I homeschooled my kids for six years and some of my best memories are from that time. I say that to encourage parents who are now thrust into the world of home education due to school closures and may be finding it a bit daunting to say the least.

At the time that we started homeschooling we were a Canadian military family, posted every two to three years with three children who were four, six and eight. We used a computer based curriculum from a program in Alberta and were under the guidance and supervision of our local school board. We enjoyed routine and had a structured school day which included Bible reading, journaling, math, science, English language skills, history and geography.

To that curriculum, we added from the children’s interests and they studied violin, guitar and voice, joined Beavers and Cubs and communicated with friends all over the world. As home schoolers, we had the freedom to learn wherever we wanted. The children read outside under the trees, made and tested their own weather instruments in the back yard and gathered with other homeschoolers for field trips.

There is, of course, a difference between my experience and what is currently happening. I had a choice. I am mindful of that difference and realise having that decision made for you complicates the already stressful reality. I hope I can offer some suggestions that might help.

For those children accustomed to the routine of school, it might be a good idea to try to keep to that schedule. There are so many possibilities for learning in the home as parents surely know. We’ve always been their first teachers and we know them best. As the Bible says, be strong and courageous, do not fear. You can do this!

Try a virtual field trip to a zoo. One day we chose to visit the San Diego Zoo and found their virtual tour amazing. The kids made their own passports and pretended to board a plane for the flight there. Once we “landed” we toured all the exhibits and made crafts about the animals. It completely captured the children’s attention for most of that day and is still one of my favourite memories.

I hope you and your family can also make some special memories during this time as we wait for the world to right itself. And remember, making cookies counts as math!

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