Tips for the “Teacher Mom”

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I believe there are some days when your boss’s needs related to your “working from home” simply don’t marry up with the school’s expectations related to your children’s “homeschooling”!

And now that we’ve learned this push/pull will continue for a somewhat unknown period of time, we thought we would do some research and share ideas floating around out in the community that you might find helpful.

Of course, the internet is packed with ideas from homeschooling organizations. We’ve done the time consuming part — finding some good sites. A few of their ideas are below, along with their links. We will start with ideas for your younger kids:

www.funbrain.com is a great website for children up through about the 8th grade. There are sections for math, reading, educational videos and games. The nice part is that once you’ve got them going with it, you can go back to work for a while!

For children that are a bit older and have pretty good fine motor skills, try out making recycled paper beads! Then the children can string them and make jewelry to share with each other, or a lucky parent or grandparent! Gather a page from an old magazine, junk mail or even a piece of old wrapping paper. Choose great colors and glossy finishes. This requires a little parental assistance and place to work that glue and fingernail polish won’t affect! For the rest of the directions, and great instructional photographs, go to www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-RECYCLED-PAPER-BEAD-Bracelet/

For your teenagers, all of this can be a bit more difficult. Just getting them off their phones is a highstakes challenge. Because our school systems no longer require home economics or shop classes for all students, today most students don’t learn how to cook, sew, weld, and build things. Part of math class was budgeting and learning to write checks while balancing the register. Those classes don’t exist anymore, and most children are graduating from school and moving away with no understanding of basic life skills.

Does your child know any basic first aid, how to budget money, do laundry and ironing, or how to cook? There are so many life skills that our children are no longer taught in school. This is the PERFECT time for you to help them understand a checking account, how to write a check and balance the register. How to sew a straight seam to fix a tear. How to change a tire or change the oil in your car. Using a fire extinguisher. What to do if the pipe under the sink suddenly begins to leak (how many kids know where the main turnoff valve is?). If they emerge from quarantine with this knowledge under their belt, it could change their lives.

Another option for rising seniors: take them on a virtual CampusTour of colleges and universities your high school student might be considering. Tour the schools’ grounds, look at maps, view videos and photos, and request information about those institutions of higher learning. If you don’t have Internet access at home, take your tour at the local library. www.Campustours.com

www.classbento.com has a great list specifically geared to your teenagers. The ideas range from crafting (which not all kids are into!) to online watercolor and oil painting courses. This website charges for kits, just FYI.

listen.radio.garden shows the globe dotted with more than 8500 live radio stations. All your teen has to do is click on one of them to listen to live radio from cities around the entire globe.

Having kids at home is TOUGH. Having kids at home while they’re also not in school for what will ultimately be six months straight can be exhausting. We know that it’s easy to just throw them in the gameroom with an Xbox and let them leave you alone, but with just a little bit of engagement and work, you can help your kids continue to learn, stay curious, and be even better prepared for school in the fall!

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