Photo by @reesafrancis
I know many of you are feeling totally unprepared, unqualified, and completely over this whole homeschooling situation. First, off please know that we as educators are so sorry for this and while we did our best to prepare, there was not much we could do to prepare YOU for to turn your home into a classroom. While, I do not have all of the answers here are some common themes and tips I have been sharing with the parents of the students that I teach.
1. Get on a Schedule
I cannot stress this enough. Just as much as you love knowing what your day will look like, your kids do too. They want to know when they will do their reading and when they can look forward to lunch time. Do you your best to keep it simple and to keep it the same everyday of the week. Many of the teachers that I know have shared. their classroom schedules with families. While you do not have to follow them exactly they will give you a really good idea of what your child is used to. You might even find it helpful to go over what their school schedule will look like for the coming week on Sunday night. Your little ones have gone through a pretty traumatic change so know what they can expect will help them feel peaceful and prepared.
2.Take Breaks as Needed
You might find that your little is struggling to stay focused with all of the distractions at home. Don't worry it really common for this to happen at school too, for all learners.Keep in mind they are little and they have little attention spans and while you might see the benefit of completing all of their work in one sit down, it might just not be their style. Some really great break ideas include, getting outside and taking a walk or bike ride, doing some kid friendly yoga or giving them them a few minutes of quiet time doing an activity that they enjoy. Ask your little one what kind of break they need. You might be surprised as to how honest and self-reflective they can be when you trust them.
3.Have a Designated School Zone
Work to create a nook in your home for your child to do their work. Just as they might have a cubby or desk that they work from, you can create a similar area. Have some fun with your kids stocking this zone with all of the school essentials like scrap paper, pencils and extra headphones for virtual learning. This will help them get into the zone and prevent you all from running around the house looking for extra materials.
4. Be Careful with How Much you Help
I am finding that many students that I work with are asking for a lot of help from their parents, even when they do not need it. Not only does this not allow for your little one to have a productive struggle, but it also takes away from the things you need to get done for the day. Some helpful phrasing if you are encountering this is asking your child "what strategies have you tried already?" or "I want you to try your best on this and then I will take a peek once you are done." I am in no way saying that you should never help them, however, having the skills to work though challenges is something that will continue to benefit them long past their school years.
5. Reach Out to Your Teachers
Remember, we are here for you. We want to do all that we can to ensure that you and your children have all of the resources and materials you need. Please do not feel like you are bothering us. It's our job and we are missing it terribly.
I hope these help you and your little ones maintain a sense of peace during this season we are in. I would love to hear if you have given any of these a try and how they are working for your family.