At the beginning of the school year, every classroom teacher prepares substitute teacher plans. Since she often doesn’t know in advance she will need a sub, the teacher has a folder ready to go from the first day. It usually includes a wide variety of easy-to-implement and ready-to-go activities.
Have you ever thought about preparing your own substitute homeschool teacher plans?
Of course as homeschooling parents we don’t have an actual sub come in and work with our children if we’re sick and can’t teach for a particular day. But we can put together a plan ahead of time so when the eventual illness does catch up to us, we have something to save the day.
Self-directed, Highly Engaging Activities
I think the key to making a successful bin is to avoid meaningless busywork that can be completed in a couple of minutes (like coloring pictures – unless your child really loves them). The bin needs to be filled with engaging, self-directed activities or else it really defeats the purpose. If your kids have to come ask for your assistance every five minutes, you might as well be doing schoolwork with them and counting it as a day!
It’s also wise to not give the kids the entire bin at one time or they will go through everything in an hour and come back saying they are bored with the rest of the day before you. Let them choose one activity and require them to use it for a decent amount of time before they can trade it in for something else.
Preparing a Homeschool Substitute Teacher Bin
A medium storage bin works really well for this. The bin should be full of new-to-them, self-directed activities that will keep your children engaged. Naturally the contents will vary a lot based on the ages of your children. Things to include could be:
Amazon Gift Card w/balance to download new apps, books, etc.
Links to learning websites that are new to your children
Again, select items that work for your particular children and your particular needs. You can decide if you want them to keep the items out at the end of the day or if everything gets packed away to be brought out again when another substitute teacher day arrives.
What other things would you add to your bin?