DIY Homeschooling: Imposing Structure on Chaos

Many teachers, like myself, are facing the prospect of weeks at home with their children. I did not want to spend my days at home engaged in endless debates about how my kids would spend their time. Even though they are not going to school, I want them to continue learning. It also isn’t clear to me how much work their teachers will assign during this school closure.

As teachers, we are uniquely equipped to teach our children during school closures. Still, homeschooling requires structure, preparation, and consistency. I began by drafting the schedule below to ensure my two children were alternating between different types of activities during their days at home.

If I’m honest, the schedule was my attempt to impose a degree of organization on what felt like a chaotic and uncertain situation. I did not think my children would welcome a “schedule.” To my surprise, both of my kids were excited about the prospect of doing “school” with my husband (a high school history teacher) and me. I am not sure how long that enthusiasm will last, but they, like me, are clearly craving structure.

Below is a template families are welcome to copy and use to create their own homeschool schedules.

I cannot control what is happening around us, but I hope that having a daily schedule will keep my kids from feeling adrift during this time of isolation. I look forward to leveraging the strategies and tools I use in my work as a blended learning coach to engage my kids in hands-on learning activities at home.

I know I am not the only educator taking a proactive approach to educating my kids during school closures. If you have a strategy that you are using with your children that you think might help other families, please take a moment and post a comment.

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7 Responses to DIY Homeschooling: Imposing Structure on Chaos

  1. Natasha Friegang says:

    I am also a teacher. I feel very, very fortunate that my own children are adults now. In any case, I created a suggested schedule for my classroom families and emailed it out today. I do think that structure is SO important for kids. This is a scary time and I’m sure that parents and kids are feeling scared. Having a schedule helps us to feel a little bit of normalcy in the midst of chaos. It’s good to have things to do. And, it’s also going to be necessary to go off script sometimes. Good luck! Stay well.

  2. Molleen says:

    Yup – love it. My kindergartener is loving “doing school” with her parents, but she has noted we don’t do it the same as her teacher. True true. The only tip I have to offer is that we can only do 30-minute increments because my kid is only 6, and really 30 minutes is all *I* can handle at a time before I need a transition. Best of luck to all!

    • Thank you for sharing your modification to this approach, Molleen. I wish you and your kindergartner luck navigating a school experience at home. I am with you…patience is my biggest challenge right now. It is not an easy task to “do school” with my kids. I’m not sure if it is teaching my own children or the stress of the situation, but it is tough.

      Good luck!
      Catlin

  3. Leah Vomhof says:

    Hi Catlin, I’m working on a blog post on activities for kids to do while at home over this extended Coronavirus break. I was wondering if I could link back to your post as an example of how to provide structure and routine at home? Many thanks for your consideration and keep being awesome! ~Leah

  4. As a teacher (and a parent of a hs and college students), I’m wondering if this is an opportunity to create learning experiences that are entirely different? Is this when we get to experiment with students practicing self-reflection of their own skills? Is this when we get to ask them what they want to research? Due to equity concerns, we in MA cannot grade any of the work the students are doing now, we may only make suggestions for what they could be doing. How would you structure the learning that we post on Google Classroom if we really will have flexibility? Do we use the 5E’s and hyperdocs? Any advice is welcome!

  5. eshal fatima says:

    Great Job!
    Thanks for sharing this blog. Keep up the good work.

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