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Your Complete Guide to Homeschool

blog homeschool Sep 07, 2020

You can rock "COVID-School"!



Hey, you. It’s just me, another “influencer with life advice”--and on one of the most important areas of mothering, no less: schooling your kids. In order to help and support you in even the smallest way, this is part of a whole series, the COVID School Guide.


In all seriousness, it feels like we are all embarking on a crazy adventure to the Twilight Zone. I know that many of us are distance learning, hybrid learning, and homeschooling for the first time. Some are doing a combination for individual kids, or just due to our first choice not working out that well.


Regardless of which way you are choosing to educate your kids this fall, I first want to tell you:




You know your kids. You know yourself.


In regards to what you're doing and why, empower yourself to remember that you are doing the best you can and selecting from less-than-optimal choices about schooling right now, and it’s OK.


The way I see it, all kids are going to be “behind” this year; but that doesn’t mean they can’t still learn how to learn AND connect with you as their parents. That applies to whatever schooling choices you’ve made this year.


The Packer household has chosen to homeschool for this school year for various reasons. For more on that, refer to this post.


Whether or not your kids are in school full-to-part time or home full time, they are alllll likely going to be doing some schooling at home this year (including distance learning.) 


Who am I to talk?


As a former teacher and mama who has dabbled in home education from day one, I thought I’d give you my widow’s mite in schooling from home with some resources for learning that you can use to teach or supplement teaching with your kids + ways to keep your littlest ones occupied and learning to learn, too.


I know that I’m just a regular mom like you who is unexpectedly schooling my kids in ways I hadn’t planned. However, I also know that I might have a different set of skills that many don’t, thanks to being a professionally trained educator and having a weird fascination with helping little ones learn to love learning at home.


How am I going to make this homeschool thing work?


From instilling a passion of reading, encouraging curiosity and independent play, having lots of time outdoors and little screen time (because in our house, screen time led to “scream time”), plenty of arts and crafts, to doing my own “Mommy School” for each kid and adopting aspects of Montessori learning that we love. I’ve long dabbled in home education and feel it’s something to prioritize, regardless of if your children are in “real” school or not.


Am I a professional “homeschooler?” Nope. Do I think I know it all? Not even close.


But, I’d love to share my COVID-School resources with you, culminating from our years of being a learning-focused family. As well as methods and tools I’ve used for years with my kids, and what we’re using now.


I only have two goals.


Before I share my long lists of resources, tools, and tricks, let me tell you what we’ve done to slowly assimilate into homeschooling this fall.


First, these are my only two goals for homeschooling this year (yes, just two:):


  1. Connect, connect, connect with my children 
  2. Help them learn how to learn


Notice I didn’t say, “Hit all their grade-level standards,” or “Do all their assignments every day.”


As I said earlier, all kids will be behind. And all kids will be struggling emotionally and mentally.


While I value my kids’ education SO very much, their well-being comes before that. 


Especially right now.


This is why I am focusing on daily “baselines” with my kids, instead of perfectly exacting all sorts of curriculum and detailed, minute-by-minute routines.  For more on those baselines and how it looked for us to slowly assimilate into regular homeschooling, check out this post.


Where to get started for yourself.


If you are feeling the internal whiplash of what is right for your kids and all the “HOW’s” out there, here is where I’d encourage you to start:


What are your family values?


What do your kids need?


What do you need?


Take some time to answer those, and then you can be better guided in what really matters and the “how” that will work best for you and your family.


When I took some time to answer those for myself, that’s why I knew last Spring that we’d be homeschooling this year. (Again, more on that here). I haven’t had to waste as much time or mental energy deliberating; nor pouring over the endless resources on the internet. Because I know what comes first for us, what the kids need, and what I need.


And just to be super real, a little PS: I’ll likely need to hire a sitter for some weekday afternoons. This is to balance everything else, to get my own work done, or just lay on my bed and read.


Ok, mama--again, regardless of which way your kids are doing COVID-School this year, below are all my resources. 


They include things we’ve had and used for years, including some at-home curriculum, lots of hands-on playing items, and more. AND they include new things we are trying out this year. Peruse and figure out what you want and need, whether it’s to homeschool or supplement their distance-learning days.


And remember, it’s allllll about progress--not perfection.






Check out the other posts in the COVID School Series:
Our Homeschooling Baselines and RoutinesWhy We Are Homeschooling This Year


Click the images for complete lists of resources!



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