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Homeschooling Adventures, Creativity, and Growth During the Covid-19 Outbreak

Guest Post by Paige McKinney

As Kerry McDonald wrote for Forbes Magazine, on March 11, 2020, COVID-19 has become the World’s Homeschooling Moment. Schools across France, Iran, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, and other countries have closed along with hundreds of US Schools (See EdWeek’s map of coronavirus school closures for an up-to-date list).

For many families, the task of being responsible for their children's education is overwhelming.

There is a feeling of panic that is spreading across our communities, just as the virus spreads invisibly among us. Many families with children enrolled in schools that have been temporarily closed are now facing the challenge of trying to balance the care and education of their children with the responsibility of their jobs. For many of these families, the task of being responsible for their children's education is overwhelming, both logistically in terms of being physically available to assist their children, but also in terms of learning the new tasks necessary to help their children with remote learning, and the important task of monitoring their students daily learning.

Even current homeschoolers will need to make adjustments in their routines.

For those of us who have been homeschooling our children before the outbreak of COVID-19, there are still adjustments to make, and new solutions to find. Almost all homeschoolers enjoy time away from the books, the desks, the schedules, and routines. We enjoy being out in the world when learning connections happen spontaneously and meaningfully for our children in ways, we might not have ever been able to predict.

I want to encourage you to look at this time as an adventure and find ways to foster creativity and growth. As a long-time homeschooler, I've learned that severely narrowing life's menu of options isn't always a negative experience. It can, ironically, create a fertile environment for creativity to blossom and bloom. The times when my family camped for a week without computers, wifi, or reliable cell phone service were some of the most active and memorable weeks of the season - and of their childhoods, they have each attested.

Even at home, with all of our comfort and routine, the times when we had long power outages due to a lightning storm or high wind event resulted in some of the most creative days and evenings; doodling by candlelight, learning the art of oral storytelling and playing traditional card and board games that often get overlooked in our digital age.


Here are some things you can do to keep your kids occupied and your family thriving and happy during this stressful time.

Focus on finding new experiences indoors: virtual field trips and ways to explore the world.

Go on a virtual field trip via Google Expeditions! Google Expeditions is an education app that allows students and teachers to experience unique places and events in the world through the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology. This is done specifically through panoramic video viewing in the mobile app and/or combined with the use of virtual reality viewers that are compatible with the app. Basically, imagine the old-school view-finders, but with a seamless, fully immersive video viewing experience. Teachers (including homeschool teachers!) can also create a tour in Google's Tour Creator, and publish it on Google Poly to share with others. Teachers can also sign up within the Google Expeditions app to guide a tour for their classroom and share that with the world, too.

Google Earth Education home page - Explore the tools Google provides and is in collaboration with to bring experiences within the world into the classroom via VR, AR, Google Earth, Google Expeditions app, YouTube 360.

Virtual Tour of the White House - a partnership with Google Expeditions

Take advantage of discounts on learning subscriptions and free offers that educational organizations are offering due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Visit Bravewriter’s Homebound page for specific discounts and freebies and watch inspirational videos from Julie Bogart's Facebook Live videos.

Check out this blog post published on March 13, 2020, from that lists 100 free learning sites students and teachers can access during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Enter the following offer code: USATWINKLHELPS - for new accounts only.

Try Ecree Free - through May 2020-writing support for grades 6-12.

Explore online educational resources. Check out this list of Homeschooling Resources provided by Reason magazine contributor, J.D.Tuccille, who also wrote, “School Canceled Because of Coronavirus? A Homeschooler Offers Some Tips.

Focus on bonding with your kids and your family in ways that you rarely get the chance to do during our busy lives. You won't regret the effort spent reconnecting your family.

For inspiration and perspective, read the blog article by homeschooling mother, Jojoebi, from Japan, “10 Good Things about CoronaVirus”. Jojoebi focuses on appreciating the forced slow-down and enjoying a different routine from the normal 9-5 that allows for more creativity and family time.

Read’s blog post by Beth Gorden, “101 Things to do in COVID-19 Isolation.

Read’s blog post by Beth Gorden, “101 Things to do in COVID-19 Isolation.

Read the Happy, Healthy, Messy blog post about their “playlist” for Homeschooling with Netflix (she recommends creating a separate profile for your homeschool selections).

Read Wildflowers and Marbles “An Open Letter to Parents Thrust into Homeschooling Because of Coronavirus/COVID 19” by Jennifer Mackintosh to get encouragement, as well as links to fun, simple activities, and resources.

For parents working remotely with kids home from school, read the blog article by working mother and employee of Phase2, Kristus Ratliff, “COVID-19, How to Work, Homeschool and Stay Sane”.

For friends that are homeschooling not by choice please refer them to this blog article from the Washingtonian contributor, Emma Francois, “Kids Out of School Amid Covid-19 Crisis? This homeschool mom has some advice”, or this webpage from the Coalition for Responsible Home Education about Homeschooling Through COVID-19.

Share with friends

Please feel free to share this information amongst homeschooling friends and also with those who may benefit from it most right now. Be sure and let them know about all the resources that Homeschool Concierge offers for homeschoolers, and all families considering homeschooling, throughout this time, and all year long.


This guest post was written by veteran homeschool parent Paige McKinney.

Paige is a mom of 2 grown unschoolers, and 1 nearly grown unschooler who attends a self-directed democratic school. She has over 19 years of experience in homeschooling and unschooling in Orange County, California, including working with homeschool groups, educational non-profit organizations, and independent study charter schools. More recently, Paige decided to follow her heart and move her family to Pennsylvania, where she is exploring alternative education on the East Coast.


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