Homeschooling 101: Coronavirus Edition
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, that’s rapidly encompassing the globe, school districts all over have closed, sending kids home for weeks or what may turn into months at a time. With recommendations from the CDC to stay indoors, parents are turning to virtual classes and homeschooling to continue their children’s education from home. At Delta Children, we’re here to help with tips on creating the best learning and homeschooling space for kids.
Creating Your At-Home Classroom:
Experts agree that mimicking a classroom setting will help kids learn better and stay focused. Start by setting up a workstation that’s dedicated exclusively to at-home learning (as best you can with the space you have!). This means an area that’s as distraction-free as possible, where kids can focus on their educational work. Use a dedicated table or desk space for children away from distractions like toys, TV, and high-traffic areas in your home. You can also set up an area with easels, seating for multiple kids, and storage for materials to encourage kids to work together on creative projects. If your kids are used to daily story-time around the carpet at school, set one up at home for them. If older kids are used to coming up to the board to write, set up a chalkboard or whiteboard easel where they can answer questions and equations. Some kids might just need a cozy place where they can read since they’ll be spending so much time indoors.
Setting up your at-home classroom can be made easy by shopping Delta Children’s functional and affordable collection of kids’ furniture, now on sale for 20% off to help alleviate some of the strain on all of you parents-turned-teachers during these times.
Most parents are not home-schooling experts so we put together this handy list of tips and tricks you can use on their own or incorporate into existing curriculum to help you get through these next few weeks:
Listen to the Teachers:
If your child’s teacher sent home a packet of work, or wants to hold daily Skype or Zoom check-ins, let them guide you and your child through this process.
Don’t Give Up:
It may have been a while since you’ve cracked open a science textbook. Helping kids learn some of the material you haven’t looked at in years can get frustrating and stressful. It’s important to keep your cool and be patient. Try reading ahead on kids’ curriculum after bedtime so you know what’s coming the next day.
The Internet can be Your Friend:
Take advantage of all the resources the internet has to offer. Find YouTube videos that demonstrate science experiments and chemical reactions, a documentary about the era your child is learning about in their history class, or take advantage of a virtual gym-class for kids.
Read, Read, and Read Some More:
Books are never a bad idea, and they’re a great way to keep little brains active when there is temptation to revert to TV or digital games. Set aside time for the whole family to read on their own, or let each child pick a book and read aloud to everyone.
Keeping Kids in Their Routines:
When they’re at school, kids adhere to a pretty strict routine, and it’s easy to abandon this routine in favor of sleeping late and 2-hour-long lunch breaks. You’re probably finding yourself asking “How can I keep my kids in their school routines at home?”
Try to keep their schedules at home as similar to their school-days as possible. If they start at 8 and finish around 4, adhere to that timeframe with adequate breaks in between. Try to divide up time as their teacher would and recognize when it may be time for recess.
If your kids’ sports, music, or other after-school or weekend activities have been cancelled, try to replicate a similar activity at home. Basement dance performances, backyard sport games, and after dinner concerts are a great way to keep kids interested in activities they typically participate in while still respecting closures and social distancing expectations.
Tips for Working from Home with Kids:
Just because your kids are home from school doesn’t mean that your job is put on pause. If you’re working from home, here are some tips for staying productive while still parenting:
Much like you did with your kids, create a separate workspace for yourself. Make sure little ones know they can’t play near there. Explain to them that just like they have to do school from home, you need to do work from home as well. Once you’ve established your working space, do your best to keep it as consistent as possible to avoid confusion.
Let’s face it: if you have three kids under five who now can’t leave the house, you’re likely to be less productive than you would have been in the office. Be upfront with your managers and make sure they’re aware of your situation. Take advantage of night or early morning hours when things are calmer. If possible, coordinate with another adult in the home to share the responsibilities of keeping kids quiet and occupied.
Stick to Your Routine:
Try to wake up at the same time you usually do and stick to your routine as best as possible. This includes getting dressed and ready just like you would for a regular day. Throwing off your internal clock is quite possibly one of the worst things you can do at a time like this!
Access the World from the Indoors:
Given the current state of things, there are more and more temporary business closure announcements every day. While this is frustrating and can make your life very difficult, there are still ways to access many of places or services you frequent:
Check your local library’s website to see if you can access a collection of e-books or other online materials with your library card. This is a great (and free!!) way to keep kids busy with new books, videos, and other resources that you’d usually have access to.
Virtual Museums and Zoos:
Museums like the Louvre in Paris and the Met Opera in New York City are offering streamed performances and virtual tours daily. More and more organizations have begun to offer similar opportunities, so be sure to check your favorite institutions! Many musicians have begun to post free concerts online for streaming. The Cincinnati Zoo is offering a meet-and-greet with a new animal each day, and several other zoos have ramped up their behind-the-scenes access to animals. This is a great way to do something that’s educational and also feels like a special field trip.
If you have any tips on ways you’ve kept your little ones educated and entertained during this time, please share them in the comments below!