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Episode 42: How to Make Schooling Your Kids at Home Easier

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With this crazy COVID-19 stuff going on, have you suddenly found yourself filling the role of teacher, principal AND janitor of your child’s new at-home school?  How’s that going so far?

In this episode, I sat down with MY MOM, who schooled me and my two brothers AT HOME for more than a decade. Before the days of Google, iPads, and online learning programs, my mom figured out how to manage the crazy dynamic of having kids at home all day and instill a love of learning in all of us.

If your child is out of school and they have to do schoolwork to turn in – go with what’s expected by the school but enhance it by creating an atmosphere of love of learning at your house.

Understanding how a child or anyone learns and watching that process can be a happy experience for everyone.  

Four General types of Learning Strengths

  • Visual strength:  They like to see charts, diagrams, flowcharts.  These things make concepts in their mind become real.  Reading, art, learning things by seeing them. Some favorite things they like to use are colored post it notes, flashcards, colored markers and pencils 
  • Auditory strength:  Do you have a talker in your house? They like to talk out loud about concepts they’re thinking about as they work through ideas.  They aren’t thinking first and then speaking the conclusion, they’re thinking about something and talking to help them figure it out. Some things they like are having someone listen and discuss.  They also like someone reading aloud, audio books, singing aloud the musical alphabet and multiplication tables
  • Read and Write strength: Many children who do well in school have this strength.  They like reading anything - books, articles, reading online, making notes about what they find.  This is the kind of learner traditional classrooms rely on. If you went to a regular school, you know what this is…maybe you struggled with it, but you know what it is.
  • Kinesthetic strength:  All young children learn kinesthetically.  But as they get older, many of the other strengths surface.  Kinesthetic learners like real world examples, they like when someone shows them “how-to” do something.  They use their bodies and learn by doing, seeing, tasting and touching things. Things like dressing up as historical characters, building things, watching ants in the sand, sports, hands on experiences.

Knowing how you learn is a big help. No one only has one kind of strength. Understanding the four kinds of strengths helps with learning. It helps the child be successful and you be less frustrated.

The basic skills to learn and succeed with are reading, writing and math!

If your child is out of school and they have to do schoolwork to turn in – go with what’s expected but enhance the learning by using some of these ideas or making up your own ideas.

For early childhood ages: unload the dishwasher and sorting silverware, counting, sing the ABC song while washing hands, pull out the chalk and markers to teach colors, how two colors put together make a new color. Counting songs for math - counting to a hundred, multiplication tables.  Starting a story and each person adds the next sentence making up the story as you go along.

READ, read, read out loud.  Are there various ages of children? Read a good book at the level of the oldest child. Give everyone quiet toys to play with while reading (blocks, coloring, drawing). Goodreads for children can help you choose good books to read together.

Ideas for things to do at home:

  • Watch bugs, ants or other creepy crawly things – where do they go, what are they doing?
  • Dressing up as characters in a book and retelling a chapter 
  • Acting out a fairy tale or folk tale
  • Easy science experiments
  • How do things work – do you have old small appliances or things to take apart?
  • Listen to your child when he/she talks about or finds something interesting 

Remember, this is a special time we’ve been granted to be with our children. Find joy in this stay at- home event.

You’ll be making memories forever!

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Thank you for all you do for your family and community.  You make all the difference to so many people. Keep it up and know we’re all in this together and we WILL BE successful!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Goodreads for Popular Children’s Books  


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