4 Helpful Strategies For Parents Beginning Distance Learning At Home
The term “homeschooling” is currently being used to describe the current school situation. I think it may help many to realize you’re not actually homeschooling, you’re schooling at home or rather facilitating school time right now.
Friend, take a deep breath
I say that to hopefully take some pressure off the expectation that parents are required to create actual lessons, meet state standards, and be solely responsible for your child’s academic success. As much as I miss teaching, I don’t miss those parts y’all. Take a deep breath friend, it is possible to realistically school at home and not kill your kids!
In the process of moving we unexpectedly dove into two months of actual homeschooling (it was worth it!). That time taught me far more about myself than anything else. I faced a lot of fears and concerns, and definitely insecurities. In the current circumstances, that’s what I read when I see comments about schools closing. Most parents don’t feel capable, but in so many ways you are.
So hopefully you’ll be encouraged that this isn’t forever, you have support, and you CAN do in a way that works for you!
4 Helpful ways
1. Start SMALL! Education is no small feat, and can feel intimidating. Especially to families where you rely on additional learning support for your child’s success.
Even though there are online assignments coming home and possibly even deadlines for work from teachers – YOU can determine the time given as you build into that. Though your kids are in school eight hours a day, you may not have that time to give. So one-two hours of support and focused time for you may be the best starting place.
Also cramming everything into the early morning isn’t the standard. If it’s an hour/two in the morning then break and go back in the afternoon. Your time is your own.
2. Do not try and replicate school… instead create a space for learning! Once again this isn’t full homeschooling which honestly is much more fluid than people realize. Having your kid sit and be focused for long periods of time is going to frustrate you AND them.
Even in the eight hours your child is in school the subjects, concepts, and activities are structurally broken up. So instead of going to great lengths to replicate school, have one area on your home where school happens. The goal is sanity for you and them. NOT being the parent, teacher, and your hundreds of other hats.
3. Do what works for YOU! It can be easy to look at schedules, suggestions, and even blog posts like mine with some expectations. I will tell you this is not one size fits all. Your work situation, family size, and even involvement in your child’s learning are already factors.
Take those things into account friend. All of the suggestions, fun photos, and posts you see are meant to encourage. Most importantly they show that everyone does things differently. Use what you need and adjust for your situation. Don’t compare!
4. Have Fun! Yep I said it. Truth is through all the emotions and comments I’ve read and even experienced myself, this doesn’t haven’t to be terrible. Our attitudes as parents can make or break what our kids may feel already.
If anything these circumstances have revealed that I’m not always consistent in helping my kids with chores, holding them accountable, and developing other areas that keep us connected. That has more to do with me than anything else.
If you’re up for it, check into what’s causing your anxiety and process it away from your kids. It wasn’t until we moved that I realized how much I disconnected from my kids, because of busyness. Other people were raising them as I was raising and teaching other kids and it’s a cycle that I’m thankful we could stop.
That’s not everyone’s story, I know that. But if you have two weeks to learn more about your kids and build a stronger relationship than take advantage before “normal” sets in.