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Considering homeschooling your children due to COVID- 19?

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In-person vs. Online Learning

Back-to-school 2020

Due to the lasting effects of COVID- 19, school districts nationwide are considering postponing in-person instruction until later in the year. Some districts are even considering starting in-person instruction after labor day (which falls in September of this year). Other parents and public school officials are concerned that students have already missed out on months of critical instruction due to the global impacts of the novel coronavirus that began in the US in March of this year.

Recently, a large school district in Indiana opened for in-person instruction. The result — was the school having to quarantine teachers and students on the first day. It appears that a returning student tested positive for the coronavirus, but not before engaging with other teachers and students.


Could homeschool, virtual learning, and distance-based instruction be the answer to the uncertainty? It appears that homeschool and other distance learning options are better alternatives for many families and school districts nationwide. So far, the majority of school districts nationwide are opting for distance learning and online instruction instead of in-person learning.

 

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If you’re considering home school due to COVID- 19 this year, you’re not alone. Currently, there is a heated public and political debate about whether America’s public and private schools should open later in the year or — if they should even open for in-person instruction at all.

Why more parents are choosing home-based learning this year:

  • School closings due to COVID- 19
  • Lack of quality instruction
  • Parents want to instill values
  • Child has an illness

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More parents are considering homeschool this year. Primary concerns are COVID and lack of quality instruction in both rural and metropolitan areas.

How home school works

Home school, in simple terms, is happens when school-aged children are taught at home by their parents. There are some home school groups and associations where other adults act as teachers for groups of students. When children attend home school, their parents also become teachers. As a result of their new role as teachers, homeschooling parents use a combination of learning techniques geared towards educating children outside of a traditional classroom environment.

Parents who home school use the same steps as teachers in a traditional classroom to select curriculum and themed learning activities for the school year. Some of today’s home school students take part in age-appropriate field trips while others are able to participate in organized sports that are normally reserved for public and private school students.

For parents, deciding what curriculum to choose seems to be the most daunting task related to homeschooling. Get ideas on what curriculum to choose for your child by visiting your state’s board of education website. Online school options that offer learning packages often include pre-packaged curriculum options to choose from by age or grade level. Online learning providers like Time4Learning  make it easier to organize your child’s school year, track grades, measure progress, and automatically create printable transcripts for transferring and graduating students.


Home school 2020 —->>> How to get started

Today’s home school options include a variety of distance-based learning alternatives. The term “home school” includes parental-led home instruction, tutor-led instruction, online learning, public school-at-home, and distance learning. What all of these non-traditional options have in common is that learning takes place outside of a traditional classroom environment.

For many parents who have traditionally relied on public and private school options for K-12 education, the concept of homeschooling can feel new and daunting. With the global COVID-19 pandemic not showing any end in sight, many Americans are opting for home school, virtual school, or some combination of the two as a way to keep their children safe from the novel coronavirus pandemic that is showing no signs of slowing down.

The good news is that with home school becoming the more popular option is that that are more resources available than ever to help you get started. Now that you understand the basics about how homeschooling works, let’s look at a few home school methods that are available for today’s parents and students.

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education resources by state

Back-to-school | 2020

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Homeschool + Distance Learning Options


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Guided Learning – Working parents and parents who are new to the concept of homeschooling will appreciate the simplicity that guided learning options have to offer. Most guided learning interactions are simulations set up on a computer, tablet, or other compatible mobile devices. Guided learning activities allow for a parent to select an activity for their child to complete. Parents can choose the appropriate grade level and also select the intensity level of each lesson based on the learning habits of their child.

 


Tip: when setting up a guided learning activity for your child, if you notice that he or she is completing the activities faster than you expected, chances are the intensity level is too easy for them and needs to be adjusted to present a greater challenge. It’s important to monitor how your child responds to the change in intensity level when setting up guided learning activities. You want them to feel challenged, but not completely exhausted by their self-guided learning sessions.


