We’re several months into our remote schooling journey, and we’ve learned a lot by trial and error.
...lots of trials, and a sizable amount of error, too...
Like all parenting experiences, we’re learning from it, keeping what works, and leaving what doesn’t.
We're sharing 10 tips for easing the tears and frustrations of working and learning from home.
1) Have a positive mindset. Yes, there will be bumps along the way. Roll with it. Give your child, your child's teacher(s), and yourself grace. Healthy doses of patience and empathy will go a long way.
2) Have a dedicated workspace for your child - it doesn’t matter if this is a desk, dining room table, kitchen counter, etc. Keep all school materials together. Use a backpack, basket, or other storage solution to keep things in one place, and encourage your child, regardless of their grade, to be responsible for their school supplies.
3) Get everyone on the scheduling bus. Use technology to your advantage - set a warning alarm on Google/Alexa/Siri for the start of the school day, the end of lunch, and any specials during the week. Or if you’re a more visual person, hang a whiteboard in a place where everyone can see the school and work schedule for the day.
4) Make sure your child and other family members know when you are and aren't available for help. Have a clear signal for when your kids can come to talk to you - red paper means Mom’s working, do not disturb; green paper means Mom’s available to chat. If you've got an important meeting, make sure everyone knows about it ahead of time.
5) Engage with your child during snack and lunch breaks. Even if you can't be with them for the entire break, ask a few questions about how their day is going and what they've been working on. They’re craving face-to-face interaction as much as you are.
6) Keep lunch simple. Pack lunch in the morning for an easy grab-and-go approach. Have your child make lunch choices at the start of the week.
7) If it’s an option, sign up to get the daily summary of "work due' from Google Classroom. Keep the surprise of “missing classwork” to a minimum.
8) Find creative ways to connect with friends remotely - Zoom lunches or remote study groups help ease the feelings of social isolation
9) Encourage your child to go outside every day, even in the rain (there’s no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing choices). Go for a quick afternoon walk together. Being outdoors is a powerful way to boost and support mental and emotional health. Don’t discount it.
10) Be in touch with your child's teacher(s). Keep those lines of communication open, and recognize that you're on the same team. Everyone wants your kid to succeed. Work together to find solutions for whatever hurdles you encounter.
As a bonus - celebrate the wins, even the teeny-tiny ones. A lunchtime without complaining. Gold star! Math work turned in on time this week? Congratulations! A day without tears? That’s impressive progress! Let your child share wins, too!
And finally, don’t forget to look back every once in a while to see how far you’ve come. Progress is made one day - sometimes one class or one meeting - at a time.
You’ve got this.
We want to know - what’s been working for you and your school-aged kids? Share your survival strategies in the comments!