The 2020 school year is shaping up to be a headache for parents and kids across the country. With many schools switching to strictly at-home learning, or even a hybrid of that and in-person, parents are trying to figure out how to manage homeschooling their children for the very first time.
It’s certainly a struggle, but you can get through it! Here are some of our tips for easing the adjustment to virtual learning:
Set up their work space for success.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy – it could even be just a tiny table and chairs from IKEA – but make sure to set aside a dedicated space for your child to learn. Elisabeth, Sponsorship Coordinator of Fairfield County Mom, notes that setting up a space is the best “way of preparing ourselves and organizing our days. Each child has a desk area with organized school supplies. Each one of my daughters has a desk, chair, and multiple file and pencil organizers. This is my back-to-school tip to parents who are struggling with distance learning: create a space that works for you and has all supplies at your children's fingertips!”
Also, consider grabbing a couple of pairs of blue light glasses for you and for your little ones since we’re all seeing a major increase in our screen time.
Get more back-to-school tips and mom insight on Instagram at @fcmom203.
But, decorate it, too!
If your kids had lockers at school, they made them their own with photos and other decor. Add some flair to their at-home workspace to keep that same energy! Try getting some square Prints of friends or a Desk Calendar to keep track of dates. You can even store all of their important school files on a Custom USB.
Be communicative with your child’s teachers.
Alle Neesham, a kindergarten teacher in San Antonio, Texas, emphasizes keeping communication open with your child’s teachers. “The teacher will know what the parents need to do in order to best support their child. Every situation and child is different and they will all need different support. In the classroom, the teacher is the expert at differentiation, but at home the parents need to be able to support the child in different ways for every subject. The only way to successfully do this is by communicating those needs.”
Learn more tips from Alle on Instagram at @learningtobloomclassroom.
Bring the recess home.
School is not just where your children learn the alphabet and math equations – it’s also where they socialize, play, share, and more. Don’t forget to build in some outside time! It’ll help refresh their brains for more learning.
Go with the flow.
Elisabeth emphasizes having a routine but letting it evolve: “As a part-time working from home parent, I have many concerns for my daughters and what the school year will look like! While I thoroughly enjoyed many things about our 'new normal,' the lack of schedule was challenging. This fall, our elementary school is operating on a hybrid schedule: AM and PM cohorts that attend school for 2.5 hours and do distance learning the other chunk of time. While our schedule is a bit difficult (pre-school in the AM cohort and elementary in the PM cohort), I am thankful for the consistency and opportunity to see their teachers. I have learned to 'go with the flow' and not count on plans.”
Don’t be hard on yourself!
This is new territory for a lot of parents, so give yourself a break. Do the best you can and find the groove that works for your family. Try to embrace the chaos! Even though this isn’t ideal for anyone, your kids will look back on this time fondly because they got to spend more time with you.
What tips for learning at home do you have?