COVID-schooling and ponderings on life in isolation.

handsWell, my friends, here we are in the middle of a pandemic and everyone is in isolation.  We are working and educating in family units, at home.  Is this what homeschooling usually looks like?  Nope, not at all.  We are unhappy as well about not hanging out with friends, playing sports and freely wandering the mall…or craft and thrift stores. (that’s our jam)

So how can I help?  What do I have to offer?  Here are my thoughts and some of the things that have helped us get through difficult times in our homeschooling journey and in life.

  1. Breathe.  No really, take a big breath and let it out slowly.  Do that a few times and slow down your thoughts.  It’s a great way to start your day, before you are needed, before you initiate your plan for the day and dare I say it, before coffee! (Ok, maybe during coffee or while it’s brewing.)  Breathe with your kids, show them how and model the slowness of time spent on self care.  Next add some gratitude or a prayer.  Simply recounting the things we are thankful for, makes all the difference and for our family, thanking God for the good things points us to our Hope.  I’d like to say that this breath and gratitude is a serene moment of the day, everyday but reality is that it’s not.  Sometimes I have been able to carve out serenity before the day has taken over and sometimes breath and prayer happen with toddlers climbing all over you or after assuring your child that their sibling won’t be allowed to “eat all the favourite cereal”.   Gratitude and breath can also happen while sitting on the bedside of a teen who doesn’t want to face the day.  In those moments, the peace is deliberate and a moment of learning for all.  It’s reminding everyone to hush for a moment and pause.                                                                 meal
  2. Eat purposefully.  In our busy lives food is often an afterthought.  Don’t let it be.  Planning, preparing, eating and clean up are excellent ways to build life skills and enjoy family time.  Pull out that cookbook, search your favourite recipe online and make a thoughtful meal together.  You’ll be surprised at what kids will eat if they made it themselves and they may offer to cook for you on their own one day!  Enjoy slow meals and family time around the table. (scroll down for more!)covid-schooling survival Guide
  3. Get outside!  At least once a day and much more if you can, go play in your yard, go for a walk or find an open space to play a game with your family and/or your pet.  Go outside together and go outside alone (assuming someone can oversee the rest of the family).  Yes, we need to avoid being close to other families and surfaces that others may have touched but like my Mom always said, “fresh air and sunshine are good for what ails you”.  It also helps to burn off some energy and get our brains and emotions in a better place. Stuck inside?  Exercise to an online video or play hide and seek.  It’s fun!tree
  4. Exercise your brain.  Here’s the “homeschool” piece you were looking for.  Try to plan some time each day to exercise your brain.  Sometimes that means a crossword and sometimes that means science or a novel study.  Be kind during this stressful time and understand that new learning doesn’t usually happen well when anxiety is high.  If your child’s school or school board has provided online learning, consider first whether your child can manage learning at this time.  If so, dig in.  There is often comfort in doing routines and practicing skills that feel “normal”.  Enjoy.  No one is asking you to become an expert teacher in the next month.  To be honest, homeschoolers often research for years and do ongoing research to find the resources to meet the needs of their children.  Enjoy learning alongside your kids.  Make mistakes and get messy.books
  5. Shhhhh.  Take time each day for quiet.  Everyone needs a little time to themselves.  When we had a houseful and I was homeschooling them all, we often scheduled a quiet hour after lunch.  As Mama of 4, this was often nap time for the baby, time to read with a toddler (until they napped) and time for older ones to work on a project or read on their own.  Even in isolation, we often need time alone with our own thoughts….or to rest.                                                                                                   z
  6. Speaking of rest, get a good night’s sleep!  I am convinced that 80% of sanity is having a good night’s sleep.  Nighttime routines are comforting for all of us but especially children and yes, even teens.  Keeping to routines brings a sense of safety and we all could use a little “normal” right about now.  If you are struggling with quieting your thoughts and getting a good sleep, download your favourite quiet music, podcast or faith based readings and listen as you get your rest.  This too shall pass…as John (my hubby) says, “It may pass like a kidney stone, but it shall pass.”

I’m confident that life after this current crisis will be very different and it will be a line in the sand of history but together we are so much better.  If this has encouraged or inspired you, please share it with a friend and be sure to check back for more ponderings in the coming weeks.

