Well here we are again! Many parents have begun supervising their children through round 2 of Adventures in Remote Learning. Or, maybe this is your first year with a little one in kindergarten. In Hillsborough and Pinellas counties as many as 50% of families have chosen the option of remote schooling at home.
So, will it be easy? No. Do we miss our old routines? Yes. Additionally, it is especially challenging if you’re also trying to work from home or you have multiple children with different needs.
We’d love to hear what has been working for you to make things easier. Please share!
Here are a few things that have worked for us and ideas that we love:
1. Firstly, listen to and acknowledge your child’s feelings. The plain truth is remote learning is hard. It’s hard for everyone: children, parents and teachers. Let your child talk about how they are feeling and let them know you understand. Naturally, being open and accepting of their feelings makes a difference.
2. Secondly, talk about expectations the night before, make plans and get agreements. Kids thrive on predictable routines. So, take some time each night to talk about the next day, which could include: schedules, school supplies needed, assignments they’re working on, lunch plans, ideas for recess, and anything else. Do what you can to help them be organized, to know what is coming up and what is expected of them
3. Rested and well fed kiddos will be able to focus easier. Therefore, make sure your child gets plenty of rest the night before, and eats a healthy breakfast.
4. Take breaks when you need them and often.
Technology problems, frustrated children, frustrated parents, Oh my! Just take a break. We like to call these “brain breaks.” So, walk away for a few minutes if you have to. Run around the house, have a 5 min dance party, do something that makes all of you laugh! Movement and laughter is such good medicine. After this, try again with a fresh start and hopefully the task you were working on will be easier.
5. Next, change your remote learning environment – go outside. If you can, pick up the laptop, workbook or project and head outside. Sit down in the grass in your backyard or even just on the porch or lanai and do some school work outside. Without a doubt, nature has a calming effect on all of us. Fresh air, birds chirping, ahhhh. (Okay, and then come back inside because Florida!)
6. Schedule plenty of unstructured play time preferably outside. As a result, you balance the academic time with healthy play where your children are let loose to have fun and don’t have anything else to do! They can run, climb, swim, ride their bikes, go on adventures and let their imaginations take over. Of course, this helps them to integrate everything they are learning into the real world with problem solving and normal life lessons.
7. Most of all, give yourself grace. Be easy on yourself and the kids.
You do not have to be perfect at this. It is an impossible job to supervise our children’s learning while still working from home and keeping a household going normally. Nevertheless, if you are managing to do any of these things even half as good as you’d like to – you’re doing great!
Most of all, we hope your remote learning journey gets easier and easier with each passing day! We’re in this together and we will get through it.