Following Jesus – Making Disciples – Changing the World

A Message from Amanda – Journey Kids Director

Hello Parents,

The start of the second week of this at-home schooling is upon us. How’s it going, so far?

I realize it’s an adjustment, and you may have questions about how to structure the day, or get teaching resources, or how to check your child’s understanding. Journey Church has some veteran educators willing to volunteer to answer your questions, field advice, and give suggestions for curriculum and scheduling. Our panel of educators is comprised of Lise, Brian, Melissa, Diane, and myselfWe’re here to help, especially in this time of social distancing, and at-home schooling. Send specific questions to kids@journeychurchtacoma.org and we’ll get back to you!

Now, let’s get the ball rolling to help you get and feel more prepared…

In this message you will find:

–A website with GOOD and FREE curriculum

–A suggested Daily Schedule

–Answers to questions some parents have right now

All in One Homeschool

This website is dedicated to helping families educate their kids with good, free curriculum! https://allinonehomeschool.com

Suggested Daily Schedule

7Sisters is an online homeschooling curriculum provider and support group. They publish blogs, and the above suggested daily schedule comes from their blog: ‘Schools Closed? How to Have Fun While Schooling Kids at Home’: https://7sistershomeschool.com/schools-closed-how-to-have-fun-while-schooling-kids-at-home/
Q & A
How should I structure the ‘school day’?
I realize that there are probably families with several children to suddenly guide in their education. I have always found it best to start the day like most families… maybe in a different order depending on what the family’s usual schedule is: Dress, breakfast, prayer, and school, lunch, recess, school, break, chores… keeping a similar schedule to what they are used to might be very helpful!
Is it okay to take breaks?
Don’t forget breaks, but keep them short–no longer than 10 minutes–with a longer break for ‘recess.’ If breaks are too long, it will be difficult to get the children back to work.
It doesn’t seem to take my child long to do their schoolwork… am I missing something?
Know that each subject won’t usually require 55 minutes as the class size has shrunk considerably. Your kid will be faster on their own than in a whole group of children.
How do I teach?
Make learning fun! You don’t have to complete worksheet after worksheet… use games, either online or if you have some in your home, to help teach. If you have multiple age children in the home, see if the older ones can teach a younger sibling what they themselves are struggling with. It is amazing how much children love to play the role of teacher to one another… and when they struggle learning something it can help to teach it to another kid!
What do I do if my child won’t work on their school work?
I suggest to begin with making school a challenge for the child. For example, as a parent, you can give your child(ren) 30 minutes to complete an assignment knowing it will only take them 15 minutes. You can say, “I am going to set a timer for 30 minutes, but if you can finish before then, you can use the rest of the time to go outside to play before starting your next assignment.” As parents, we know what motivates our children whether it is a challenge or a reward system. Just remember that this is a change for all of you and so it will take time to adjust. Be creative and patient, it will get easier as you go along.
How do I motivate my child to actually do their work?
Try allowing your children to participate in writing their school schedule. For instance, let your child(ren) choose the order they want to complete the subjects. Some children like to get their least favorite subject out of the way while others prefer to do their favorite first. Also, try giving your kids choices: ‘Would you like to focus on math or reading right now?’ Giving choices allows your child to buy in to what they’re doing, have a sense of autonomy and control, and gives them specific options to choose from (instead of open-ended possibilities).
When I leave the room to do laundry, or answer the phone, or just go to the bathroom, my children start talking and stop working. It wouldn’t be so bad, except they start arguing. What do I do?
You are a parent who is now a full-time educator to your children. When your children are doing their schooling, a parent needs to be present. If the parent leaves to make a phone call or even do laundry or cook, the children will probably stop their work. (Kind of like when the teacher leaves the room, the students can get rowdy.) Be present as much as possible! It will mean that you won’t get everything done you normally do while they are in school, but those things really can wait. Your presence will help get the work done more quickly and reduce frustration all around. I used to walk from my children and then be upset because they walked away. Being present with them will show them you value what they’re doing.
I’m just so frustrated
Be flexible and pray, pray, pray… time and time again God has shown me that when my children aren’t doing what I want I needed to change, and sometimes it was my fault that they were acting up–not always–but more than I really care to admit! Again, this is an adjustment for both parents and children so be willing to experiment and have fun, but set reasonable expectations and help the children to meet them.

I do hope these links, resources, and responses to some of your questions have been helpful. 

Hope to hear from you soon,
Amanda 🙂