Suddenly find yourself playing the role of school teacher during the Coronavirus pandemic? You’re certainly not alone. Due to nationwide school closures, many parents have suddenly found themselves in the shoes of their child’s teacher. Unfortunately, most of us haven’t exactly received the training that our children’s classroom teachers have undergone. If you find yourself in an out-of-the-blue homeschool situation, don’t fret and definitely don’t beat yourself up. There are ways to make this new normal work, even if you have no experience teaching your little ones. Let’s take a look at a few key tips you can use to make the most of homeschooling during Coronavirus.
Know Your Child’s Strengths
Is your child fiercely independent? Perhaps, they’re more attached at the hip. Knowing your child’s tendencies is the first step in making the most out of homeschooling. Here’s the thing, your independent child will work better on their own, they are keen to self regulate their learning skills. However, your attached child or a child who struggles with the school may need support from you or via an online Zoom session with a classmate.
Age should also be considered. Older kids tend to do just fine working on their own. In fact, they may insist on having their own space. Younger children will require more guidance. Whether your children or younger or older, it is best to let it be known that you are available if they hit a learning wall. Sometimes your support and presence in the room are more than enough.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are so many educational resources and applications available online to help your child succeed. Have a struggling reader in the family? Use text-to-speech apps like Notevibes to help with reading comprehension and vocabulary. Have a child who is struggling with math? Use ABC Mouse or Mathgames to help them see the fun in learning. Find a couple of resources online and work from there. Sit down and assess your kid’s greatest need and then look to their interest or passion.
Aside from curriculum-based online resources, you can also find passion projects. Does your child show an interest in the piano? Look for online piano lessons. What about dance? There are many free local dance classes being added online every day. Each of these resources can help children to feel connected, engaged, and free from the boredom of spending each day at home away from peers.
Set Up A Designated Space and Time for Learning
Kids need boundaries to feel secure. While they need to move around during the day, having one or two designated learning spaces can do wonders for productivity. Make space in distinct areas where children can keep all of their supplies and learning tools. Set them up in baskets and make a routine of going to learning spaces at a certain block of time each day. While you can be flexible, it is important to have some semblance of routine. Aim for two to four academic hours and make sure your kids get plenty of time to spend outside or play as well.
Setting a space and time for learning allows your child’s brain to click into work mode. Letting everyone set up on the couch isn’t going to make for much motivation in completing work or learning new concepts. Create a schedule, set up space, and you’ll find your kids falling into a new daily routine in no time.
A New Normal
Coronavirus won’t keep our lives this way forever, but for now, most of us have to adapt to this new way of living. This can be tricky for kids and parents alike, especially if you never planned on homeschooling. Keep these tips in mind and go with the flow. Each day will become easier in time. Set a schedule, use technology to your advantage, and know-how your child best learns. At the end of the day, you can take pride in knowing that you’ve done the best you can with what you have.