Jackie Bertolette

Tips For Homeschooling During Quarantine

We have some tips from teachers and home schooling parents

March 18, 2020

With our kids home from school for an extended period of time, parents have been stepping in as teachers to help with school work. If you are like a lot of us and just really struggling, these helpful tips should alleviate some of your stress!

I spoke to two local public school teachers and two veteran home schooling parents and asked them for any tips they can offer to us. Here's what they said.

  • Kyleen Hopp - Teacher, Mentor Public Schools 

Kyleen Hopp

"One piece of advice-- Let the kids facilitate the learning. One thing we've done as a profession is step away from delivering information in a lecture format. Rather, we are encouraging our kids to try any method they can to solve problems, to work together, to collaborate and explore a variety of solutions to solve problems. Math is scary for many parents but instead of sitting down and trying to teach them "carry the one" let them show you what they already know. These little humans have a lot of strategies in their pockets, give them a chance to show you first before you try to deliver the information."

"To elaborate-- They have a very loose schedule as far as how they choose to learn. We've gone from lecture style, I know everything (teacher), to here try this and let me know what you think, let me know how you plan to explain your thinking...and hey, let's share your thinking with everyone so maybe someone else who is stuck can try your way. There's just a shared responsibility now for's not just me, the smartest person in the room (thank god because I clearly am not!)."

  •  Jackie Bertolette - Home Schooling Parent, Willoughby

Jackie Bertolette
Jackie Bertolette

"I think my biggest word of advice is “ S.H.I.F.T.”. I made this up for Trent & I for our first year....this type of school is intense at times. It is overwhelming at times. It is Schizophrenic at times. But it is for the kids too. “S” is schedule-stay in a set schedule when possible. “H” is humor! It will be crazy for both you & the student. Keep a sense of humor about “fumbling” through it together. “I” is ingenuity. This type of school long offers the unique opportunity to Think out of the box for ways to make it fun & not monotonous. “F” is flexible. Stay on schedule when possible but be flexible too. The nature of this type of school is fitting into your daily agenda. Forget the “9 to 5” mentality. “T” is for tolerance. It WILL be a struggle for both. No doubt but if you remember that it IS a struggle for both you & your student, you can be more willing to “SHIFT” your thinking to a new system of learning."

  • Austin Boxler - Social Studies & Science teacher at Davis Aerospace & Maritime High School

Austin Boxler
  1. Practice the basics with students. Oftentimes, schools are moving at warp speed to cover all content in the curriculum, and lack the time to further assist students with fundamental skills. Use this time to work with students on the basics like multiplication tables, balancing equations, grammar, parts of speech, etc. Even if you are just refreshing the information, it should help ground students’ academic work.
  2. Assign a project. If your student is more advanced, assign them a project that encourages them to both interact with numbers and write something. For example, have the student analyze census data to make a prediction about how many people will live in the U.S. according to the 2020 census. Make sure students have a thesis statement and that they support that statement with relevant evidence. There’s also an opportunity to make this into a full-blown research paper where students have to cite credible sources. But don’t assign anything you won’t personally read and provide feedback on.
  3. Practice life skills. Not all work at home has to be purely academic. Students also need to know how to cook, change oil, make small repairs, sew, do laundry, balance a checkbook, etc. Use this time to make sure students have the life skills they need when they are adults. You may also consider teaching cursive, as many high schoolers never learned and feel embarrassed that they can’t sign their names when requested.
  4. Make a plan. This is a great time for students to think about their future plans. Have them research colleges, universities, and career technical opportunities. Have them research what will be required when it’s time to apply to a program. Have them look at examples of resumes and cover letters. Being better informed and prepared now will help students meet their career goals later.
  • Freia Ramsey - Owner of Taproot Yoga in Chardon, Homeschooling Parent

Freia Ramsey

"Kids yoga for sure!!! We have a class online Wed at 4:15pm. Also YouTube has a million amazing videos and yoga songs. Kira Wiley is a personal favorite. Her videos and songs are really sweet. I love her sun salutations song and video. I also always loved scavenger hunts outside with Anya. It got us out and exploring. We would bring a basket and collect things and make art or sculptures with the stuff we collected. Painting rocks, coat with midge podge or a clear sealer and then make a path with them around yard or in woods. A trail to follow. They could be numbered, be in rainbow color order. This makes me wish I still had a little one at home to play with. Good luck!!!"