At-home learning can be a challenge--but it isn't impossible to create supportive routines that help students and caregivers acclimate to a temporary new reality

10 at-home learning tips teachers can share with caregivers

At-home learning can be a challenge--but it isn't impossible to create supportive routines that help students and caregivers acclimate to a temporary new reality

2. Regular physical movement is a cornerstone of schooling. If you let kids move around regularly, the time goes faster and better. Maybe a dance or quick rotation in between activities. Pro-tip: You should also have a “vent” physical activity response plan already in place in case your kids seem on the brink of a tantrum – a walk to the mailbox, a quick chore around the house, etc.

3. There will be a mega-trend of recorded instructional videos that will help your schedule, and missed live video calls can be recorded. Set up a time regularly to catch up on teacher video messages, emails and newsletters, so you aren’t caught unaware of certain happenings and important dates. Teachers have been getting better at Zoom, but recorded instructional videos will be a massive part of the remote learning curriculum by the end of this school year, and will be a huge help to home parents because you can review the videos with your kids on your own schedule.

4. Create a dedicated spot where your child can work (even if for short periods) and one where you can work. The younger your kid is, the closer their dedicated work-station should be to yours. For teenagers, they can be in a different room.

5. Video games are a better form of screen time for slightly older kids because they’re social. While it is best to limit screen-time, gaming is actually one of the more useful types of screen-time. It’s this generation’s equivalent to talking on the phone with friends, and is both collaborative and strategic. Just make sure you play the game and understand the conversations being had and with whom.

6. Talk to your kids about what’s going on in the world. Oftentimes, young people fill in their gaps in knowledge with their own imaginations or by social media. Engage them in conversation to get the record straight.

7. Keep your conversations as positive and hopeful as you can. A passing negative statement can define the day or longer for the young learner. And avoid shaming your child at all costs. Boundaries are amazing, but when something goes wrong, remember that it’s a family system at work, not just your child.

8. Being clear with yourself, your children’s teachers, your coworkers and your kid on capacity. Let the teacher know the degree to which you can support your child at home and when you are available for meetings, and make sure your team knows how your productive hours are changing, so they can adjust how they work with you. We are all in the same boat. Ask your teacher how best they would like you to communicate with them.

9. Consider the ways in which your children aren’t sliding. In what other ways are they growing? Remember, all students are contending with the same reality, so it’s not the same as some students speeding ahead while others are falling farther behind.

10. We find comfort in what we imagine school to look like, but usually the conversation is the learning. So focus on the conversation moments with your kids, make time for it, honor it. And when in doubt, the questions your students/children are asking if one of the best gauges for where their heads are.

Laura Ascione

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