Well…it’s January 2021. It’s been quite some time since the lockdowns began, and it’s been quite some time since most of our children have set foot in a classroom, sadly.
Has it gotten any easier for you? The distance learning part?
It probably has in some ways, and in others…definitely not.
Most of us here at School Device Coverage are actually parents of school-aged children. Here are some things that we’ve done personally this year to help ensure that our children are receiving the best education possible now.
Create A Learning Space
Anyone who has ever worked from home knows that one of the best ways to feel like you are “at work” is to have a home office, or at least a designated area where work takes place during the day. Most people cannot wake up, reach over, grab a laptop, and get to work. The bed is for sleeping. The couch is for relaxing. The kitchen is for eating. People need a space to work, or to study, to get the most out of it. If at all possible, try to create a learning space for your children. If you do not have a lot of space, get creative with cardboard for faux walls, clear an area of distractions, etc.
Set A Rigid Routine
Oh it’s Monday morning at 0700? WAKE UP! Get your children up, teeth brushed, school clothes on, at the table for breakfast, and then off to ‘school’. Creating a rigid routine helps prepare your child’s mind to focus on their schoolwork and makes it easier to switch learning mode on. The routine is not just the morning, however. Breaks, lunch, and a hard stop time should also be followed accordingly.
Don’t Forget Physical Education
I’ll be honest, it’s been some time since I was a child but I do vividly recall having the energy of a nuclear reactor and I certainly needed a way to let it all out. With children being cooped up inside all day staring at their phones and their 1:1 learning devices, sometimes as parents we tend to forget about all the energy stored up in there. Schedule time every day for physical activity. Perhaps that is a walk around the neighborhood mid-morning or afternoon. Maybe it’s some burpees and jumping jacks in the backyard. Whatever it is, make sure it happens, because it’s very important and also helps the mind focus better.
Talk About School
If you are a stay-at-home or work-from-home parent, there’s a good chance that you are up to speed in real-time on what your child is learning. If not, you should ask every day. Asking your child about what they learned today maintains accountability while also giving you a great opportunity to get feedback from your child on how they are feeling, what they are learning about, and gives you an opportunity to step in early if they need help.
Change It Up
Ok, remember the whole thing about a rigid routine and all of that fun stuff? Great, now change it up! The beauty of routines is that they help establish a flow that makes it easier to stick to – but it can get old fast. When you begin to sense that your child is getting bored, implement a new routine. Change up the physical activities, cook lunch together, etc. Keep it fun, and keep them on their toes!
Most of all, though…just be there for them. No matter what, our children are having a hard time right now. Some children tend to do quite well learning remotely, but many do not. Combine that with the fact that they only way that they can safely see their friends is on Facetime, and it should be abundantly clear to us that we need to be available, and be proactive about how we care for them right now. Together is the only way we get through this.