In Michigan, classrooms for the rest of the school year are officially closed. District to district there are different expectations for students and parents alike. “Remote learning” could vary from optional to a full curriculum. Life looks differently these days. All routines have shifted and we are all forced to adjust. Not only our work and social life, but for those who have children, their schooling is now in our hands. Most families did not expect to take on this role; how do you home school successfully? We run down some great ways to adapt your home into a creative learning environment.
Teach Real Life Skills
To describe this school year as non-traditional is an understatement, so consider helping children learn real life skills in the meantime. Home schooling successfully can look different from grades and facts; here are a few ideas for each age range.
3-6: Skills focused towards coordination. Kids at these ages are often learning how to move their bodies, show them how to balance on one foot, how to hop, how to catch and throw. A great way to burn off excess energy and to awaken their brain in a new way.
7-10: Directional skills. What are street names? Which way is North, South? How do you get to your house from your school, etc. These skills can even be explained on an outing in a car or a walk and a good excuse for a change in scenery.
11-14: Skills concerning cleaning. How to do laundry, how to get stains out, simple sewing fixes, etc. These skills are great for your household as they will help your environment become cleaner in the meantime.
15-18: Think about skills related to money. How to apply for a credit card, what credit means for your future, how to open a bank account, etc. These skills are sometimes learned the hard way when teens enter the adult world. Michigan State is also offering “Adulting 101” webinars every Friday in April.
Structure For Your Child
Home school successfully by setting the correct schedule for you and yours. Having a schedule within your household does wonders for everyone’s ability to focus. Children might push back against waking up and learning, but this does not mean you shouldn’t stay the course. Find what works for you as well as your kid. Maybe they need an hour to adjust and settle in, maybe they work harder after lunch. Once you decide the correct schedule for you, try your best to stick with it. After a week or so, you can both start to follow a schedule.
Know your Kid
Think about your child’s learning style. Will they thrive one-on-one? More hands on? Better visual learners? This is a chance to really tailor information flow to one they will most likely retain. Some kids even enjoy playing teacher, have them lead part of the lesson, see what they learned. Zoom dates can be great for kids who need more socialization. Games can be a useful tool for children as well. This website is an excellent resource for many age ranges.
Homeschooling successfully for the next few months might feel impossible but there is hope! Remember that your child needs a parent more than an educator, so go easy on yourself. There is no precedent for a scenario such as this; try to roll with the punches. Continue to check back for more tips on how to adjust to life within social distancing norms.