Are you facing a homeschool necessity in the short term? Maybe the schools have closed for the remainder of the year, but your kids still need to be educated. Here is a simple plan that you can use to homeschool for a few months.
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First, let’s get some mindset issues out of the way. You can’t teach everything, cover every topic, or even be an expert at it all! But that’s okay. Use this time to hit the foundations of each grade level, and then also allow plenty of time for play in the younger years and pursuing hobbies in the older years.
Here’s a simple short term homeschool plan for each grade level.
In these early years, the foundational building blocks that do need to be focused on are phonics and math. But don’t worry! You can do this as a literate adult who graduated from high school. You really can homeschool your young kids and even finish teaching them how to read!
Phonics is simply learning the phonemes (single letters and letter pairs) that make the sounds that are in the English language. So, depending on the age and stage of your child, you need to:
- make sure they know all their letters and sounds
- talk about long and short vowels
- start introducing blends at the beginning of the word (“spot”)
- start introducing blends at the end of the word (“milk”)
- talk about silent E words (“bake”) where the E makes the vowel say its name
- talk about vowel teams (“wait”) – “when 2 vowels go walking, the first one does the talking”
After teaching my five kids how to read, here are my favorite resources for teaching these concepts:
- Leap Frog DVDs – Letter Factory & Talking Words Factory & Word Caper
- Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading
- Memoria Press First Start Reading Curriculum & Classical Phonics
In K-2, math can easily be taught and practiced using manipulatives around the house! Manipulatives are simply items that can be counted, grouped together, and used in a hands-on way to experience the math concepts.
Manipulatives can be:
- lego pieces
- dry beans
- cereal pieces
- game pieces
Once you know which concepts your child would have been learning in school, it’s easy to naturally teach it to them.
Are they learning simple addition? Then use manipulatives as well as written equations to learn their math facts.
Are they learning about groups of ten? Print out a ten frame and make groups of 10 pennies. Turn them in for one dime.
Many kids in grades K-2 are learning to count money, which you can do by setting up a store in your home! Use real money to practice with – and wash your hands really well when you’re done 🙂
Kids in the early years are also learning simple concepts that you can easily do without a workbook or curriculum. Things like:
- measuring in inches and centimeters
- reading a clock (minute, hour, half past, quarter past, etc)
- counting money
- measuring by cups, quarts, gallons
- measuring temperature by F or C
- making patterns (blue block, blue block, red block)
If you want to know in more detail what math you need to cover for your K-2 child, then simply google “scope and sequence math first grade” and you will likely find several documents online that you could print out and use as a guide for your math topics.
We use cute Iwako Erasers as math manipulatives, and you can see how we use them and also print out free math mats for you K-2 kids.
What about science, history, art, and music?
For a short-term homeschool situation, just cover these topics in a very informal way. Kids naturally are curious, so let their curiosity guide your hands-on studies.
Can you take a walk in the woods? Then use this nature walk to look at the bugs, draw the leaf shapes, talk about the season, and learn about trees. Look up in a book or online the things that capture your kids attention. Have them draw a picture and write a few words about what they learn.
The main emphasis, again, in the next several grade levels is also on language arts and math.
Figure out the math concepts that your child would be learning in school (by googling “scope and sequence math grade five,” for example) and then work through the concepts little by little.
Are they rough with their math facts? Then take this time to review. Do they need to learn how to be more fluent in telling time? Counting money? Then work on that.
Language arts is a broad name for the content areas of reading, literature, spelling, grammar, and writing. You won’t be able to cover it all, so go ahead and pick one emphasis.
For a short-term homeschool situation, you can’t go wrong with reading. And then more reading! Even read-alouds are excellent vocabulary and comprehension builders.
Do you have some classic books in your home? If not, you can usually find audio books of classic public domain books on YouTube.
Here are some suggestions:
- Little House on the Prairie
- Charlotte’s Web
- The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
- Make Way for Ducklings
- Little Bear
What about science, history, art, and music?
Just like in K-2, you can naturally learn about new topics in these content areas as well if you want to. What if you don’t? Your kids will be just fine!
Start a learning notebook and have your kids draw a picture and write a few sentences about each new science or history topic they learn about during your short-term homeschool adventure.
Here are some ideas:
- Explore using Google Earth
- Go outside and learn about nature!
- Watch history shows
- Find fun science YouTube channels
- Create super fun art projects
- Take online music lessons
- Learn about the world with mini geography lessons
Middle School 6-8
For middle school, list out the subjects you want to focus on. I would definitely once again suggest math and English as the main ones, but you can also add in your social studies or history studies along with science, and even art, music, and foreign language.
What concepts are you missing right now? Look up a “scope and sequence for math” for your grade level, and you will find a list of topics to cover. We have found Khan Academy to be the best free video lessons for math. If you go to his site, you will find everything you could possibly need to keep progressing in math!
For English, you definitely won’t regret spending time in a classic book or two or three! Check this website for book suggestions for each grade level, along with genre, and reading level.
If you need some help with grammar and reviewing parts of speech, then check out the courses on Khan Academy for this – they also have courses in the sciences and arts & humanities.
High School 9-12
You don’t have to fall behind in high school if schools are closed for a season! Once again, you will probably find everything you need online at Khan Academy, but here are a few of other other favorite high school resources:
- Crash Course World History videos
- Khan Academy – FREE online courses for math, science, arts & humanities, economics, computer programming, SAT test prep, and more!
- Classical Reader for book suggestions at each grade level, reading level, and genre
- Ultimate YouTube Playlist for World Geography
- Ultimate YouTube Playlist for Physical Science
- Online entrepreneurial courses for teens: Selling on Etsy, starting an eBay business, or launching a podcast!