School At Home During Covid-19
With millions of us now doing remote learning with our children, it can be challenging to keep our kids focused. I have heard from many parents who are simply overwhelmed by all of it. If you have multiple grades, multiple learning styles, and multiple teachers sending work, you may feel like there is no way to keep all your kids on task and learning while getting your own work done. Here are some tips to make remote learning easier for you and for your kids:
Keep to a Schedule
Use a whiteboard to post the schedule for the day. Children like to know what is happening and it helps everyone stay on task. My kids even like to know what we are eating that day and at what time. Have everyone meet for breakfast together and then after clean up you can get started. I have everyone start at the kitchen table so I can see what everyone needs to work on.
Eat the Frog First
Have everyone do their least favorite or most time consuming/tedious thing first. Once that is out of the way, it seems all downhill from there. I also like to get my younger ones who need me to explain things, going first. Older kids are able to get started on their own.
Headphones can help easily distracted kids stay focused. They can either listen to the story while reading along or they can listen to music. It blocks background noise and helps kids stay on task.
Homeschooling Takes Less Time
You do not have to teach your kids for 7 hours a day. K-5 should only take 2-3 hours a day. Middle and high school will take longer, but really only because they will have zoom classes.
This is the perfect time to let your child learn about something that interests them! Whether it is rockets, dinosaurs, sewing, baking, or a musical instrument. Let them learn something they want to learn. We are so lucky to have the internet and youtube. You can learn anything at home now. Give your kids permission to learn outside of the box.
As an English teacher, I can tell you that younger kids will be fine if you read to them and let them read to you and practice math facts. Don’t worry about the rest of it. Read as much as possible. Read aloud! Let them listen to books online. Let them read to you. Reading is the most important skill for k-4. First, we learn to read and then we read to learn. If you don’t learn to read well, you will have a difficult time later when you have to read to learn.
Quality Over Quantity
Do not worry about your younger kids doing a hundred worksheets a day. Just focus on skills! Once they have mastered the skill, move on.
Enjoy Family Time
Embrace this slow pace of life. No sports, no extracurricular activities, no driving kids all over town every day. Play games, bake together, watch movies and documentaries, read aloud, get outside and enjoy nature, have conversations. Enjoy your kids and create some magical memories together.