A fellow teacher shared the following tips for “homeschooling.” Not all of the advice applies as some of it is more applicable for older children. Just thought I’d share in case there’s a nugget or two in here that might help, particularly if you have more than one child or you’re trying to figure out how to balance work with everything else. Well, aren’t we all? My words are parenthesized in italics.
Are you struggling with home school? Here are a few tips:
1) Create a dedicated school/office space with limited distractions and all needed supplies. (In other words, set up your prepared environment.)
2) Create a simple age based schedule and stick to it! (Well, do what you can. Remember that routine and structure will provide peace for all, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.)
3) Use the timer on your phone to manage transitions and prevent burnout. (Go easy on yourself. Find tools that work for you, and if they don’t, keep trying. Now is not the time to try and be parent of the year! Self-care, or self-love, is the key here.)
4) Kids are not actively learning all day at school. There are lots of built in breaks, transitions, and movement. Keep active learning to smaller sessions. (This one, in particular does not apply; young children should be allowed to move regularly! Remember to follow your child and provide regular, meaningful hands-on activities and experiences with lots of space for free play and exploration. In short, you don’t have to “teach” or engage them all day.)
5) Prepping for the week will make all the difference… (Baby steps! I understand what she’s trying to say here, but don’t worry if you haven’t figured out how to “prep for the week” in this time of uncertainty. We are all figuring things out as we go!)
6) Your teachers will over-provide resources and activities. Do not feel like you have to do them all; you don’t need to sacrifice your child/parent bond for unrealistic expectations. (Strongly agree here! What’s more important than your child’s “learning” or academics is your emotional connection with them at this time. Do not put pressure on yourself in other words. Taking care of yourself means you’re taking care of your child.)
If you want some general tips on taking care of yourself through this pandemic, check out this recent post A Letter to Parents During a Pandemic from Jack’s Mom in Austin.