When I rang in the new year this January I never would have thought that I’d be at home with my kids doing distanced learning. I don’t think any parent knew that this would come up. Not only were we not prepared, but we haven’t been to school in YEARS! While I’m sitting here, I’m remembering the day I got the idea to create this list… It was a Wednesday, halfway through the week, and it was math class. Please let it be known that I hated math as a kid and majored in communications to avoid math, but it was math day and that was when I picked up a calculator and told my child that “mommy can use this”. He didn’t like it but hey if you want mommy to help you, she’s using a calculator. Enough about math before I have flashbacks, let’s get into some tips!
1. Stay Calm & Familiarize Yourself with the Technology
Teachers and school districts are implementing any number of tech tools that are probably new to you if not new to your kids, too. It can be a lot of learning for you as parents, and you might feel overwhelmed trying to support your child’s learning at the same time you’re adjusting to changes in your own work life.
Remember that everyone has been thrown into this and is figuring things out as they go. Here are the links to tutorials for various apps that your students may need to learn and use.
2. Set a Schedule or Build a Routine
Routines and schedules are beneficial not just for productivity, but also for mental health. Giving your child, and yourself, something predictable and controlled can help offset the chaos of these times.
Depending on the type of learner you have, your child might benefit more from a clearly
defined schedule (specific start and stop times) or a routine (general divisions of the day). Whichever works better for you and your family, make sure that you implement it every single day.
3. Have a Separate Study Space
Even if your home is small, dedicate a certain area for studying only. This helps your child differentiate between playtime and school time. Maybe it’s the desk you’ve set up in the corner of the kitchen. Maybe you convert a spare room to the schoolroom.
Wherever it is, make that place a sacred studying space and avoid filling it with mail, or toys, or anything but tools for learning.
4. Set Goals & Incentives
It can be just as hard for adults to get motivated to work from home as it is for children to study from home. Consider how much more productive you are when you have a deadline, and even more so when you have an incentive. For kids, that might look like a fifteen-minute game break after completing two assignments. Or an hour of their choice activity after successfully completing all of the day’s assignments.
Check-in on your student’s progress and encourage them toward their goals. You’ve got this.