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Another popular method of homeschooling called “unschooling” is gaining in popularity as parents and educators realize that many children have the ability to choose their own learning path. Unschooling involves providing your child with a group of activities to choose from and letting them choose the activities they want to participate in for the day, week, or set time period.

Today’s unschoolers are excited learners and excelling at a rapid pace as learning becomes a fun adventure instead of a chore for them. Choosing this pathway requires a mutual bond of trust established between parents and their school-aged children.


Tip: Parents and students have to work together to establish reasonable goals and a system of measurement to track progress based on the child’s individual learning plan. Unschooling families can benefit from resources sites including their local state board of education website, unschooling groups online, and local school district support.


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Free and Paid Homeschool Options


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Public school-at-home – Offered by many state school districts. This option is based on the school districts curriculum and instruction methods for in-person learning. Public school-at-home options during the pandemic may include in-person learning, online learning, or 100% distance-based learning options.


Online learning options – Popular online learning providers offer full-year curriculum and instruction programs for distance learners. Popular online learning providers like K12 and Time for Learning, provide an easy-to-follow learning pathway for parents and students.


Home School Clubs + Associations


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National Homeschool Association | NHSA

The National Homeschool Association is a member-based advocacy group that provides information, referral, and other support options for home school families. Membership in the NHSA provides parents and other home-based educators with access to home school courses for both home school teachers and students.
The NHSA provides information in their monthly newsletter on home school rules, laws, and regulations, and also offers a one-stop shop for new home school parents. The annual membership fee to join the NHSA has temporarily been reduced from $39.00/yr to $10.00/year.
visit the NHSA website

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Home School Legal Defense Association | HSLDA

Learn about homeschooling requirements by state, special needs programs, important information for high-school students (and beyond). How to choose the right curriculum and planning your school year. Members get legal education on homeschooling laws and regulations along with educational support. The HSLDA provides parents and home-based educators with a variety of resources, tools, and strategies that make homeschooling a breeze.
learn about the HSLDA

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Georgia Homeschool Education Association | GHEA


Information and resources for parents within The State of Georgia who suddenly find themselves homeschooling as a result of COVID- 19. Find videos, testimonials, how-to-guides, and community resources, state laws, policies, and important information for driver education and athletic participation programs for home school students who live in Georgia.
visit Georgia homeschool association

 

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K12.com – Online Learning Platform | Grades K-12

K12.com is one of the leading online education providers for distance learners who require a non-traditional learning experience. This online platform offers a combination of learning options that include distance-based and in-person learning options for enrolled students. K12 offers non-traditional routes of study for advanced learners, college-prep students, and wide-variety of personalized learning options for non-traditional learners.
visit k12.com online

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Education.com – Resource & Information Site | For Parents + Educators


Learn about homeschooling requirements by state, special needs programs, important information for high-school students — and beyond. The Education.com website can help you learn how to choose the right curriculum and planning your school year. Members get legal education on homeschooling laws and regulations along with educational support.
go to education.com

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Time4Learning – Online Learning Platform | Grades K – 12

Time4Learning is another leading online education provider that offers education, curriculum, and instruction for students grades K-12.This online learning platform provides a complete teaching option that includes customized progress reports, teaching strategies, and individual learning plans for elementary through high-school aged students.
Getting started with Time4Learning only takes a few minutes as this intuitive learning platform does most of the work for you. Sign up for the Time4Learning affordable monthly subscription and begin your home school journey with ease!
visit time4learning online

Click the link below to find resources provided by the United States Department of Education.


education resources by state

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Michelle S. Loyd

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Writer, marketer, influencer, #gamechanger. Freelance writing + blogging. Popular topics: psychology, mental health, digital marketing, information technology. Follow @msloydwrites on social!

 

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July 10, 2020
by: msloydwrites

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Feel like 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride so far?

