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Keeping it Basic at Home

I read this article that offers tips to parents and thought – as a veteran educator and once home-schooling parent –  I would also share some thoughts.


First, please do not be fearful that children being out of the formal classroom are going to somehow die on the vine. They will very quickly readjust when they finally get back in the classroom and come back ‘up to speed’ grade wise. 

Take this time to get to know your kids better. Interact with them and do things with them. Find some great games to play. We just found Chameleon and had a great evening of fun and learned a lot. 


Remember that they are not going to spend 6 hours a day working on school work. That six hours in the classroom calculates time for teacher duties, moving the class from one subject to another, lunch, recess, etc. A normal kindergartener will finish the exact same amount of ‘learning’ in one hour of one-on-one instruction with you as they did all day (and in some cases all week) in the classroom.


 If you work on phonics and word recognition for 10 minutes a day with your child, they will make progress. If they are a little older and are reading, have them read out loud to you for 10 minutes a day. You will be amazed by their progress. The same for math. 

For science, walk around your yard or block and discuss what you see. Take a picture with your phone and have them draw the specimen when you get home. The gift of observing the world around them and discussing what they find interesting and why will swiftly develop critical thinking skills, which are so desperately needed in this world. 


Relax and enjoy the adventure.


Mary Ann Shapiro is an educator of 40 years. She has worked in the classroom, homeschooled her own children through high school, and is now an administrator at Ocean Grove Charter School in California, an independent study charter school which serves over 2500 students. She worked at the US Department of Education during the Reagan Administration. 


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