How 'regular school' parents can homeschool their kids

A mother helps her 5-year-old child to do school homeworks on the COVID-19 coronavirus on March 12, 2020 in Manta, near Cuneo, Northwestern Italy, as Italy shut all stores except for pharmacies and food shops in a desperate bid to halt the spread of a coronavirus that has killed 827 in the the country in just over two weeks.

(CNN)School closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak mean millions of parents and guardians who have grown accustomed to sending their children to traditional schools are now faced with the task of educating them at home.

The coronavirus has turned caregivers around the world into homeschoolers.
This transition is daunting. It's unfamiliar. And it's also critically important to ameliorate the disruptions the virus has caused in education for the year.
    CNN spoke with several parents, teachers and homeschooling experts about how to make the most of homeschooling for your family.

      Recognize homeschool is not school

      The most important caveat about temporary homeschooling is that it simply isn't school. Kids accustomed to the school environment won't be as focused. Lessons won't be as professional as the ones they're used to getting. And since local governments are encouraging everyone to minimize interactions with others, socialization will be tough.
      Kimberly Fox, staff developer for The Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University in New York, said it's important for parents to suspend disbelief and doubt and lean into the new format.
        "We don't have to be school," said Fox, who lives in Brooklyn. "Under these circumstances, we're not going to entirely replace all of the structures that happen at school. But we can do a couple of things to make kids feel more secure and to make us feel like we're making the most of this time."
        Adriana, 7, and Marcos, 5, do their schoolwork at home in Madrid, Spain.

        Let kids be a part of the decision-making

        Many schools and school districts have set up online learning platforms or sent kids home with packets of schoolwork to complete. These assignments are non-negotiable. Beyond these requirements, however, parents can give their children a say in what else they'll learn.
        Jamie Heston, a board member of the Homeschool Association of California, said the best way to do this is to have your kids make a list of things they'd like to do and learn. From there, she said, you can whittle down the options as a family.
        "There are lots of ways you can have fun and have it be educational, [and] not just be sitting at a table with a book open," said Heston, who lives in Hayward, California.
        Possibilities include math and chemistry through baking; botany through gardening; basic carpentry; or learning about space through a mobile app.

        Make a schedule