When you ask most people, they will probably tell you that 2020 has been something of a rollercoaster — to say the least.  Out of the blue, we’ve all been hit with a global pandemic, worldwide social unrest, rampant unemployment, the rise of hate speech on social media platforms, and countless other stressful factors that have most of us eagerly looking forward to 2021. And it’s only July. 

With so many unexpected things going on at once, there is no wonder that issues with mental health are on the rise.  Chronic mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder affect around 43 million people annually. 

These statistics were discovered before the events of the recent past that have caused many of us to experience levels of stress we could have never imagined before. 

National Alliance On Mental Health
NAMI – US Mental Health Statistics

“Millions of people are aected by mental illness each year.  Across the country, many people just like you work, perform, create, compete, laugh, love and inspire every day.”

National Alliance on Mental Health 

If you’re among the millions of people who suffer from chronic anxiety, you know how debilitating the effects of anxiety can become over time. Having anxiety can make you feel like you’re constantly having to look over your shoulder and become hypervigilant to avoid a potential catastrophe. In this article, we provide you with ten tips to help relieve the symptoms of chronic anxiety naturally in everyday situations.


Symptoms of Everyday Anxiety 

According to the National Institue for Mental Health (NAMI), almost twenty-percent of adults in the United States suffered from an anxiety disorder within the last year. This means that nineteen percent of adults in the US struggle with chronic anxiety each year. The negative effects of anxiety can become debilitating or morph into physical conditions that can begin to affect your health over time.

Wondering what suffering from chronic anxiety actually feels like? People who suffer from issues with chronic anxiety report a range of uncomfortable symptoms that can last for days, weeks, or even years without assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Following is a list of anxiety symptoms as reported by the Mayo Clinic. Take note of any recurring symptoms and seek the advice of a medical professional if you feel anxious, depressed, or not like yourself. Your primary care doctor can provide you with a series of tests and assessments that can detect and diagnose issuers with medical or mental illness. If your primary care physician diagnoses you with a mental illness like an anxiety disorder, they can also provide you with treatment options that include lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy. 

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12 Symptoms of Chronic Anxiety

1. Feeling nervous, restless or tense
2. Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
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Data Source: The Mayo Clinic
3. Having an increased heart rate
4. Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation) 
5. Sweating
6. Trembling
7. Feeling weak or tired
8. Trouble concentrating or thinking 
9. Having trouble sleeping
10. Gastrointestinal (GI) problems
11. Having difficulty controlling worry
12. Urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

If any of these sounds like you, the good news is that — there is help available. The first step to feeling better is to contact your primary care physician to let him or her know you’ve been having ongoing issues. There are online doctors and mental health professionals who can help if you’re stuck at home because of the coronavirus. 

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10 Tips for Reducing Everyday Anxiety


Anxiety Reducing Tip #01

Focus on the positives. 1 49530686792 cdd03d2118 o

Many people suffer from anxiety because they haven’t learned how to accept both the ups and downs in life. With all things being equal, we can expect to have good days and bad days in our lives. In this case, we should teach ourselves how to focus on the positives — even when the going gets rough. If you aren’t sure where to begin, talk to a licensed medical professional or therapist. Popular behavioral therapy techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy have been shown to get results in a little under twenty weeks for some. 


Anxiety Reducing Tip #02

Choose your attitude

Do you believe in the concept of mind over matter? Your brain does. Your brain operates based on the information that you supply it with. This means that if you’re constantly telling yourself that you’re having a bad day, chances are you’ll end up having a bad day. Stop negative self-talk by choosing your attitude and making a conscious choice to focus on the positives. Remember that there are always three sides to any situation — your version, their version, and the truth. Allow yourself to account for the potential unknowns and choose to take the high road to reduce anxiety. 


Anxiety Reducing Tip #03

abstractContact a therapist

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, sad, depressed, or just not yourself lately, seek support from a licensed mental health professional after scheduling a check-up with your primary care provider. If your physician provides you with a clean bill of physical health — and you’re still feeling run-down or down in the dumps, the next step to take is to enlist the support of a licensed therapy professional.


