Homeschool parents share the best ways to turn your home into a classroom

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MADISON, Wis.– Many parents statewide are understandably overwhelmed right now, serving as both full-time parents and teachers, and some even holding full-time jobs, too.

While no one expects you to become an expert educator overnight, News 3 Now talked to some parents who’ve been homeschooling their kids for several years. Here are their three main pieces of advice:

  1. Set realistic goals of what can be accomplished in one day. Throw out the idea students can learn for eight hours a day from home. Instead, try to limit instruction to one hour of work per subject per day for older students and 20-30 minutes for grade school kids.
  2.  Create a routine and try to stick to it… with some flexibility. For example, wake your kids up at the same time every day, but it doesn’t have to be at 7 a.m. If it works best for your family, let your children sleep a little bit, then do school work, take some breaks, and maybe have an hour of instruction after dinner.
  3.  Take frequent breaks and encourage your kids to get outside. One easy way to do this is by setting your timer, so your children know how long they need to work and how long of a break they will have.

Parents will get some help teaching their kids in the weeks ahead as schools make the transition into virtual learning. Transition is the key word, as this is new for all of us.

Right now, Wisconsin teachers are getting a crash course in virtual learning. The Madison Metropolitan School District is making that transition this week, and it’ll be an adjustment for students and parents, too. MMSD put it best: “None of us signed up for this, but we are going to get through it together.”

Once virtual learning begins, area teachers will be reaching out to their students and families by email and phone. MMSD said that given these unusual circumstances, it’s temporarily allowing staff to reach out to families on their personal cell phones, so if you receive a call from a number you don’t recognize, it might be a teacher calling.