 

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Edna Latone is a wife, mother, researcher and people person.  She has been Homeschooling for 20+ years and has lived in the Peterborough Area for 31 years. Edna has worked as a Public Library CEO and Volunteer Coordinator.  Her husband, John is a licenced minister with the PAOC and his day job is delivering car parts (he loves to tinker). They have 2 adult children and 2 children at home. Edna speaks throughout the province to Homeschooler’s about the amazing resources available at Public Libraries. She also is the developer of the “Homeschool Friendly” certification for businesses and community organizations. Edna has a passion for family, flexible learning and community resources. She brings to all she does, her skills as a teacher of children with learning challenges, music skills, librarianship, a passion for Language Arts and History and a love for teaching others about the exciting world of Home Education.

Online Conference Time!!!

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Conferencing on the VIA

10 years ago I would have told you that you were dreaming if you said I would be returning from a week at Library Conference, sitting on the VIA and participating in Canada’s First Online Homeschool Conference but here I am!

Sounds all fancy, truth is that it has been a stellar week of learning.  It is also equally stunning that I have a huge team of family and friends that made it possible.

For this moment I’m relaxing and enjoying the Online Conference!

I’m assured that everyone is looking forward to my return and daily life awaits.  This Online Homeschool  Conference has some great ideas flowing as I sit down to plan lessons for next week.

Huge thanks to Lisa Marie Fletcher of The Canadian Homeschooler for organizing such an amazing and timely event!

Visit us at http://canadianhomeschoolconference.com/aff/26fb_img_1485748973289

Lines, Angles and Curves Class!

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As most of you know I have been homeschooling, tutoring and running daycamps for 20+ years.  Over that time, I have tried many, many curriculum and resources.  Like everyone, I have my favorites and this is one of them.

While  weeding through curriculum, I found it!  I was pretty excited and this was my victory shot!

Fun with Lines and Curves by Elsie C. Ellison is an artful study of measurement and angles.

I will be offering an eight week class following the concepts in this book.  The culminating activity of this class will be an artistic string art wall hanging designed by each student.  This class is appropriate for students 8-18. Parents are invited to drop off their children or visit in our living room during the class.

Students will learn about measurement, angles, protractor skills and colour design.  There will be take home work each week.

Cost $80 per student (family rates available)

January 9- February 27, 2017

1-2 pm

Week 1 – Intro to our tools.  protractor, rulers and the tools of our class.

Week 2- Making Polygons and intro to your final project.

Week 3 – Making stars and step 2 of the project.

Week 4- From straight lines to curves. Final project design draft.

Week 5-Designs From Squares

Week 6- Working with a Circle and final project designs due.

Week 7-Working with colour in your design.

Week 8- Final Project Show, location to be announced.

E-mail today to register at ednashomeschoolhelp@gmail.com

August 9th, Homeschool Planning Night!

101_9549Carve out a little time to plan your coming Homeschool season!

This coming Tuesday, August 9th from 5-10 pm. At the Westwood Public Library.

Maybe you are just starting your planning, perhaps you are mid-stream and just need some time to put it all in one place or maybe you need to bounce some ideas off of others.

Bring your books, your computer and a main dish to share!

What you will get:

  • Tables to spread out your work!
  • Wifi access
  • Access to my HOMESCHOOL LIBRARIAN AND COACHING services
  • Two LIBRARY COMPUTERS to use
  • Printing at 25 cents/copy
  • FREE NEW BOOKS to take home, compliments of CrossCan Educational Services
  • An opportunity to order any USBORNE books you may need
  • Pre-registration opportunity for the EVENTS AND CLASSES I am planning for the fall!
  • and best of all…OTHER HOMESCHOOLERS!

Cost is $10/person 

*Please note this is a child-free evening (nursing babies/toddlers always welcome)

For an agenda of the evening or to register e-mail me at ednashomeschoolhelp@gmail.com, text me at 705-559-3047 or call my home office at 705-639-5663

 

Coming Home

 

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After a four year sabbatical from Homeschooling, we are heading home again with our education.  We are thrilled! The “who is doing what” and “who is where” part is figured out (I think) as I also work part-time.  I have a general plan for our day to day but now the nitty gritty of the day to day planning is on the table (literally).

As always, I am available to help you with everything from your early questions about homeschooling to monthly accountability partnering and resourcing.

I will be offering piano lessons as usual and I plan to host a few makerspace events throughout the year.

Keep your eyes open!  You just never know what will be offered next!  Check back often!

So glad to finally be Home Again!

Happy Homeschooling!