studies and exploration of 4 kids to help you with more ideas.
- Unschooling or natural learning is similar to unit studies, but instead of the parents picking the topic, it is the child’s interests that lead the way. Unschooling can be great if you have naturally curious children. Are they into science? Let them read all the science books available in the house or find library ebooks online to keep their interest going. Have an art lover? Let them get creative making masterpieces and learning about artists of the past.
- Eclectic homeschooling is picking and choosing from different methods to meet your needs. This can work well for those that are trying to homeschool for free during this time. Use a few pieces of a unit study here, a free online math program there, and some unschooling science to round it out, and you are done!
Keeping Yourself and Family Safe
Above all, the most important thing to remember right now is to follow the CDC guidelines to protect yourself and your family. Proper handwashing and limiting contact with others can go a long way to help us all make it through this.
Do you have additional questions about homeschooling? If you would like more information on homeschooling or extra help with getting started homeschooling, please contact me at [email protected]