Remote learning – using your home space as a classroom – is possible and can be very successful! It will be tougher initially, but with practice and consistency, your family will find their groove.
We’ve put together some of the best advice from our teachers and parents who have been attending school remotely all year:
– Set Expectations: Review your child’s online learning schedule with them; explain what times are for online lessons and what time is off-line but is still school-work time.
– Routine: One of the aspects that work best in the classroom is routine and a set schedule. Working with your child, set a schedule to follow and set timers on the computer or on your phone to stay on tasks and be on time for online lessons. At school, we often give children advanced notifications throughout the day of what is coming next. This can also work at home as you remind your child that their next online session will begin in 5 minutes.
– Stick to your expectations and your routine. No matter how hard it is, follow the same routine as you can each day. It will get easier over time!
Tips from parents:
– One elementary parent printed the daily schedule (with times and work plan activities) and kept it on a clipboard for their students.
– Another parent, with a much younger child, created a schedule with images – a computer for online lessons, a book for reading time, pencils for writer’s workshop, an image of short chains for math, etc., that the child can follow along visually.
– We make sure to break together as a family before lunch; we all take a walk together to make sure we get a little exercise.
– I make lunches every morning – just like we are going to school. When lunchtime comes, my child can get their lunch, set it up, and eat it in the kitchen. It buys me a few extra minutes for my own conference call!
– We only have our kitchen table available for schoolwork, so at the end of the day, we tidy up the table together and use that time to review their work each day. It minimizes clutter, makes space for dinner, and brings closure to the day.
Having a dedicated space for children to work, attend lessons, and store their materials/supplies will help children transition within their home space to a “school work” frame of mind. It should be an area with lots of light, few distractions, a comfortable seat appropriately sized for your child, and access to a power source to charge their device. Montessori classrooms are typically designed to highlight the Montessori materials that the children use to work and cut down on other visual distractions.
Tips from parents:
– Don’t put the learning space in a room with a TV or where the child typically plays. Remove toys/distractions from the room.
– My child sits criss-cross on the floor with the computer on an old TV tray to work; they can do their works on the floor – as they do on a rug at school
– I work at the head of the dining room table, with one child on my right and the other on the left. I can be easily accessible to either as they go through their day – while still being accessible to my own employer.
– We watch the links the teacher sends as a family – we all find them interesting and set limits on watching videos on the computer.
Remember that however you and your family solve the work-from-home situation, this is an unprecedented time, and we must be gentle with ourselves. The teachers want to hear from you and partner with you to make this new learning experience as successful and stress-free as possible.