During the quarantine, homeschooling my 4 year old while working from home and watching a 19 month old has its challenges. Although homeschooling got easier once we got our simple homeschool checklist put together and part of our routine.
Homeschooling Is Hard
With Covid-19 who knows how long we will be in quarantine and homeschooling our children. I am thankful my child attends a school that provides lots of resources, staff that check in regularly, and teachers that provide options to make this as easy as possible on us parents.
However, this doesn’t mean that homeschooling is easy and routine. There is a reason why millions of parents send their kids to school. Being a homeschool teacher on top of working, parenting, and running a household is hard and requires excellent time management. Juggling different hats and multiple kids in this scary, unknown time is unprecedented. We all have to do our best, take it day by day, and give each other grace during this time.
How the Simple Homeschool Checklist Works
Our simple homeschool checklist has 10 items on it. My son is able to follow and understand what he needs to do each day. Now that we follow the checklist routine, I don’t have to explain what to do each day. Once he is set up he can take the lead. With our checklist routine he throws less tantrums and tasks do not take as long. It has been much smoother than it first was while homeschooling.
The Goal of the Simple Homeschool Checklist
The goal each day is to complete all 10 checklist items. If/when he does complete everything we play a game of his choice or do a fun activity together.
In addition, young kids enjoy checking things off a list, drawing a smiley face in the box, or putting a sticker on a chart as a small reward when they complete things. So this is part of the point of the checklist as well.
Furthermore, they can gauge where they’re at in their day. If they have 10 items to complete and at 1pm they only have 3 things done, they can see they have a lot to do yet that day.
For behavior, we use the color system at home (as they do at his school). We use green (good day), yellow (ok – check yourself), and red (not good – poor choices were made). If he is on green for the day he gets a piece of candy. Then, if he is on green all 5 days in one week, he gets to pick out a big candy, or receives a bigger treat on Friday evening.
The simple homeschool checklist can work for older children too. It will keep them organized and on schedule for what they need to complete each day. Simply fill in their tasks accordingly and come up with age appropriate incentives.
Parts of the Simple Homeschool Checklist
Here is what my son’s simple homeschool checklist looks like:
Start the simple homeschool checklist by including your child’s typical morning . Doing the same things each morning helps a child get into routine and get started the for the day. For it is comfortable doing the same things each morning, which helps a child be prepared to learn new things.
For example, at my house my 4 year old’s morning routine includes the following:
- Using the restroom
- Getting dressed
- Brushing teeth
- Taking a vitamin
- Making his bed
- Combing his hair
- Eating breakfast
- Bathing 3 days a week
For more on what should be in a morning routine or how to improve your morning routine click here.
Next, organize your school day with what works best in your schedule with work and works best for the kids. At our house we try to do all or most of our checklist and school work in the morning. To help limit distractions in the morning we do not turn the tv on. The tv first gets turned on during rest time.
Each day we do a variety of activities. Academically we focus on reading and math. We also make sure to stay active and get some outside time in. Thank goodness this quarantine did not happen in January when it would be difficult to get outside with the cold and the snow.
With a 4 year old who is not seeing anyone, not going to school and whose normal routine has been turned upside down, I have a variety of things for him to do to avoid boredom. This is not on the checklist, but I try something new with him almost each day. This gives him a new experience and helps him from becoming mischievous. It could range from trying a new recipe in the kitchen to making up and playing a new game. Something that gives him a new spark and fresh taste each day. I can tell when he really likes an activity because he will ask to do it each day. For lots of fun new kid activities to do at home click here.
At my house I am taking this unusual quarantine opportunity and extra time together to teach my son different household chores and life lessons. He is still too young for most chores, but there is plenty he can learn. We are going over the following: how to clean and what needs to be cleaned, helping prepare for a meal and cleaning up after the meal, how to take care of our things, money lessons, and how to do different things around the house. These are important skills that kids need to learn.
Ready to make your homeschooling days easier? Set your child up for success by using a simple homeschool checklist. Completely fill out your own checklist or start with a pre-filled in template. Simply scroll to the bottom to access your checklists in my free resource library.
I by no means am a homeschooling expert. There is much information out there on homeschooling and resources if you are looking for something specific. All I know is to make homeschooling work for an extended period of time we needed to follow a simple homeschooling checklist and keep a daily routine.
Luckily we live in the day and age where online learning is typical and has some options. Many companies and providers that normally charge a fee are providing free services right now during the quarantine. Most internet providers are offering free internet service as well if you do not already have it. Click here for more free educational resources for kids stuck at home.
Final Thoughts on Simple Homeschool Checklist
To make life a little easier, give this simple homeschool checklist a try. Using a checklist makes their tasks visible. Then having your scholar check school tasks off gives them a sense of accomplishment and keeps track of what was completed.
Visit my free resource library to get your simple homeschool checklist. To gain access sign up below. Absolutely tweak an item or change the order on the checklist as you see fit for you and your homeschooler. Use the pre filled out checklist and add to it or start fresh with a blank sheet and make your own checklist. I hope this simple homeschool checklist can make the many hats you are wearing right now (including homeschool teacher) a little easier.