If someone told you a few months ago that you would be a teacher administering lessons digitally or a parent now in charge of your child's learning, you probably wouldn't have believed it. But here we are! The year 2020 has given learning a whole new look for teachers, parents and students.
Find our ‘Home Learning’ title page for free at the end of this post.
These times we are in now are not easy. We are all navigating the unknown. So we wanted to put together some strategies to help while we are all finding our way. Parents, hopefully, this post will give you some confidence, guidance and reassurance. Teachers, please feel free to pass onto parents to help them during this time.
So, here we go - 8 strategies to help survive 'school' at home:
1. Keep it simple
Overcomplicating something can quickly send us into a spin of overwhelm. Keep things very simple during this time, and your child is guaranteed to respond more positively. If your child's school is sending home too much work, pick and choose what you feel works best for your situation, and if they aren't sending enough, decide on one or two places where you will find extra resources for your child. Try to avoid joining every Facebook group, blog or teacher on Instagram. You don't need all the things. You just need to do a few things well!
2. Kids love routine
Set up a routine for your kids. Not only does it help them to feel safe and secure, but it gives everyone in the family boundaries on life at home during this time. You could set up a structured list or timetable. Alternatively, take a more relaxed approach and list the few things they need to do each day on a little whiteboard or use sticky notes on the fridge to communicate what will be completed each day (try asking your child to choose at least one activity, so they have a sense of ownership). Keep expectations on the amount you want to get done with them low and consider packing lunch each day to avoid taking constant snack orders.
3. Parents, you are not a classroom teacher
Trying to run your dining room like a classroom isn't the aim here. As a parent, you have so many different hats to be wearing (one of them may be working from home yourself). No one is expecting you to be schooling your children 6 hours a day. Set some ground rules, try your best and remind your child that you are new to all of this as well.
4. Start a journal
2020 is going to be a year for the record books. Encourage your child to write a journal. Not only will it count as their writing for the day, but at the end of all of this, they will have a keepsake that captured what life was like for them during this pandemic.
Note: A journal doesn't need to be the traditional pen and paper kind. It might be a 'photo of the day', collages, poetry or a collection of drawings with captions.
5. Get Active
We are hearing all the experts saying it, and they are right - our kids need to get their bodies moving every day. It might be an obstacle course in the backyard, an online YouTube video (like PE with Joe), GoNoodle or joining in with you while you workout. Also, know that movement breaks and being active helps with learning!
6. Google is a friend!
As a parent, you are not expected to know it all (remember, teachers have studied for at least 4 years before stepping into the classroom). Use this time as an opportunity to teach your child some problem-solving skills. If you don't know how to do something - work it out together with our trusty friend, Google!
7. Everyday activities have an educational purpose!
Encourage your children to help you around the house. Organising the pantry teaches them about measurement and capacity, cooking requires mathematical and scientific skills, while vacuuming and mopping can be counted as physical activity! Cleaning out nooks and crannies in your home and having your children help collect items to donate to charity is also a good lesson in kindness.
8. Encourage a passion project
There will be times when you will need a mental break. As we mentioned earlier, keeping your child engaged for 6 to 7 hours of the day like at school is unrealistic. Use this time to encourage your child's curiosity. Being bored promotes creativity and imagination, along with a whole list of other benefits. Chat with your child and find out about what topic is intriguing them at the moment. Use this time for them to brainstorm, research and create something on their passion project. One passion project could lead to another, then another.
There has never been a time more than now where parents and teachers need to work as a team to embrace this major change. Do what you can and remember that there will be a rainbow at the end of all of this.
PS: Each day, we are sharing simple parent teaching tips on Instagram to help during this time. Come on over and follow us for more tips, strategies, and support.
Need some help keeping kids busy? We have loads of free resources for all ages that are engaging. Click on the links below to find some activities your child will love:
Find our ‘Home Learning’ title page as a free download here.
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