If your child’s school is one of the early implementors of distance learning, then you’ve probably started classes a few months back – just like us. Most students, however, are just starting this month and I can see a lot of parents struggling to adapt to having the kids learning at home instead of in a school setting.
In today’s article, I’ll share some tips on how we’ve managed to navigate home learning for my two kids: one of which is distance learning and the other is homeschooling.
Disclaimer: I wouldn’t say it was (and is) 100% smooth and stress-free all the time. So, give yourself some grace! We’re all still finding our rhythm is this new way of learning.
Homeschooling and Distance Learning Tips For Parents
First, let’s talk about how to prepare your child’s learning space. We don’t have one specific area where our kids have their classes. We like changing things up every day so they have different views. This is why we opted to have them use iPads instead of desktops.
What we did: Since we have multiple areas for learning, what we did is we prepared an envelope that they can bring around the house. The envelope has everything they need – paper, pencils, white board, and markers.
Of course, if you prefer one specific area, then that’s fine too. This was our first set up, actually. All you need is a table and a comfy chair, a pencil holder, and perhaps some boxes to house your paper and crafting materials.
If you don’t have much light coming into your home, you might want to invest on a ring light as well.
I didn’t buy the kids earphones because I also listen during their classes. This way, if there are any announcements, I’d know.
Make sure you have reliable internet. If you chose modular learning, then you won’t need internet that much. However, for those who chose online schooling, you need to make sure that your internet package can cope with the demands of online classes.
To give you an idea, ours is at 25mbps. I have two kids learning from home and I’m also working from home. To ensure the kids get the bandwidth they need for their classes, though, I opted to not work while they’re attending classes.
Don’t skip break times. Although it might be tempting to keep your child on his seat for long periods of time to finish up on school work, don’t forget to let them rest for a couple of minutes in between classes.
Have them rest their eyes, stretch, and move around a bit.
Give them some snacks and lots of water, too!
Seek help if you need it. There are some things that we can’t do ourselves and we have to admit that so we can find a way to do things better. In our case, I know I’m not any good when it comes to teaching my kids in AP and Filipino. To avoid any more arguments and tears, I decided to hire a tutor for them instead.
Finally, be there to support your child, not to pressure him. I know I might offend some parents, but to be honest, I’ve seen a lot of parents who would sit beside their children during classes and pressure them to recite or volunteer. The results are children either freezing up or crying.
Parents (or guardians) are asked to sit beside younger children to provide technical support when needed or to ensure they’re not playing games or doing something else – not to pressure them to participate.
Give your child space to learn and participate on his own. Isn’t that the way it works in the actual school setting?
There’s a lot to learn – for both children AND parents in this new learning set up that most of us have had to transition to. Again, give yourself and your child some grace and just try to enjoy this new experience.
How’s your home learning journey so far?
If you have any tips or would like to share your experience, leave a comment below!