Linda Thakur has been an active leader in the homeschooling community and teaching from home for over 10 years. She knows first-hand how it feels to be unequipped and unprepared. Like most teachers, she has a huge heart and a passion for helping others, which is why she offered to share her expertise with us. Let’s dive in!
1. The Golden rule of homeschooling is, do NOT try to replicate your child’s
You can’t do a lot of the things the teacher can do with a group of students; you
don’t have the same resources so please do not make things more difficult by
trying to turn your dining room into a mainstream school!
2. Explain the purpose and benefits of continuing their education at home.
Reminding them that completing the grade they are in now properly prepares
them for next year. Understanding the WHY will keep them motivated and engaged.
3. Establish a schedule.
It is important to add structure into your days. Klein ISD have sample schedules
online for each age group. Work these to suit you, they are a guide. For my
family, I have found that giving them an element of choice really helps. If they are
in the mood for Math, I’m not going to insist they complete their Language Arts
first. (Kleinisd.net also has daily work posted)
4. Set ground rules and expectations together.
Look at what everyone has to achieve, including you and set expectations and
rules that will set all of you up for success. You could even create a learning
agreement that you all sign!
5. Make the most of one on one time.
Take the time to set goals, give instructions and then leave them to complete
those tasks. Reminding them that you will be checking their progress later, and
give them a time when you will be checking. Even littles can have assignments
such as a puzzle, drawing a picture, or reading a book. Don’t underestimate the
power of sibling tutoring! Have your older children teach and guide the youngers,
they might just have some fun!
6. Don’t make the mistake of thinking if they don’t have a book open or a
pencil in their hands they can’t be learning.
Learning at home opens a new door to an amazing land of opportunities, chores,
life skills and creativity. Give them freedom to take breaks, remember what takes
90 minutes in a large classroom environment may only take 45 minutes at home.
Ask the children: have they been wanting to learn a new skill but haven’t had time?
What new skills could they be learning? I have one that wants to learn Sign
Language, another that has decided to train for a marathon. Though we should
prioritize core subjects there is a whole world of opportunities to explore beyond
What might non-traditional schooling look like?
• Online PE – The Body Coach (See Resources document)
• Sidewalk Chalk Art Classes
• Netflix – History show – “The Who Was? Show”
• PBS kids – Science shows like Wild Kratts and Octonauts
• Minecraft are offering educational packs free for a limited time. “Kids can visit
the International Space Station and do experiments, learn to code. Or explore
Mt. Olympus and Greek Myths in a multiplayer mode.”
• Take a virtual field trip with Discovery Education or San Diego Zoo.
• Lego mind storms.
• Family bake off.
The internet really can help, I do urge you to balance online/offline activities and
monitor what your children are looking at.
For those being sent assignments from school:
• Pay attention to deadlines and due dates.
• Set daily tasks, write them down and have your child check them off or keep a
journal, this puts them in control of their learning and also will help them in
• Oversee those tasks and check completion.
• How much time you spend with your child depends on their age/grade and
• Communicate with their teachers.
• Use online resources/family members/friends – you don’t have to be good at
algebra, you just need to know someone who is or know where to look online.
For those not receiving help or assignments from school:
The internet just became your best friend…as if it wasn’t already!
If your child’s school is not sending assignments, do not panic. Towards the end of
the school year many teachers spend time reviewing what they have done already
this year, in order to prepare for exams.
Math is an important subject to not fall behind on since each new topic builds on the
last. Check with your child where they got up to and then go to Khan Academy online
and look at their grade level. Khan Academy has every topic for every grade level and
you can use this to complete your child’s year. You can do the same for the other subjects too.
Remember, connect with others, don’t try to do this alone. Where you might hate math but love writing, your friend may be the opposite! Set up virtual meetings with each other’s kids! I hope these few tips have built your confidence and helped you to see that teaching your kids at home, or simply managing their education isn’t as scary as it first seems.
Finally, relax. Take time for yourself and breathe. You can do this!
Need more help? Get Linda’s free homeschooling curriculum and resources HERE.