Homeschooling Q & A…Part 1

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, life has changed drastically. This must be so hard for those of you who are at home “crisis schooling” right now. The homeschool community is here to help you in anyway we can during this time. Last week, my sisters told me their children’s’ schools have been canceled until September when the new school year will hopefully start again. I was devastated for my niece and nephews. On top of everything else, my sisters had lots of questions about homeschooling. I answered their questions and told them I would support them anyway I could as they navigate school at home. As a result, I decided to share all of these incredible homeschooling tips with you too. I hope it is helpful as you try to figure out your new normal with your kids being home all the time.

In case you don’t know, I’m Jen Newsham a homeschooling Mom of 5 girls!! I have been homeschooling now for almost 5 years. My oldest Olivia is in 2nd grade, Sophie is in 1st grade, Matilda is in PreK, and my twins Evelyn and Zoey are almost 2 years old. Long before I had children, God called me to homeschooling. Click here to read more about our Homeschool Testimony now.  I’m excited to connect with you!!

Finally, if you have additional homeschooling questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can. If I get a lot of questions, I will share them as well in a Question & Answer…Part 2.

Homeschooling Q & A…Part 1 

What time do you work on homeschool each day? 
We do Bible time and Reading with the twins, but then during nap time from 1-3pm, I do book work with the big girls. So Math, Language Arts, Science, and Handwriting. It’s too hard to try and help the big girls when the twins need my attention too. It’s what works best for us at the moment

How many hours a day, do you work on school? 
For the most part, I do school for roughly 3-4 hours per day, but it’s broken up into different periods of time. Bible time in the morning for 20 minutes. Book work from 1pm-3pm while the twins nap, such as math, language arts, science, and handwriting. Reading school books and the girls Read-Alouds from 7pm-8pm right before bedtime. Also, once or twice a week my sister-in-law teaches the girls Art for an hour or two. This is what works for us right now, while the twins are still so little.

Do you stager the kids work so you aren’t trying to help everyone at once? 
Olivia, Sophie, and Matilda work together on our group subjects like Bible, Read-Alouds, and Science. During nap time, we work on individual subjects and their “book work”. We do math first, because Olivia and Sophie can work independently while I help Matilda. Overall Matilda’s curriculum is the easiest, so I try to get her done first so then I can focus on helping the big girls with language arts. I have educational games and activities set aside as “school toys”, which Matilda can play with quietly when she’s done with school. Finally, Olivia and Sophie take turns waiting as I help them work through their spelling and everything else.

Do you do every subject everyday?  
No. On Monday through Friday, we work on Bible time, Language Arts, and Reading. Then we break everything else up, so Monday, Wednesday, Friday is Math. Tuesday and Thursday we work on Science and Handwriting. Once or twice a week, my sister in law teaches Art. Do you follow a lesson plan for Bible time or just read out of the Bible to them? I read the Bible or listen to it on my phone on the Bible App. Then we practice our memory verse and sing fun kids worship songs on my YouTube playlist. Then we pray. We keep it simple, because the twins are with us. Right now we’re reading through Matthew and do one chapter at a time and then talk about it together. I also created YouTube playlists with Kids Worship Songs, so we can sing our Bible verses and dance to Vacation Bible School songs. I’ve listed them below and you guys are welcome to use my playlists with all kinds of songs..Educational, VBS, and Disney Dance music.

**Jen’s YouTube Playlists** 

What do you do with your twin girls when the big girls are learning? 
It can be a struggle, because my twins want to do whatever the big girls are doing. As we work together, I let the twins use colored pencils to draw. I also have puzzles, Lincoln logs, and board books they play with during school time. The Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring Activity Pads are great too. Honestly, if the twins wake up early I have them watch Cocomelon on YouTube or another show which holds their attention for a little while until I can finish. I understand it’s not ideal, but sometimes necessary under certain circumstances.

Additional Resources 

A few weeks ago, I compiled a list of “Free Homeschooling Resources”, which I hope will help you as you teach your children at home. There are fun story times from Space, art tutorials, exercise, lego stuff, worship, and more. If you have other online resources which you’re using right now, please leave me a comment so other parents can use it as well.

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