This school year seemed to be starting as normal as one in a pandemic could. Many had high hopes for a new beginning. For families who start in August, by the fourth week in August, many had just found their groove. For families who start after Labor Day, the books were ordered and schedules planned, but they were derailed. There has been nothing normal regarding this school year!
While you may not have been teaching academics the past few months, your children are learning many important lessons. You have been teaching life skills, self care, community
development, how to help others, home economics, finances, integrity, civics, filing insurance claims, and so much more. Depending on the ages of your children, you can have great conversations exploring the events of the past few months. You can turn what you or neighbors have been dealing with into unit studies in almost any subject.
Your children can write an essay about their experiences, those of families in different parishes, socioeconomic levels, or educational institutions. As a homeschooler, you have the ability and authority to incorporate life events into your curriculum as you see fit. Writing an essay is an important skill, and your child could easily write a narrative, comparison, informative, or demonstrative essay or even a research paper on recent events.
Math lessons can also be experience-based. Involve your children in calculating the perimeter of the yard to replace a fence, purchasing building supplies and equipment, or creating a budget based on insurance settlements. There is SO MUCH math you can teach based on current events, and your children won’t ask “When are we ever going to USE this?” because they ARE using it.
Practically speaking, if you are just starting, how does that look? You have options. Decide if you would like to limit the number of subjects taught this semester; focusing on reading, writing, and math is one route. Another is to divide up the lessons by the number of days remaining in your school year to determine how much progress you need to make a day.
Some families may extend their school year by a month, yet others may opt to add an extra day per week to their school year. There is no one or right way to attain your academic goals for the year. Consider your family schedule and dynamics, and your capacity.