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Tips for Parents and Students to Survive Homeschooling

Tips for parents and students to survive homeschooling and online learning!

Kids need breaks.

They can't continue working for an hour straight. It's too much. Break up work into half-hour chunks. Forcing your child to do more than they can do puts pressure on everyone and no one wins.

Don't feel like you have to get it all done.

Adjustments will be made. Do what you can and that's all you can do. This is new territory we're in. Some of you have jobs, some of you are stay-at-home. Either way, it's hard and new. Not to mention were all a little coronavirus-stressed!

No full days.

Your day shouldn’t operate as a regular 9:00 - 3:30 school day. It might look more like a 4-5 hour day at the most.

Give yourself time.

We'll all start to feel the flow of this. Give it a week, then create a schedule. Adhere to it loosely. 

The technology piece will get easier.

They might be ninjas at Minecraft and Nintendo, but connecting to school work through tech is new and hard. We may all need some hand-holding through this process. Take some time to learn the tech aspects of the programs we are using. Maybe that's all you can do this week.

Update your child's teacher.

Let them know what's working and what's not. This is new for them too.

No comparing.

It's good to talk and share and it's also not good to talk and share. Different schools are implementing different virtual learning methods and different parents doing different things with their children. Don't compare. Keep working with your teachers and just keep doing what you're doing. 

Working parents.

You simply cannot find a way to be a full-time teacher, a full-time employee, and a full-time parent. Let teachers know that you couldn't help complete an assignment because you had a work matter to attend to. Consider it a successful day if you managed to get yourself dressed and bonus points if you actually made the bed. 

Recognize homeschool is not school 

The most important caveat about temporary homeschooling is that it simply isn't school. Kids accustomed to the school environment won't be as focused. Lessons might not be delivered in the same way as the ones they're used to getting. Interactions with others and socialization are now limited. We're not going to entirely replace all of the structures that happen at school.

Make a schedule 

Make a schedule and display it prominently so everyone in the family knows what's coming and when it's over. Most kids work off a schedule in their classrooms, so recreating something similar at home can ease the transition to a different learning environment for the foreseeable future. At the same time, each family should embrace the opportunity to create a rhythm of life that works for them. Include chores, family dinners or breakfasts, and family projects in your new family routines.

Acknowledge that kids have different needs.

It can get particularly complicated in families with multiple children. Each child will learn differently.  Some may be able to work more independently than others where some children will need more guidance. It’s important to understand their needs and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Build-in recess 

A walk outdoors is not only healthy for your body and spirit but your mind, too!

Downtime is your friend 

Downtime or time for kids to work on projects quietly and independently is just as important as active time outside. Kids need time to "disconnect" every day — from each other, from parents, from technology and from the outside world. this space allows for independent exploration but also can help reduce friction.

Get crafty 

Art is an important part of education, and homeschooling also provides parents with an opportunity to get creative with crafts.

Accept your limits 

Many mothers and fathers likely will be forced to balance homeschooling with their day-to-day responsibilities at work. It means a whole lot of parents will be forced to juggle like court jesters and circus clowns. We all just need to try to do our best, whether we're teachers, parents or working professionals. There's no map for this journey that we're on.

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