That sounds like your school has really gone above and beyond with the teacher figuring out the logistics of how to educate virtually. I'm glad it's been a smoother transition!
I love your question.
Your kids are currently doing school at home, which is working fine. Plenty of long-time homeschoolers use this approach as well. However, I think the lasting positive impact on our family from homeschooling will primarily come from two things: shared experiences and rich content. A third key to success for us is focusing on routine (rather than schedule.)
- A shared experience is something where you are alongside your child, learning and enjoying with them. Our favorite vehicle for this is family read-alouds that make us think, laugh, cheer, and cry together. The vocabulary works its way into our family vernacular, and characters and lessons from the story become stepping stones for big conversations months later. Other shared experiences might be tackling interesting challenges together, freewriting together, or creating art together. Leveling the playing field is a powerful way to demonstrate what life-long learning looks like for our kids.
- Rich content is sadly sometimes lacking from large school classrooms, perhaps because tastes among children differ, because their ability to appreciate beautiful things is often underestimated, or because wonder and an enlarged soul aren't things that can be measured on a standardized test and thus have had to take a backseat. My preschoolers memorize Shakespeare and love the way the words sound. My 7 year old boy can snuggle up and listen to poem after poem (silly ones, but also ones that move us both). We study art, nature and classical music, just because it's lovely. You can find curriculum that weaves in all these things, or if your curriculum is already a set thing, you can take 15-30 minutes a day and rotate through beautiful extras. This dovetails nicely with the idea of shared experience above, since all of these things can be appreciated just as well as an adult.
- Routine, not schedule - We do math first thing after breakfast, but it isn't always the same time every day and the curriculum might vary. I always read books aloud at lunchtime, but sometimes that's just a few pages and sometimes it's much more. A routine allows for the consistency necessary to move the needle on education, while maintaining space for the flexibility that makes homeschool grand.