You are a family in transition and you need to know how to homeschool for a short season.
You’re finding that you need to homeschool for a short time because of a job change, travel, busy schedule, global pandemic or other family needs.
It’s daunting. Overwhelming. Crazy. But necessary.
You know it’s only for a short season… a few months or weeks.
Your options might be limited, resources are in short supply, finances are tight and your kids need an education in the midst of stressful transition, moving and change.
Maybe you live overseas and the school years don’t match up to the next country you are moving to.
You might have only 2 months left of the school year and you are about to go on furlough.
It’s possible that your kids have some gaps in their learning and you need to catch them up for a new country’s school system. Or, you realize that they’ve learned a new language and that has effected their grammar and spelling and punctuation.
You could be considering homeschool because of school closings, pushed back dates, or waiting for countries to open back up so you can travel home.
There are so many reasons why homeschooling for a season becomes a must for traveling, transitioning, or overseas families.
You need help and are wondering how to homeschool for a short season.
What do you do?
How do you homeschool your third culture kids for a short season and do it well?
How to you keep their education going while meeting all the other needs of your family?
Homeschooling for a season takes some thought and preparation but you can do it and do it well!
Here are some things we’ve learned.
1} Put together a check list – I love a good check list. (like this one for moving overseas) When I realized that I was going to have to homeschool our girls for a season, I started making a list of things the girls needed to work on, things they might not have learned yet for their grade level and so on. They were in metric system for 3 years. They needed a refresher on standard measurements. They learned French cursive and French numbers. They needed to know how Americans write cursive and make their numbers. Make a check list of those things. Make a list of things you have, things you can get, things you can use and organize that info.
For you – Get this blank teacher calendar. Keep all your notes here. If you have time, do lesson plans ahead. If it’s spur of the moment and plans change, write in what you actually did that day and start fresh the next day. If you’re kids are older and can track this themselves, get them each a calendar to write down their work. This can be done digitally too with Google calendar, dropbox or your phone notes program.
2} Stick to it – Once you have that check list, stick to it. DO NOT pressure yourself into thinking you have to do it all or start homeschooling a super full day with every single subject accounted for. In short seasons of homeschooling, you don’t need to do it all. Stick to what is important and keep things simple.
3} Do some research online – Find free homeschool websites like these or other resources with the information you are looking for. Honestly, youtube. There’s a how to video for everything. Want to refresh your kids on American money? youtube. A lot of homeschooling in a short season can be done with resources you find online.
4} Focus on core subjects – For me, Math and English (reading/writing) are the focus of our days. If we have time in the middle of moving and working, I’ll add in some history or science or geography. But, if my girls get math in and read something and hand in something written, I’m happy with our day. We are using Khan Academy app for math and even diving into some of their other subjects as we have time to do them. I’m greatly impressed with Khan Academy. It is free, easy to use and my girls like it. Win, win.
*We are having the girls do Couch to 5K for gym using our treadmill. They are loving it! You can read more running tips here. Running 3 times a week is really beneficial for everyone!
5} Be ok with homeschooling on the road – When you travel, play a podcast. Talk about economics. Read aloud. Audiobooks. Study maps. SO much school can happen on a 45 minute car ride! Homeschooling on the road is a key part of our short homeschool season. This is also a great time for both parents to be involved in family discussions.
6} Talk to their schools – I’ve made a point to talk to the girls’ teachers here on the field. What are they learning? What are their struggles? What do we need to work on over the next 6 weeks? I’ve also made a point to talk to their school in America. What do I need to register them for school? What paperwork is needed? Can the girls keep up their French? Then, for Elayna in high school, I needed to also talk with the school she’ll attend when we come back overseas. What classes does she need to be ready to join her class in 10th grade? What are class requirements for the school in America and the school back here? Don’t just assume you know. Talk to the school, email the guidance counselor, call the admittance office. Be prepared.
7} Keep homeschool simple – I mentioned this above. But it’s worth saying again. Especially in a stressful time! I gave my girls a notebook, the Khan Academy app, and a pencil. The notebook was an American notebook so they could learn to write on lined paper instead of French graph paper. The pencil because they are used to using different colored pens in school. Everything they do… writing, spelling, math problems… it all goes in that one notebook. They can hand it to me to check things but it keeps our supplies low and their work in one place. Very helpful when you are moving around from place to place or homeschooling on the go. Don’t forget your calendar too!
Check out our how to homeschool series: 5 Day Series: Homeschool for the Busy Family
8} Relax – This can be a really special time for your family. In our short time homeschooling, we’ve visited a national bird sanctuary and a historic island. We spent some time learning about both, the history, the science, the world impact these places have surrounding them. We are doing what we can and letting the rest go. Enjoy having your kids home, make every experience a learning experience and learn from the life happening around you. Relax. Breathe.
9} Use resources available to you – What does your organization offer to help you with your kids’ education? Will they do testing or evaluations? Will they ship you needed curriculum? Do they have someone for you to talk to? Find out. Don’t go through this alone. Find another homeschool-on-the-go mom and talk over your plan. Ask her to take a look at your check list to make sure you are on the right track. Don’t be overwhelmed because there ARE resources available to families like ours and yours. Check out SHARE Education Services. They are a big one in helping families overseas with educational concerns or needs.
10} Take it one day at a time – When you are homeschooling for a season, you don’t have to have it all together or set up a complete homeschool or stress out about making sure you have full homeschool days. Take it one day at a time. Sometimes the schedule changes, don’t stress out. Sometimes you run out of time, don’t stress out. Sometimes other things on the field take priority, don’t stress out. This is a short season of homeschool. Not forever. You can do this. One day at a time.
I know this is overwhelming. Homeschooling for a season is no joke! But sometimes, it’s your only option.
And you need to know how to homeschool through this season.
Thankfully, we homeschooled during our stateside years so I have an understanding of what our days look like while homeschooling.
I hope that this post has resourced you with information and encouraged you that you can do this!
A few other posts you could read about how to homeschool this well:
Homeschooling through a busy season by Midwest Homeschoolers
Temporary Homeschooling While Moving by Homeschooling-Ideas
Switching to Homeschool Mid-Year by Confessions of a Homeschooler
September & Co – fun faith educational resources
It is just for a season. A short time. Enjoy the experience and let me know how it goes!
Feel free to comment with a questions.