6 Tips for Doing School at Home
No matter what boat your in – for online learning or in-person – chances are your children will start the school year working from home. If you are like us, the end of the last school was very trying, frustrating, and downright tiresome.
Though many school districts are much more prepared for online learning now, we thought we would share some helpful tips for doing school at home.
Set a Daily Schedule.
To help everyone deal with the process of adjusting to the disruption and change, it can be comforting and productive to keep regular hours for school, shared meals, and other activities.
- Let kids help in the planning. Decide together on how you want the schedule to look.
- Talk in detail about how things will work, to see if people have questions or suggestions.
- Try to listen to each person’s concerns and be open-minded about creative solutions to any issues.
- Each day, let kids decide on their own the order in which they want to do their assignments.
- Be sure to include play time, alone time, and outside time.
Create a Learning Environment.
Just like working from home is difficult for many adults given the added distractions, the same is true for children. Kids are used to playing at home, relaxing, and watching tv. Of course these things can pose a hinderance to learning.
- Help kids to create their own space for working, whether that’s in their favorite living room chair, on their bed in the privacy of their room, or sitting at the kitchen table.
- You may even set up several work stations and encourage students to use different spots for different subjects.
- All you’ll really need is a flat surface! Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones can also really help keep out distractions.
Make Time for Breaks.
Downtime does wonders for productivity. Students get plenty of downtime throughout any normal school day. So remember to enable moments of downtime and encourage occasional relaxation. Sometimes in the middle of a difficult lesson or challenging assignment, a quick break can be just what you and your kids need. Get outside if you can and use nature to teach; the fresh air is healthy for mind, body, and spirit.
These days are a great time to chill out a little about small mistakes. Try to keep lessons pleasant. Focus on positive reinforcement. If you stay flexible while following your own rules, you’ll set a tone of structured fun.
Positive Vibes Only.
It’s never a bad idea to look on the bright side. Reframing and gratitude can go a long way. One of the silver linings for all of us right now is the fact that we’re making history!
- When your children’s children ask them about the Coronavirus outbreak, what do you want them to remember? What stories of your own childhood can you share with them? When you were a kid, how did your family entertain themselves at home?
- Think of all the meaningful projects you can do as a family, from creating and sending out handmade cards to seniors in your community, to writing and filming a movie together, or dreaming up a fancy menu and learning how to cook it together.
- When things get tough, take a deep breath, look at each other say: “We’ve got this.” Believe in each other and encourage each person to believe in themselves. Positivity is contagious, so you’ll find that everyone’s attitude improves.
Whatever happens, be compassionate. Have compassion with your children, have compassion with your fellow caregivers, and have compassion with yourself. We’re all figuring this out as we go along, driven by the clarity of purpose this challenge is revealing to us.
Show Yourself Some Love.
If you’ve recently been thrown into an unfamiliar or overwhelming situation, be forgiving and kind with yourself. Remind yourself and those around you that you’re all adjusting to something new. It could just be a blessing in disguise.
Whenever you can: keep things simple. Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t try to do too many things at once. Take each day as it comes. Don’t obsess over little setbacks; perfection is an illusion. Be sure you take time to recharge every day. If you start to feel stressed, breathe, laugh, and enjoy what you’re doing.
Of course, at the end of the day, a “way to go teacher” glass of wine helps.
End of Day Chat.
A daily wrap-up one-on-one meeting with each child helps ensure success and gives both kids and caregivers a sense of accomplishment. Take ten minutes at the end of the school day to go over their work, discuss any questions they have, and check to make sure everything got done, offering positive feedback and chatting about what you’ll be doing tomorrow.