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Combining homeschooling with housework

“Hacks” perfect for pandemic parenting

Combining homeschooling with housework

If we’ve learned anything in the last seven months of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s to broaden our sense of what’s possible. In fact, we’ve been forced to do that, like it or not. While this development may conjure mostly negative thoughts – global crisis, widespread business closures, no more handshakes – it need not. 

Speaking for myself, my weekly visits to a Woodstock preschool have all been outside since April. For years now, I’ve shown up at this little building, played singalong songs, and encouraged dancing and interaction, often coaxing some very shy little ones out of their shells. These music classes have always been inside a cinderblock room, under fluorescent lights. Now, outside, beneath trees turning color, I’ve incorporated a lot more nature teachings.

READ MORE: How to keep the house neat with a resident toddler

I was well into adulthood before I could discern the difference between a spruce tree and a cedar tree, but hopefully most of my students will be able to do that by kindergarten, because that’s just one of many new environmentally-based things we’ve been singing and talking about. Also clouds, bugs, and the birds that fly overhead while we sing and dance. Just today, some teachers and I were lamenting the coming time when we’ll need to go back inside.

Like me being forced into nature to teach, writer Sarah Robsdottir, homeschooling mom of six boys, turned to homeschooling out of necessity, but is thankful for it. She offers some helpful “hacks” she has used over the years with much success, all examples of what she calls “dual-tasking.”

She writes: “We pair one specific academic discipline (memorization workwith one specific household chore (washing dishes).”

The Robsdottir family also listens to audiobooks when running errands, studies geography posters while sweeping the hall, and practices phonics while folding socks, among other “dual tasks.”

READ MORE: 10 house cleaning games for kids

It’s worth noting that the elder Robsdottir boys have excelled on standardized tests, and the 16-year-old is gainfully employed at a job he loves.

Notably, Sarah also attributes a lot of her boys’ success to “not having a TV in the living room.”

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