Anxiety Reducing Tip #04

Exercise

If you’re feeling anxious, the last thing you probably want to do is exercise. Moving your body can help temporarily take your mind off ruminating thoughts or worries about the past, or what may be coming in the future. Exercising helps to center your mind and eases anxiety naturally when pleasure chemicals are released in the brain.


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Anxiety Reducing Tip #06

Take a break from the internet

The hostile climate of social media is beginning to take a serious toll on the hearts and minds of social media users. Do your psyche a favor and set time aside to completely disconnect from the internet. This means no checking your phone, laptop, tablet, or any other available device. Taking the time to reconnect with yourself and your family can help to ease the added stress and anxiety that today’s social media activity can heighten.


Anxiety Reducing Tip #07

two people showing fear on coronavirus 3952207Distance yourself from toxic people

Spending time with people who seem to have everyone’s best interest at heart (except yours) is a great way to drain your energy. Another side-effect of spending too much time with toxic people is that you feel like you’re not accomplishing the goals that you’ve set for yourself in life. If you’re having trouble identifying the toxic people in your life — here’s a clue:

 

Toxic people specialize in dashing the hopes and dreams of the people around them without providing a fair, realistic, or alternative solution.

You can find toxic people everywhere you go. Don’t be surprised to find toxic relationships in close friendships, dating, and married relationships, in the workplace with co-workers, and even in employer, employee relationships. 


If you or a loved one are in a toxic relationship that has progressed into verbal, emotional, or physical abuse, contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline for support.


Now that you have an idea of how to spot the negative nellies in your life — whether or not you stick around for their next negative update — is completely up to you. However, be prepared for your mental health and other critical areas of your life to suffer if you refuse to distance yourself from the negativity of toxic people.


Anxiety Reducing Tip #08

Be honest with yourself

The best way to get what you want out of life — is, to be honest about what you want. This starts with telling yourself the truth about even the smallest details. Learn how to be honest with yourself and not be swayed by the ideas and opinions of others who loudly critique your ideas and tell you why you “shouldn’t think this way.” We all get to choose our own pathways in life. Those that are supportive of your individual goals and dreams will also be supportive of self-honesty. Being honest with yourself helps you keep your life on track and avoid the pitfalls of negative people and situations that don’t make the cut.


Anxiety Reducing Tip #09

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The majority of our bodies are made up of water. Whether you like the taste of water, don’t have time to drink water, or whatever excuse you’re telling yourself lately to keep from drinking the proper amount of water — water is indeed the elixir of life. Water powers the most important part of your body. Your internal organs like your heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. need water to stay hydrated so your body systems can flow. Not drinking enough water can result in dehydration. Severe cases of dehydration can lead to more serious health concerns that could have been avoided by simply taking care of yourself. Using apps on your phone that reminds you to drink water, and keeping a stash of water nearby are two great ways to make sure that you get the amount of water that you need for top performance.

Anxiety Reducing Tip #10

Rest

I’m not sure when burning the candle at both ends became the new normal. I do understand that burning the candle at both ends is the quickest way to throw your body into a negative cycle that can lead to fatigue, health issues, and severe mental health issues like burnout. Having experienced the effects of workplace burnout myself, I can tell you that it’s definitely not a walk in the park. Getting the proper amount of rest is one of the best ways that you can honor your body.

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As a life-long anxiety sufferer, I can honestly say that I’ve practiced each one of these tips — together and individually — and consistently get results. The reality is, that no matter what is going on in our world, including global pandemics and charged political climates, we still have to make self-care a priority. Even more so now than ever. The best way to stay mentally fit and alert is to learn to recognize the symptoms of burnout, overwhelm, and anxiety in your life — as soon as they happen.

 

 

Waiting too long to take care of your mental health can lead to the development of more serious issues. Medical issues can be aggravated due to unmanaged mental health issues. Many people aren’t aware that prolonged instances of unresolved anxiety in the body can have devastating effects on your mind and body — if left unchecked. Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. 

