Starting

Taking the first step…

I remember the first day we began homeschooling. I was worried I would do everything wrong. But I realized I couldn’t do anything “wronger” than what my daughter’s teacher had been doing: this was one of those teachers who would be the villain in any movie. Points off for sneezing. (That sort of thing.) We started by taking a walk. We brought a notebook with us, and a book of Greek myths I’d checked out from the library. We found a place to sit, she read to me, and then we discussed the parts of the story she had read. I challenged her to write a short myth of her own in the notebook.

Quick Tricks

Create an appropriate reading level shelf

Make it easy for your student(s) to choose a book at their own levels. Search for books on subjects that your students will find appealing at yard sales, thrift stores, second-hand stores

Use the news…

…papers for fun crosswords (to do together), word scrambles, and math challenges. Assign your higher-level students to read articles in the science/technology sections. Have your students read the comics and look up any words they don’t know in the dictionary. Consider having your students write letters to the editor(s) about issues that resonate with them.

Use the library (when they open again)

Keep all library materials on a library shelf. Put due dates on the calendar.

Dig gardening manuals, cookbooks, DIY resources

Explore nonfiction. Find themes/subjects that are exciting/interesting to your students. Sustained silent reading, reading aloud, listening to books on “tape,” and so on can spark a whole range of activities/ideas.