Chaos schooling

You have, no doubt, been inundated with routines, schedules, and resources for educating your children at home during this heavy time. Most of those are geared toward fairly typical learners. If you are following me, chances are your learners are far from ordinary. We deal with need to adhere to schedules and major disregulation when upheaval occurs. We need something different from the run of the mill schedules plastered across the internet.

Your learner may also have adaptations in the classroom that are difficult to replicate at home. The adaptive software and hardware are expensive, and not necessarily easy to replicate. We simply cannot recreate the classroom experience kids are used to. Nor should we attempt to. Even as a long time homeschooler, I know the impossible task those who aren't homeschoolers have been tasked with.

Our kids need some predictability and routine. A simple daily schedule that basically lies out what will occur each hour or half hour is sufficient. Fill it in with your child and include things that give him or her energy and excitement. Include outdoor activities (near your home or away from others).

The goal in all this is not to mimic school while trapped at home. Really, for many, it is about surviving this. As I wrote yesterday, and "I CAN" attitude can be helpful during these times. You CAN facilitate learning for your child. Just remember that learning won't look like school. And it doesn't have to. Bake together. Learn a new hobby together. Play new games. Read. Join your child in their world and learn what they are interested in.

Some of our favorite sites and apps are www.khanacademy.com, www.prodigy.com, www.coursera.com, www.edx.com, www.dadworksheets.com, www.ereadingworksheets.com, www.tlsbooks.com, www.nasa.gov, www.starfall.com (also has an app), teach your monster to read app, khan academy kids app. Many are worksheet builders or printing sites. Several are interactive. I also love pinterest for ideas for craft and movement activities. I color code each person so they know who needs what attention. I also have a more general one that works long term. I laminated them and I can change the needs weekly or daily as needed. My son, Will, has his own too which he filled out with his own specifics. The others don't need that as much. We cancel school entirely when there is a lovely day we can enjoy being outside. If your child has profound learning needs, there is even more reason to balance school and life. These kids struggle when they have all their adaptive classroom needs met, and will struggle more without them. But they can thrive and learn many new life skills while home with parents or one on one caregivers. Continuing some academic learning in the midst of chaos is appropriate and needed to prevent slipping far behind or losing momentum. The same expectations held in school do not need to be met. 15 minutes of math with manipulatives--beans, rice, chocoloate pieces all work--is perfect. Reading aloud back and forth with each other and discussing what you've read along with associated feelings is beautiful. You can even choose books that discuss current or past events and voila! Social Studies. Take a magnifying glass in your yard, bathroom, kitchen and examine whatever you find. Make observations and write them down. Cooking is math and chemistry. These are just a few outside-the-box ideas to get in some learning while also relaxing and having fun with each other.

This is not the time to panic over progress. This is the time to relax and learn about each other and our world together. I am more than happy to answer questions and provide more ideas!

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