 

Related – How to Organize Your Life Using Free Apps From Google Play and The App Store

coronavirus (COvid-19) resources

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US Small Business Administration – COVID Relief

198 Free Tools To Help You Coronavirus

 Economic Injury and Disaster Loan Application

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

 State + Local Health Departments – United States

**Contact your state, county, municipal or local government for details on available resources in your area. Some resources and relief options are area specific. 


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“Some of the most beautiful chaptes in our lives won’t have a title until much later.”


It’s’ easy to keep a positive attitude when things seem to be going your way. But what do you do when things seem to be going completely in the opposite direction of what you expected? Enter COVID-19. The coronavirus is a disease that stems from a family of viruses named SARS-CoV-2. This novel and never seen before coronavirus is responsible for the worldwide outbreak and global pandemic that has brought the entire world to its knees. As a result, many of us are on lockdown, quarantine, or self-quarantine in a worldwide effort to slow the spread of the virus.

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The key to keeping a positive attitude during trying times like these — is to stay focused. While this may sound like it’s easier said than done — staying focused during trying times is the best way to get through a rough patch while keeping your sanity intact. In this article, we talk about 4 ways to stay focused on the positives when everything in your life seems to be out of control.

1. Be honest with yourself.

If preserving good mental health and sanity is your goal during times of uncertainty, being honest with yourself is the quickest way to put things in perspective. Being honest with yourself clears a mental path for “real” solutions that can help keep you focused and moving forward regardless of what obstacles may lay ahead.

It’s okay to not know what’s coming next. The important thing is to know that you are mentally prepared for any challenge that may arise and that you can overcome it. Not being honest with yourself places you in danger of missing important facts or information that you need to stay safe and mentally alert during these uncertain times.

2. Practice extreme self-care.

It may seem strange to talk about self-care when everything in your life is turned upside down, but it’s necessary. Taking the time to spend at least a few minutes doing what you love is a great way to take your mind off negative circumstances happening around you and gives you a fresh perspective on the situation.

Self-care doesn’t look the same for everyone. Some of us like to snuggle up with a good book, journal our feelings, or spend time cuddling pets. For others, self-care may look like a candlelit bath, indoor exercise, or talking on the phone with a trusted friend. Whatever self-care happens to look like for you — when times are tough, more self-care is needed than ever before.

3. Follow a regular schedule. emma matthews digital content production 8K62atzbulQ unsplash

The last thing you need in times of uncertainty — is more uncertainty. Create a daily schedule for yourself and your family so that everyone knows what is expected of them throughout the day. Examples of important tasks to add to your daily schedule are — breakfast, lunch, and dinner, exercise, work, and school-related activities, bathing and grooming, and downtime.

Following your daily schedule gives you a sense of normalcy in your life that is often missing during times of crisis and uncertainty. Keeping yourself and your family on track is the best way to avoid falling into disorganized chaos, boredom, or depression as we all struggle with adjusting to our “new normal.”

 


“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. When nothing is certain — anything is possible.”


4. Stay focused on the positives.

While it may be tempting (and easy) to look at all the negative aspects of an uncertain situation, it’s not really necessary as the negatives speak for themselves. Focus on what’s going right and give yourself a pat on the back for keeping your shit together in the meantime. Otherwise, you may find yourself quickly falling into a spiral of negativity and self-defeating thoughts. These kinds of thoughts can make a bad situation feel ten times worse. Stay positive — regardless of the chaos that is happening around you.

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In the meantime, keep following the medical advice of your local representatives and public health officials and remember — we’re all in this together. Stay focused, stay alert, stay safe.

-msloydwrites

 

About Michelle S. Loyd — msloydwrites 😘

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Michelle S. Loyd, BA, MHRM, MISM

Freelance Writer. Marketer. Influencer. #GameChanger

Ms. Loyd is a mental health advocate who personally understands the daily struggles of others living with mental health concerns including anxiety.

