School may be out for the summer in much of the country, but the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. In some places, summer programs parents relied upon are closed; in other places, schools may not reopen in the fall, or they may reopen only to close later. In case of school closures, school districts will likely return to distance learning. At the same time, some parents of children previously enrolled in school are considering homeschooling autonomously next year, due to health concerns within their families.
The Coalition for Responsible Home Education’s mission is to empower homeschooled children by educating the public and advocating for child-centered, evidence-based policy and practices for families and professionals. On this page, we bring together educational resources and informational articles geared toward parents caring for school-aged children at home, whether these parents are engaging in distance learning or autonomous homeschooling. This page is designed with parents whose children physically attended school previous to the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.
If you are considering withdrawing your children from school to homeschool them autonomously, we have resources for that too! Click here for more.
Many parents are turning to a variety of online resources to keep their children busy. Many school districts, too, are providing parents with lists of resources to supplement the instruction their children receive. We have created our own curated list of resources.
To browse the list resources we have curated, click here.
These articles contains advice, encouragement, and ideas for those at home with their children, all from the perspective of individuals who were homeschooled. Two were written by our executive director, who currently has her own children at home due to COVID-19, and one is written by a homeschool graduate who has been a public school teacher for 15 years.
The three articles in the slider below are written by young adults who were homeschooled successfully. In each, the author discusses what their parents did well, offering practical tips that parents educating their children at home even temporarily will find helpful.
✦ Your child’s school should serve as a resource. Even if your child’s school is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your child’s teacher is still responsible for their education. You should not have to create or purchase a curriculum for your child; your child’s teacher and school should be there to assist you. If your child’s school does not provide you with resources and guidance, reach out to your child’s teacher.
✦ Research findings regarding online schooling are profoundly negative. Children are not designed to learn from a computer, absent interaction from a teacher or a parent. This is particularly true for younger children. If your child is engaged in distance learning, it may help to sit with your child while they complete online material. If you feel the expectations for online assignments are too high, take your concerns to your child’s teacher.
✦ Foster your child’s love of learning. Take care to ensure that your child’s instruction is engaging to them; listen to your child and ask their input. Involving your child in planning their education will give them buy-in. Children engage in learning in many different ways. For example, your child may enjoy building a village out of cardboard or using a tablet to create a stop-motion video featuring their toys. Encourage creative play.
✦ Education at home may not look like formal schooling. If your children are engaged in distance learning, they probably do not need to do schoolwork for the same number of hours they attended school. Children who are homeschooled typically finish materials more quickly because they can receive one-on-one attention and do not have to wait on other children. When it comes to your child’s instruction, quality is more important than quantity.
✦ If you are having trouble with your child’s school, you can homeschool autonomously instead. This is not a decision that should be made lightly, as most states’ homeschooling laws give parents little or no guidance or support. Parents of older children should take particular care, as transferring a child to back to public school after starting high school can be extremely difficult. However, this may be a good option for some families. If homeschooling autonomously is something you are exploring, click here to learn how to start homeschooling during COVID-19 and here for our page for homeschooling parents.