Tips for temporary homeschooling amid the Coronavirus quarantine

Temporary Homeschooling Coronavirus Self Isolation

We’re not quite there yet, but if Australia follows in the footsteps of some European countries which have introduced a fortnight of Coronavirus quarantine, we will all be asked to stay home with our kids to slow down the spread of Covid-19 and in that event, homeschooling might be something you will need to incorporate in your days even if you’re not normally a homeschooling parent!

While it can be a difficult situation on many levels, as a homeschooling mum I want to take this one stress away from you in this current situation of uncertainty.

Homeschooling isn’t hard, I promise you that you can truly make the couple of weeks at home a great bonding experience with your kids.

If it comes to that, instead of stressing about it – count your blessings! It truly is a gift to spend that quality time with your kids! 

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Things to remember about homeschooling:

Homeschooling is not as scary as it seems!

Homeschooling is not as scary as you may think. As homeschoolers, we teach our children one-on-one and hence we don’t have to follow a strict six hour school day with a rigid 9am-3pm timetable. You can get the book work done in just a couple of hours!

Though it is good to follow some sort of a routine for the sake of your sanity, try to make it more fun and free-spirited! Don’t underestimate how much your kids can learn from activities such as baking, playing board games, treasure hunts, etc! 

Have fun with your kids, enjoy the fact you have them home and change your mindset to gratitude – it is actually a blessing that you can spend quality time with your kids right now!!

Technology can be a great aid!

You don’t have to be a teacher to teach your kids! All you need is love, commitment and perseverance. And a bit of technology can help too, in making it more entertaining and fun! 

Remember not to let technology take over or you will no doubt be dealing with attitude and tantrums, but if used well, technology can be a huge help in homeschooling.

Handwriting Homeschooling Tips Coronavirus Quarantine

Homeschooling while stuck at home for two weeks

Start here:

  • Follow the book work the teachers ask you to follow. Set a time slot in your day to sit at the dining table and do the book work.
  • Use the online programs provided by your school. Again, set a time slot for that, followed by a good break of physical activity such as bouncing on the trampoline or a skipping rope competition.

Homeschooling ideas involving technology:

  • Watch documentaries
    They are a great way to show the kids a wider view of the world. Pick an age appropriate one, for example, younger kids will love the “72 cutest animals” series, while older kids may enjoy “The story of God series” (our kids are watching it right now!) – both these are on Netflix. YouTube is full of goodness as well, eg: “Operation Ouch!”. Just don’t forget to discuss the documentary with the kids afterwards to answer any questions they may have and cement the learnings!
  • Take a virtual tour of some of the worlds’ amazing museums, art galleried and landmarks!
    Yes, there is Netflix and documentaries, but when all that gets old, over at the Google Arts and Culture website you can take a virtual tour of the Indonesian temples, visit the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York or the Van Gough Museum in the Netherlands! These are just three examples, there are many other amazing places you can tour from the comfort of your home! How cool is that?
  • Computer programming
    Scratch is a free block-based visual programming language that is designed for kids to learn how to program. I love that it allows the kids to create cool video games while introducing them to the world of computer programming.
Homeschooling Boardgames

Some of my favourite non-electronic ideas:

  • Involve the kids in cooking and baking – apart from teaching them a great life skill, they will be learning maths and science while at it! Make sure you discuss the measurements as you’re weighing in the ingredients and talk about the changes occurring as ingredients are mixed together or heated up!
  • Do arts and crafts – cutting, pasting, drawing, painting, play dough, plasticine or homemade salt dough that you bake afterwards! Or if you have the tools and skills, you could teach them to knit, crochet, sew, etc.
  • Play board games – it is incredible how people underestimate board games! They can be so much fun and very educational, even ones that aren’t sold as educational board games! Take simple monopoly, which just about anyone has in their home! The kids learn incredible maths skills as well as life skills – it’s a game of luck, providing opportunity to teach the kids conflict resolution and how to lose with grace. Couldn’t we all use a little bit of that in our lives? ;)
  • Do puzzles – puzzles can be a great family activity teaching patience and practicing an eye for detail as well as gross motor skills!
  • Build Lego – Lego is such an amazing creative toy! It helps the kids develop a multitude of skills including spacial awareness, creative thinking and imagination! It provides hours of fun and can be anything your kids want it to be! Also, if you discuss a plan and document the build, you are looking at a great technology lesson. What’s not to love!

Other ideas for all:

  • Puzzle books and crosswords
  • Sudoku books
  • Colouring in books
  • Looking through old photos together
  • Reading
  • Writing e-mails to family and friends or Skyping them
  • Listening to music
  • Dancing
  • Learning new skills, eg: calligraphy, drawing, photography, sewing, crocheting, propagating plants (pick one that you have the materials for at home – YouTube is full of tutorials!)
  • Having a tea party or a picnic as a family (without leaving the house!)
  • Having a movie night and a sleepover in the living room
Homeschooling books stuck at home

Example of a homeschooling timetable

While you don’t have to stick to a specific schedule or timetable when homeschooling, it is a good idea to have some sort of a routine so that everyone knows what is expected of them and you don’t lose your mind! Here’s just an example:

  • Wake up: Breakfast, shower/get dressed
  • Family morning clean up: Clean up after breakfast, wipe surfaces, make beds, sweep floors, do laundry
  • Morning routine: Stretches, meditation, gratitude/affirmations
  • School: Book work at the dining table followed by a break
  • School: Online school program (eg: MathsOnline, StudyLadder, etc) followed by a good physical activity break in the backyard
  • Lunch: Prepare, eat, clean up
  • Non-electronic fun: Board games, Lego, puzzles, craft, etc.
  • Free time: Movies, TV shows, documentaries, virtual tours, learning a new skill, outdoor play in the backyard, imaginative play inside, etc!
  • Dinner
  • Family evening clean up: Clean up after dinner, tidy up, wipe surfaces, sweep/mop if needed, laundry
  • Showers/bed/reading

I hope this post gives you a little peace of mind regarding homeschooling in case you are stuck at home by the Coronavirus quarantine.

Homeschooling really doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be rigid, and most importantly: it doesn’t have to be perfect! The kids will learn lots from many different activities, even if they’re not officially ‘school’ activities!

So give yourself grace, give your kids lots of love, and extra time off if they need it and enjoy this time together as a family! Talk about what they’re going through, get to know each other better.

Laugh, joke, play!



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