SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Have you been considering homeschooling your kids? You’re not alone. Over the course of the pandemic, the number of students who are homeschooled in Georgia has more than doubled.
Now, many are wondering if they, too, can teach their kids from home.
Leza Chandler, from the radio show “The Happy Homeschooler,” has some advice for every situation parents might be considering, be that homeschooling or virtual schooling.
Chandler has been an educator for over 15 years and has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. She has been homeschooling for seven years and is a mom of three. She said that choosing to homeschool was daunting at first but, ultimately, freeing.
“A lot of these parents are coming in saying things like: ‘I don’t know what to do. I’m just worried I’m gonna ruin my kid,’” Chandler said, adding that these kinds of statements made her feel sad.
“How will you ruin them? You’re their parents,” Chandler explained.
As far as virtual schooling, she had several ideas for how to make the experience easier for the parents as well as the students.
“Put some type of plain backdrop behind you so that your home remains your home, and your child’s virtual classroom remains their virtual classroom,” Chandler said.
Another tip she had was asking if you can screen record your child’s classes. If you run into homework problems that you’re struggling to teach them how to solve, you can review the class to learn it yourself.
She also suggested making a table tent that can be used to tell your child’s teacher that they are leaving the room for a restroom break. That way, they can do so without having to ask, but while still allowing the teacher to know that they have a reason for being away.
Chandler recommended that you log in early in order to ensure that your technology is working. In the case that it is not working, you will have extra time with which you can contact your child’s teacher.
In terms of actual homeschooling, Chandler said that you should start with what you think your child needs.
“Decide what you want to accomplish and what you need, right?” she said. “Then, you pick the curriculum to actually fit your needs.”
She recommended using the website Homeschool Roadmap which can be found through the link here. They offer resources for free where parents can learn about different curriculums. They also offer a paid option that allows you to answer questions about what type of curriculum you’re looking for.
After answering the questions, they will suggest a curriculum that matches your values and educational goals. This may mean offering religion-based education, afro-centric history education or many other curriculums with specific focuses.
Another thing to remember, according to Chandler, is that you should not feel bound to a curriculum.
“It’s how you teach your kids, you know, and a lot of people are confusing it for what you teach your kids,” she said.
Finally, ease yourself into homeschooling. She said it’s important to remember that you aren’t bound to the same schedule that your kids followed when they were in regular school.
If you need to spend extra time to learn a subject, you can focus on that for a longer period of time. If your child is picking something up easily, you don’t have to spend as long on it as you would have if your kid was in regular school waiting for classmates to catch up.