A new back-to-school season is upon us but this year, the uncertainty of COVID-19 means 2020 is anything but typical. For much of the country, “back-to-school” is looking more and more like “back-to-your-living-room” for distance learning. Unless your Jacksonville, Florida of course! With many parents still recovering from this challenging learning format this spring, the thought of gearing up for round two can send anyone into panic mode.
Luckily, we know some who have homeschooled their children for years and have offered up some tips to help you through these next few months as effectively as possible, given the circumstances. Here are some of the most popular tips:
- Create functioning work stations. Designating specific space in your home for classwork will help everyone stay on schedule, be productive, and stay organized. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. The dining room table can be the perfect place for daily learning.
- Create a media-free zone. Besides the technology your students need to complete their work, remove any other distracting devices (such as TVs, game consoles, and phones) in their workspace.
- Dress the part. Productivity is proven to be higher if you and your kids get out of PJs and dress as they would for a regular school.
- Keep a routine. Structure is key. Make sure everyone sticks to the daily schedule. If you have access to a whiteboard, use it to make the schedule visible to everyone.
- Use alarms and calendars. Since a daily routine is crucial, use the calendar and alarm features on computers to alert everyone when it’s time to move onto the next task.
- Reach out to teachers early on. Letting each teacher know who you are and that you’re serious about partnering with them to have a successful school year is great for your kids and crucial for getting help when questions come up. Keep the lines of communication open!
- Use professional learning tools and websites. Websites such as Khan Academy and Quizlet, and magazines such as National Geographic and Scholastic are all proven to be successful resources. Don’t waste money or time by recreating the wheel with homemade flashcards if it’s not necessary.
This too shall pass, one day you’ll look back at this and be in awe of how you persevered. Littler eyes are watching you, so stay positive and keep moving forward!