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12 Homeschooling Tips And Resources For Beginners And Working Parents

It can be a lot if you've never done it before — but you also have more leeway than you think.

Alexa Fishman / BuzzFeed

Whether your child's school is completely shut down due to COVID-19, or you don't want to risk physically sending them to school, you might be homeschooling for the first time. ✏️

Oli Scarff / Getty Images

Homeschooling can already feel like a huge endeavor, but doing it during a pandemic can present new obstacles.

At the same time, homeschooling rates have just doubled — and you're far from the only one trying to figure out what to do right now. If you're not sure where to start, here are some useful beginner tips, tricks, and advice on all things homeschooling.

1. First things first: Make sure you brush up on homeschooling laws in your state.

2. Join a local homeschooling group and form a community with parents in the same boat as you are.

3. Recognize the unique challenges (and surprising benefits) of online learning for your child.

4. Know that you won't be able to do it all, and be honest about your priorities.

5. Decide on a curriculum that suits your child's needs, but don't go overboard with finding the "perfect" one, either.

A dad homeschooling his young son.
Oli Scarff / Getty Images

On one hand, being able to choose between a curriculum that embraces creativity or focuses on STEM can be really exciting. On the other, the sheer amount of options can quickly become overwhelming, especially when you go into private school or higher-tuition learning.

If you're completely new to homeschooling, it can be good to start simple. K12, for example, offers free online public schools that follow traditional public school year. Or you can try Time4Learning, a subscription-based curriculum that's a little more flexible.

6. Use e-learning services to your advantage.

Khan Academy / Via docs.google.com

Thanks to technology, there are so many accessible and genuinely fun ways to help your child learn, whether through current events, music videos, specialized magazines, or language-learning apps.

If your child is in high school, there are also great free lectures and college-level courses available through sites like edX, Coursera, or Khan Academy. (Find the sample day above here.) And if you haven't already, set up an e-library account for access to free books.

Read more: 18 Free Educational Resources for Kids At Home During The Pandemic

7. That being said, don't go on a downloading-every-syllabus-and-resource frenzy.

8. Create a clean, designated space (or spaces) for learning.

9. Abandon the idea of a traditional school day, including the hours.

10. Along those lines, remember to work in screen-less breaks to reduce burnout.

11. Embrace what your child loves to do — and perhaps never gets as much of a chance to explore in school.

12. Accept that none of this will be how you expected, and that's ok.

What's something that's worked well for your family while homeschooling or distance learning? Share in the comments!

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