Most California schools will remain closed for the fall, under an order from Governor Gavin Newsom, leaving parents to wonder how they will continue to manage schooling from home while keeping up with other responsibilities.


What You Need To Know

  • Most California schools will remain closed through the year amid the coronavirus pandemic

  • One homeschooling mom had tips and advice to parents whose kids will be learning from home this fall

  • Try to get to know your kids style of learning and tailor lessons to their needs, she says

  • Connect with other parents to create a support group, what many are calling ‘pods,’ to exchange ideas 


Danielle Fontaine made the decision to homeschool her three children about five years ago when they moved back to Los Angeles and couldn’t find a school they felt was a good fit. She tells Inside the Issues, her kids have different personalities, and Fontaine said she had to find ways to tap into the best learning style for each of them. 

“That would be my first advice to parents—getting to know your kid and teaching the way they want to be taught, versus how we were taught, and trying to implement that style on them,” she said.

Her oldest daughter doesn’t require a lot of tutoring, but her youngest son is different.

“He’s very active, so I have to find ways to get him engaged into different things, especially when it comes to reading and writing,” said Fontaine. “How can I make this into a game? How can I make this fun for him?”



Fontaine has a group of parents, or a kind of ‘pod,’ who she meets with virtually to discuss strategies and tips, and act as a support system for one another. The “pods” have become increasingly popular with parents as they brainstorm ways to get through the fall, but it’s something Fontaine has had for a while.

“As you can see, I’m Muslim, so I know two or three families in our area that on that religious basis, that I can connect with,” she said. “It helps that I've been friends with these people for many, many years and now they have kids and that’s very helpful.”

For parents who are currently looking for a similar group of parents, Fontaine suggested connecting with a family who your child loves to play with, as a start.

“I know it's going to be kind of hard just because we are remote right now, but try to find one or two parents and you can communicate to each other,”she said.

When approaching lesson planning, Fontaine’s strategy includes touching on a couple subjects per day, and trying to make them fun. 

“You will literally cry if you try to do every subject every day and get the laundry done and get your work done,” she said. “I will do math games and puzzles all day. As far as science, we do projects.

Reading and math, she said, can be seen as games or coding, and doesn’t have to consist of a structured lesson out of a book.

“I don’t really teach out of a book because I felt like when I was teaching out of a book they were just rolling their eyes,” she said. “I would do one or two science projects with them a week. History: we get through reading. There’s a lot of historical fiction books out there and you can take that historical book that you’re reading and go and research if you want to know a little bit more about a certain thing that you’re reading, go and research that. Make that into a project. Everything for us is like project-based and it works for my kids.”



And what about cooking? Well, that hasn’t been a problem in the Fontaine household these days. 

“During corona[virus], they’ve been doing more cooking in the kitchen than I have. I’m like, ‘Yes, finally!’ So it frees me up to do other things,” she said with a laugh. “Everything is a life lesson and I think that’s the beauty of homeschooling.”

Fontaine said parents should take it one day at a time.

“Don't give up. This is something you definitely can do. We are our kids’ teachers first and that's how we should always see this.”

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