Remote learning presents many challenges to parents, many of whom are also now working from home. Having to play the role of teacher as well as parent can be overwhelming. How can you create a positive environment that allows your children to keep up with their studies while you keep your sanity? Allison Wilson, Senior Director of Curriculum & Innovation at the Stratford School, offers tips that will help you tackle the new coronavirus homeschooling, work and family dynamic.
Create a Family Agreement
Wilson recommends sitting down together as a family and discussing what will work best with the shift from learning at school to learning at home. “Discuss how rules and expectations keep everyone safe and help in working together.”
Having children identify rules or behaviors from school that will also be important as they learn at home is another addition Wilson suggests for the agreement.
Write down all of your family’s agreement and post it in a place that’s visible so they can easily refer back to them.
Don’t Be Afraid to Team Teach
“Co-parenting, just like co-teaching can have great benefits. Each parent can bring their own unique talents to the table and support children in their learning,” Wilson says.
A helpful tool — a daily work folder that can be reviewed with your child each day will let them know which parent will be available to support them with any given subject or assignment.
Create a Schedule
Routine offers children a sense of security and safety during this time. Wilson recommends providing your child with a daily schedule to help them navigate through their day.
“A daily schedule is another practical tool or a choice board, highlighting what children can choose to do during free or choice time. Coloring sheets with weekly learning targets or daily tasks can also be supportive.”
These tactile aids help kids and parents know what to expect each day.
Many parents are struggling with transitioning from parenting to working throughout the day. Wilson says communication is key in this area as well.
“Prior to a virtual meeting, I communicate what my children can do while I’m working. Essentially, I am signaling that I’m putting on my working hat for a little bit, and we’ll have time together once I’m done.”
Letting your children know what they can expect and providing them with some tools can make transitions much easier.
Progress Not Perfection
“We have only been at this new way of learning for a few weeks and building new routines takes time. My encouragement is to prioritize what is most important into two categories: 1) Must complete and 2) Additional practice,” Wilson notes. This means allowing you and your children some grace as you navigate this new normal together.
Wilson also reminds parents that almost anything can be a learning opportunity—from preparing a meal, to a walk outside, even playing a game. Modeling the importance of flexibility for your children during this time will go a long way in helping them form their own coping skills.
Coronavirus Homeschooling: Source
Allison Wilson, Senior Director of Curriculum & Innovation, Stratford School