Coronavirus Lockdown: Tips for Future Homeschooling

With the World Health Organization now labeling the coronavirus (Covid-19) a pandemic, many nations are calling for strict measures to contain the spread of the disease. In the Philippines, this includes the shutting down of schools, including in our city, Iloilo City—thankfully it’s already the last few weeks of the fourth quarter. But still.

What does this mean? This means that those of us who used to have our kids in school 8-10 hours a day now have them with us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—especially since we don’t even have the luxury of going to the mall for entertainment!

family walking on path
Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on

For us homeschoolers, it’s not really anything new to have extended time with our kids—but that doesn’t mean we always know what to do with our kids underfoot all the time! Here are some suggestions of things that have helped me and our family:

  • Start the day by finding something to appreciate about each of our kids.

I used to struggle with waking up to my 7-year-old already needing so much from me. That always started my day off on the wrong foot. I prefer to have some quiet moment to myself before I meet anyone else, including my kids, but I felt trapped because if I leave my room, my 1-year-old baby would wake up. My solution was to stay in bed for a few minutes after waking up, and start to think of things to appreciate and pray for my hubby and my sons. It’s worked wonders because I started seeing them all in a new light!

  • Practice speaking words of life.

I tend to be critical, especially when the house is a mess πŸ˜€ I’ve noticed (and research supports this!) that the words we speak affect the atmosphere in our home. So when I let myself release words of complaint, the atmosphere turns negative; but when I try to think of something positive to say, the atmosphere also lightens up! It takes some effort, but I want to be conscious to stop negative words from coming out of my mouth and choosing something to appreciate instead. My hubby has this habit of asking us at the start of every meal what we like about the day, and it’s done wonders!

  • Take time to go outdoors

Research shows that being out in nature boosts our immune system by about 30% (if I remember correctly). So because we don’t really want to meet too many people during this time, perhaps we can think of outdoors as just outside our house or in places where there isn’t much of a crowd. My family loves walking on Esplanade Iloilo, and we also encourage our kids to play outside the house most of the time.

  • Don’t feel pressured about academics; play board games!

No one knows how long the lockdown will be. But in the event that you will need to homeschool your kids, I would like to propose this: don’t pressure yourself about academics, but take the time, first of all, to build or strengthen a heart connection with your kids. We can do this by spending focused time talking with them or playing games with them.

Do you know that board games are great tools for learning language and math? Monopoly, UNO, Scrabble are some of the most common ones.

text on shelf
Photo by Pixabay on
  • Start to read stories together

Perhaps this lockdown is reminding us of things that we all used to do in generations past. The Charlotte Mason philosophy I advocate encourages a lot of stories, but it’s applicable for any child—all children’s minds come alive by listening to excellently-written literature! Some good picture book authors include Shirley Hughes (Alfie), Virginia Lee Burton (Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, Katy, Little House), Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit), A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh).

Older kids also enjoy being read to, or you can alternate reading aloud. Books my sons have enjoyed include:

    • The Box Car Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
    • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    • Velveteen Rabbit by Marjery Williams
    • Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
    • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
    • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

Hoping these tips can help you jump-start a journey into enjoying learning together with your children, to prepare you just in case you would need to homeschool in the future! πŸ™‚





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