Michelle currently enjoys writing uplifting and informative articles on the topics of mental health including anxiety, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.

Other topics of interest include — artificial intelligence, psychology, technology, artificial intelligence, and space exploration. 

These articles provide a humanistic view of the challenges today’s society is facing together with realistic expectations and manageable options for change.

Connect with @msloydwrites online!

Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Blog

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Feeling confused about which news updates to follow, believe, or even understand about the Coronavirus?

(You’re not the only one. )


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If you’ve been wondering where to get the latest accurate news updates about the recently declared worldwide pandemic, COVID-19, we’ve put together a few resources to make it easier for you. Remember to use verified resources and not gossip or hearsay when making important decisions regarding using social distancing, shelter-in-place, and self-quarantine measures.  In this article, we’ll provide you with information on where to get the latest and most accurate coronavirus updates — straight from the source. Here’s the list.

Resource #1 – World Health Organization

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is a global organization that works to promote health and safety worldwide. The WHO is responsible for diagnosing, monitoring, and providing public health information on public health issues that affect the world at large. The latest global pandemic of COVID-19 was declared by the WHO.

**This organization updates global information related to the coronavirus every 24 hours on its website.


Resource #2 – Centers For Disease Control (CDC)

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You’ve probably heard about the CDC before now, if you aren’t sure who they are or what they do, here are the basics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquartered in Atlanta is the US branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services. According to the CDC homepage, the organization’s mission is to protect the health and safety of US citizens at home and abroad. The CDC works in concert with state, federal, and global agencies to diagnose, assess, and counteract public health issues.

**This organization updates the information for COVID-19 regularly on its website.

 


Resource #3 – Twitter’s Social Networking Site 

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While it may seem strange to reference Twitter in finding the latest coronavirus news, it’s really a useful and up to the minute tool. If you have a Twitter account, you can find local resources that apply to your specific, county, state, region, or city. Many school districts and public health facilities are updating their communities online using this popular social media platform.


Examples of related accounts to follow for coronavirus news on Twitter are:

Local Health Departments
School Districts
State Websites
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

You can also follow @msloydwrites organically curated Twitter list — for a real-time stream of updated and reliable sources.

**Information on Twitter is often updated in real-time and may not be verified in advance. Always check with official sources to verify information found on this or any other social networking site.


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Join The Conversation!

While these aren’t the only sources providing regular updates on the coronavirus, due to their interest in public safety as it relates to containing COVID-19, they are likely to be some of the most accurate.

If you have information to share about available resources in your area that are reporting reliable information feel free to share in the comments below or @msloydwrites on Twitter in reference to the article.

For the moment, we’re continuing to follow the advice of local, state, and public authorities including the WHO recommendations outlined below. Stay safe everyone!

-msloydwrites


Recommendations and advice from the World Health Organization

 

  1. Wash Your Hands Frequently
  2. Maintain Social Distancing
  3. Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose, And Mouth
  4. Practice Good Respiratory Hygiene
  5. If You Have A Fever, Cough, And Difficulty Breathing – Call Your Healthcare Provider Immediately.

Want to get more updates like these?

Subscribe to the blog or follow @msloydwrites on Twitter for more updates.


About Michelle S. Loyd — msloydwrites 😘

word image
Michelle S. Loyd, BA, MHRM, MISM

Freelance Writer. Marketer. Influencer. #GameChanger

Ms. Loyd is a mental health advocate who personally understands the daily struggles of others living with mental health concerns including anxiety.

Michelle currently enjoys writing uplifting and informative articles on the topics of mental health including anxiety, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.

Other topics of interest include — artificial intelligence, psychology, technology, artificial intelligence, and space exploration. 

These articles provide a humanistic view of the challenges today’s society is facing together with realistic expectations and manageable options for change.

Connect with msloydwrites online!


Twitter

Instagram

LinkedIn

Blog


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