Across the United States, more and more K-12 schools continue to close for the remainder of the year due to COVID-19. During these unprecedented times, parents are tasked with becoming the “substitute teacher” for their children.
Parents are accustomed to wearing multiple hats for their children; whether it’s the taxi driver or personal chef, they find a way to make it work. For most, education and schooling have been taken off their plate and handled by professionals. Parents have quickly realized how uneasy and challenging school can be for their children. Though teachers are putting in great effort virtually, it still may not be enough. Here are some tips to ease the transition from just homework to the new norm of homeschool.
- Stick to a Routine
It may be hard to believe, but, YES, kids do like a schedule and enjoy structure in their lives. It gives them a sense of security and direction. Maybe you have decided to make your “school day” shorter or start later than normal and that’s okay. But, be consistent- you want your child waking up having enough time to eat breakfast, brush their teeth, and get dressed for the day, just as if they were headed to school. Same for a sleep schedule. Don’t treat this time as a vacation and let them stay up too late or the next day will be a struggle for learning.
- Educate Yourself
Before you bombard your kid’s teachers with emails or calls questioning assigned work, take a moment to read the assignment thoroughly. Still, confused? Check your online platforms! During this time of transitioning to social distance learning, educators are making an extra effort to develop parent pages to further explain difficult topics; such as math and science. Remember, this is a new educational system for all of us and it is going to require some extra effort from all parties.
- Find Balance
Lucky for both students and teachers, the entire 6-7 hour school day doesn’t consist of sitting sedentary the entire time in one classroom. Students get the chance to visit different topics throughout the day ranging from the arts to physical education. They also get to enjoy lunch and recess. Incorporate these different aspects into you and your child’s schedule. Take advantage of this time to get outside together and connect with your child on a different level. Instead of screen time after school work, create an art project together. The quality time will be good for both of you.
Continue to give your best effort to become the new “substitute teacher” for your students. Be patient and kind. It will take time and some adjustments, but in the end, it will forever bring you and your family closer together.