This week I’ve received a bunch of emails from people that know I did homeschooling for 4-years with my oldest and are wondering what they can do now that kids are home. I don’t profess to be an expert, but I guess I’m the one that some of you know that has done homeschool.
Well, if you’re curious, here is what I’ve been saying.
### The Youngest Kids
For those under 6 or 7, don’t sweat it. I’ve got a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old and we’re just not worrying about it much at all. A few months of missing ‘school’ isn’t going to hurt them at all. It’s mostly about socializing and tracing some words and letters. Some counting and for those that are real go-getters, they learn to read.
My kindergartener is joining for baking and counting ingredients with us. I’ll show her the words on the ingredient list and then tell her what it says.
We’re reading out loud like always, and she’s listening to books just like she always does. Lots of art is happening and since we’re lucky enough to have a small backyard, she’s spending time out there. I’ve given the kids a hammer and some old boards and some nails or them to play with. Thumbs have been hit, but they’re learning how things go together and loving the time.
Mostly, they’re learning some basics from us as we do things in the day. There is no formal school happening because it doesn’t need to happen.
### Older Kids
I also have a 9-year-old and she’s pretty much doing the same thing. She’s following her interests. Some days she wants to do Kahn Academy and math, so that’s what she does. On Wednesday this week we did “math” while playing Risk.
I enticed the kids into a puppet show that we’ll video so my oldest is writing a script and that means she’s practicing spelling.
We’re being pretty chill about it because we don’t want to fight at all, and because kids learn lots on their own.
### All Kids
See in general it’s far too easy to abdicate all responsibility for education to someone else. We send them to school and then never step in ourselves. Now we have a chance to change some of that.
I had a toilet to fix recently and I used the event to teach kids how to read wrench sizes and how to solve the problem of water leaking on the floor. We then went around the house and they found the water shut off valves on the sinks and toilets. True, one of them did shut a sink off just because, but this is a minor annoyance and they’re far better prepared to deal with a water issue than they were.
If you’re doing family finances, show them how you do it.
Bring your kids into your adult life and show them what happens. This is how education was for hundreds of years and kids were fine. Our kids will be fine too, so stop worrying.
### Resources we found helpful
Okay, you need more resources than that, well here you go.
– [Unshooled](https://www.amazon.com/Unschooled-Well-Educated-Children-Conventional-Classroom/dp/1641600632) was a great book on how kids learn for themselves when we give them the freedom to
– [Read Aloud Revival](https://readaloudrevival.com/) site and podcast is amazing. Sarah has a gaggle of kids and has homeschooled for years trust this lady.
– [BrainPop](https://www.brainpop.com/) is one of the apps my oldest enjoys to learn with
## I Shipped
It was a big week for things shipping. Over at The Sweet Setup you can find my [review of VPN providers](https://thesweetsetup.com/apps/best-vpn-solution-ios-os-x/). I liked TunnelBear the most because it was the most reliable connection. A great second choice was ExpressVPN, though it had connection issues at one of my local haunts. [Head over and read the review for the full details](https://thesweetsetup.com/apps/best-vpn-solution-ios-os-x/).
[On my site I did a video on using Airtable with my handwritten book notes to track the important parts of books](https://curtismchale.ca/2020/03/23/using-airtable-to-index-my-reading-notebook). There are some good suggestions in the YouTube comments to so check those out.
[On Tuesday we had iPadOS 13.4 released and I did a video on what the trackpad support means](https://curtismchale.ca/2020/03/25/ipados-13-4-trackpad-support-and-a-bug-fixed). Overall, I like using a trackpad with my iPadPro and it feels more and more likely that I’m going to purchase the iPadPro keyboard with a trackpad when it comes out. Right now I’m sitting on the couch in my office using my Brydge case with my Magic Trackpad 2 on the arm and I keep reaching for a trackpad on the case. Maybe I’ll purchase and try the Brydge case too. Yikes, that’s expensive.
[Today I released a review of Free Range Kids](https://curtismchale.ca/2020/03/27/free-range-kids-book-review). It’s a book all about letting kids outside to do stuff. So, while I think it’s great and I agree with it we’re pretty hard pressed to be able to do that with all the COVID stuff going on right now.