Many schools are closing across the country. Some of these schools are switching to more of a homeschooling format to keep the learning going through this unplanned time off from school. So now, parents who have previously sent their kids to school are finding themselves needing to act as their children’s teachers. Here are some tips from someone who is right there in the trenches with you. These are some things that I have found work:
- Don’t expect your child to work seven to eight hours a day. She doesn’t even study that much in school normally as her day is broken up by recess, lunch, maintenance, and other extracurriculars. Elementary school students average one or two hours, middle school two to three, high school three to four. You may have noticed this already in how fast your child goes through the materials your teacher assigns — I know I did.
- Have open communication with your child’s teacher. Don’t fret about asking the teacher questions; that’s what he is here for. He misses your child terribly and wants you to succeed.
- Khan Academy and YouTube are full of good information to help you educate your child. If you don’t understand what she is doing in a certain subject, look it up.
- Try to teach according to what your child is learning in school. Try to use the language they use in school to build on what he knows, instead of confusing him using the terms that we grew up with. For example, some of the concepts we learned in math aren’t used anymore. Refer to your teacher or Khan Academy if you need help.
- Let your child lead the learning. Let her work on what she wants to work on when she wants to work on it. As long as deadlines are met, there’s no point in forcing anyone in her work. An interested child learns better.
- Let your child sleep in. This is a stressful time, and sleep is good for your immune system.
- Don’t worry about getting your child dressed every day.
- Get your child outside when you can. Running around will help him burn energy. Please remember that some playgrounds are closed and social distancing applies to children as well, but your yard is always free!
- Encourage her to read. Reading will help with all of her other subjects, and it can be a good distraction.
- Give your child chores and have him help in the kitchen. He can learn skills like math while participating in these activities, and it can also help take some weight off of your shoulders.
- Above all, be easy on yourself and your child. Everyone is stressed right now; don’t add to it by worrying about perfection.
By Bethanie Ryan