Note: This post is sponsored by, and written in collaboration with, Leavenworth Virtual School. Kerrie is a chaos-loving, homeschooling (with Leavenworth Virtual School) mama of 5 living in Overland Park. You can find her, and all of her offshoot projects, at TheKerrieShow.com.
Sure, virtual homeschooling is different from brick and mortar school, but some things are similar. Here are some things to consider when you are getting your student/child ready for back-to-virtual-school:
- Set a start date. It’s important for your entire family (and friends and neighbors, too!) to know when school is starting. Vacations and events should be scheduled around the first day of homeschooling.
- Go back-to-school shopping. Leavenworth Virtual School (LVS) in conjunction with Calvert Education sends everything a kindergartner would need, including watercolors, jumbo crayons and pencils, construction paper, math manipulatives and more! For the older kids, they make sure to include plenty of scratch paper for writing and doing math problems. Still, your kids might enjoy some new things to call their own, like maybe a colorful fabric bin to keep all their homeschooling goodies and projects in, or a new set of markers or special notebook. I can’t tell you how nice it is not to have a massive list of things to buy, compiled by a teacher, for each kid. The cost and logistics of all those must-have items makes my head spin!
- Plan some freezer meals. You’ll want to focus on figuring out the routine and rhythm for your kids and for yourself, and having some freezer meals (or the pizza delivery place on speed dial) ready to go will save your sanity and help you focus on the lessons each day during those first few weeks.
- Plan some extracurricular, active and social activities. Leavenworth Virtual School has Fun Fridays, where there is plenty of time to play and socialize, as well as a short, fun and educational lesson on something cool like hieroglyphics. Get all their field trips on your calendar, as well, so your kids can meet up with other LVS kids while you get some time to meet other homeschooling parents.
- Have an unpacking party! Once the boxes come from Calvert, full of textbooks, workbooks, reading books, the science kit and so many other fun things, have fun unpacking them with your children.
- Review the curriculum ahead of time. Take some time to check out the curriculum so you are prepared to teach the first week of lessons.
- Start the day right. Prepare a special breakfast to get that brainpower going for the whole family.
- Don’t forget to take a family photo. The photo of the first day of school is always one to treasure and look back on with fondness.
- Celebrate the first day of school. You might want to go a little bit light and ease into your first day of school, which is a wonderful benefit of virtual homeschooling. After you’re done, consider going out for ice cream or heading to a park so you can all blow off some steam. You could even have your fellow homeschooled friends over for a potluck picnic dinner in the backyard!
- Finally, have your students keep a journal for the year. This can be an inexpensive spiral-bound notebook or in something fancy your kids create and decorate themselves, but the point is to try to jot something down daily throughout the school year. Even little ones can draw a picture of how they are feeling or of something they did that day.
Leavenworth Virtual School is a K-8, tuition-free public virtual school available to families statewide in Kansas. To learn more about the program and view their schedule of upcoming events, click here.