COVID-19 Frontline

Tips from a Veteran Homeschool Educator on Virtual Learning

Lauree IedemaSchool is back in session and many of us are starting the year with virtual learning. As a parent, you’ve been called on to facilitate your child’s education in a distinctive manner. You may feel a bit uneasy and unsure about taking on this task. Beyond the Waiting Room connected with homeschool veteran, Lauree Iedema from Celina, Texas, to share some of her tried and true beliefs that will help you on this virtual education journey with your child.

Lauree, who has homeschooled for 10 years, has children at the middle and high school levels. She prepared herself for homeschooling by observing how they learned. She faces each day with prayer and allows her faith to guide her as her children’s teacher. Lauree has built up a treasure chest of tips to ensure her children have the best learning experience under her guidance. Her wisdom as a homeschool teacher and advocate can help us navigate virtual learning.

Stay Anchored

As a Christian with a strong belief in God, Lauree’s faith and prayer is her anchor at the start of each day. She offers this conduit of calm and peace to her children to give them an unwavering foundation.

Connect and know your kids in a unique way.

When our children have been in the formal classroom at school for years, we may not fully understand“how” they learn. The virtual classroom at home allows you to understand your children and learn how they think and process information. Lauree has benefited from years of home observations and have seen her children’s learning styles change and progress. She believes parents should take full advantage of this opportunity we have been blessed with.

Harness Additional Insight

While you’re settled in at home, take the time for additional assessments. Lauree has a number of resources. She recommends the HSLDA Online Academy, an essential support to parents who are teaching their children at home. Its “Teaching My Kids” section offers a number of tools, assessments and guides.

Operate with a Schedule

“Create a good schedule that produces good habits for your kids. Pick a day once a week or month where kids learn outside of the homesuch as a park. Be creative to learn in a different way.  Give them an opportunity to learn in a different place. A change of scenery is very good.”

Offer Flexibility for Everyone

Lauree believes you have to be flexible like Gumpy. This is especially true if you have more than one child. Someone may get sick, causing you to pivot from your schedule. There are days when you get so much done and other days when you feel like you have regressed five days. But, it’s okay if things get a little messy. Make learning fun for younger children and strive for good work ethics with the older children that teach them to enjoy life and learning.

Learn how to “extend grace to your kids and to yourself as everyone is trying to figure this out! Don’t compare your kids or day to anyone else’s. You are juggling being a teacher, work, parent, In 10 years, I have not seen any family do it all the same. What works for one family will not work for another family.”

About Lauree Iedema

Lauree Iedema, who has homeschooled her two children for the past 10 years, is part of a homeschool co-op, McKinney Area Christian Homeschoolers (MArCH). She is the PE department head for the co-op and develops the curriculum for self-defense. Run by parents, MArCH has been around for 20 years. The co-op meets each Friday for activities like drama, art, history, social studies and science with labs. For more information, visit marchgroup.org.

 

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