KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Parents across the Kansas City metro are home schooling for the first time. It’s not something they ever planned on but now it’s the reality.

Rebecca Kochenderfer, the founder of HomeSchool.com, said her website has reported a huge jump in traffic as families navigate how to do this.

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“We are living in epic times and you’ve got this! You’re going to be able to do this!” she encouraged parents.

The entire website is packed with information and resources on how to fill the day so families stay sane. There is now even a special section called “Coronavirus: Temporary Homeschool Solutions.”

“Just focus on growth. Set the intention right now with your family that you will be better because of this experience,” Kochenderfer said. “That you are going to be a closer family because of this experience and grow in all aspects of your life.”

Home schooling is fast

Many parents may be relieved to hear that home schooling doesn’t take eight hours to accomplish. Experienced families report they can home school their elementary kids in an hour or two, though middle and high school students do take longer.

The key is how kids spend the rest of their days. Experts encourage families to find other ways beside screen time to fill their days. Cooking, crafts, science projects and learning a musical instrument are all ways to fill the time.

Let kids help craft the plan

Home schooling looks different for each family, so beginning with a family plan where everyone has a bit of buy-in may help families get started.

Some families sit together at tables, but some kids may to have their own space.

The key is flexibility to help families figure out together what works

Top Tips from a local pro

Jacklynn Walters is an experienced home school mom who has been doing this for years. She told KCTV5 News that she starts with some quiet time just for herself in the morning.

“I’m up and ready with some quiet time to reset my brain,” she said.

Walters explained that sometimes the family sits at the kitchen table but other times kids peel off and go to their rooms.

“I always do hard subjects first. Whatever is most difficult for your child,” she suggested.

Walters documented her a day with her kids for KCTV5 News. It included a family walk, reading time, play time and a virtual playdate.

“A home school looks a lot different. And it shouldn’t look like a school. It’s not intended to look that way,” she said.

Walters said there are really good resources out there if parents to start looking around. There are websites and even YouTube videos.

Many parents still have some guidance from their local districts.

Here are a few resources that may be helpful:

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