This year is proving to be a learn-as-you-go type of situation and facilitating your child’s schooling from home is no different! From technical issues to internet fatigue, learning from home can be difficult.
Monica Olivera is an experienced homeschool teacher and posts her tips on her personal blog, Mommy Maestra. Kayla Blaisdell, is a special education teacher with the West Ada School District in Idaho. They share advice to help you and your family with the rest of the school year, no matter what your current learning situation may be.
Making learning more engaging
Olivera says that parents can do their part to keep their children engaged during online lessons by making sure their child’s learning space is comfortable and quiet. She says that minimizing distractions and providing a comfortable place to sit and learn can go a long way in helping children to focus. As well, you might think about providing noise canceling headphones if needed and snacks if the teacher allows.
Blaisdell recommends that parents should try their best to keep a good attitude about online learning, because a parent’s negativity can be reflected in the child’s motivation and progress.
“Parents need to show excitement and confidence in their child regardless of their opinions,” Blaisdell says.
Both Blaisdell and Olivera encourage giving your child plenty of breaks between learning sessions. Blaisdell recommends getting your child to move throughout the day. Perhaps during learning breaks you can play a quick ball game, jump rope or go for a walk. Blaisdell also says that creating a reward system for the child’s online learning process can help them stay motivated and fulfilled.
Fostering your child’s interests
Olivera advises that one of the best ways to foster a child’s interest is to allow them to ask questions and to take the time to explore these interests in greater depth.
“Children should be allowed to dig deep into those areas that appeal to them as a way to nurture and satisfy their curiosity,” Olivera said. “This might mean deviating from the set time frame of the lesson. That’s okay if you have to add a day or two to your subject.”
Parents can incorporate the interests of the child into their online learning curriculum and Blaisdell offered some ideas on how to do this.
“If your child is super interested in LEGOs, use that as a math tool to add, subtract, multiply, divide, find area or volume, or talk about shapes,” she said. “For writing, having them create something and write about it or write the directions on how to make it. You just have to get creative!”
- If your child is into science, engage them in some citizen science projects! Your family can go out and help contribute to scientific advancement by collecting data. This is a great way to help your kiddos become invested in science and they will be able to learn in a hands-on type way! Plus, many of the projects take place outside, allowing opportunity for them to step away from the computer. Explore projects to partake in.
- If your child more on the artistic side, have them put on their own art show! They can use their creativity to paint or draw on canvas, and then you can put up their works of art for your family to view. Make it feel like an actual event, by playing music and having appetizers.
- Speaking of appetizers, have your kids help prepare meals. You can get creative with what you make and perhaps you can even pretend that they are on a cooking show!
For overwhelmed parents
“You aren’t alone. There are parents all across the country who are feeling the same way you are,” Olivera said. “Try to remember that this moment in time isn’t going to ruin your child’s education or ability to learn. Worry less about meeting deadlines and focus instead on helping your child relax and learn at their own pace.”
Image by valentinrussanov