Tips and Tricks for New Homeschoolers in Phoenix
Homeschooling is becoming more popular this school year. And did you know we homeschool? This will be our 4th year, with a 3rd grader and kindergartener. I know there’s a lot of options out there for curriculum, a lot of questions about schedules and routines, and a lot of wondering, “Can I really do this?”
Short answer is YES. Yes you can do this! You’re not going to screw up your child’s education. Know that homeschooling doesn’t take as long as traditional schooling! See the graphic below, which I’ve found so reassuring and accurate. And learning and teaching can easily extend beyond bookwork at the table. Reading, games, field trips, even backyard exploring can give kids real life lessons. If you have any questions, about anything, please ask!
This blog post lists some tips and tricks for new homeschoolers. There’s a Zoom chat I did with another local mom, ideas for field trips in Phoenix, popular curriculum, plus ideas on how to keep your toddler occupied while teaching older children. Also browse this blog post about temporary homeschooling.
Here’s a list of the curriculum I’ve used in the past, or have had highly recommended to me. Note that there are religious and non-religious based ones, depending on your preference.
Wild Math Curriculum
There are so many field trip options in Phoenix! Note that at the time of this published post, not all places may be open due to COVID. And each business may have different mask mandates. Reviews of most of these can be found on our blog.
Musical Instrument Museum
Arizona Museum of Natural History
Arizona Commemoritze Air Force Museum
Arizona Boardwalk (Butterfly Wonderland, Odysea Aquairum, Pangea, Titanic Exhibition)
AZ Heritage Center Museum
River of Time Musuem
Ceretta’s Candy Factory
Keeping Toddlers Occupied
With a toddler in the joyful mix of our homeschooling, it’s always a challenge to keep her occupied while doing school with the two older children. Here are some ideas from our daily routine and life.
We usually start school right after breakfast = fully belly usually means happy baby!
I have a bin of special toys that I get out only during this time. She’s currently in to small stacking blocks, pegs in a small pegboard, and a photo album. Small sensory bins also work. Click here for a list of how to make your own!
My 5 year old plays with her too while I do school with the 8 year old. So alternating teaching.
Put the toddler in the high chair with playdough or snacks. I use this as a last resort, because she likes to bang and make noise after awhile.
We’ve tried schooling during her naptime. But naptime is Mama time. And I NEED that. But it might work for you!
Baby carrier or holding her in my lap is also what we do. Or sit at the couch for school so the toddler can play/see us/sit with us.
I have also resorted to putting on Peppa Pig for 15 min so we can finish school. No shame there.