Last Spring, we embarked on a difficult journey with online instruction. Starting this year virtually gives us a bit of anxiety. On this page, you will find some tips to help start the school year smoothly.
1. It is important to set up a quiet, clutter-free area. Having a learning space is so extremely important for your child to be successful. This needs to be a space where your child can work quietly on their own. If it's in your child's bedroom, they should have a table or desk. Learning should not take place in bed! The learning space should be away from the TV and other distractions. For example, you can convert the kitchen table into a learning station. Turn off the TV and remove any kitchen items when your child is doing schoolwork. When your child is finished working, place all school items in a crate, box, or bag and put them in a particular spot.
2. Your child's learning space should be free of any clutter. Reducing clutter helps kids focus. Learning spaces should have only the supplies needed for learning. If you think about it, when we are at school, your child has a desk and their desk stores the supplies needed for learning. We don't have remote controls, dishes, magazines, etc. at our desks with us.
3. Your child will need you to reduce distractions. Video games, social media, TV, toys, pets-our homes have a lot of distractions. Make a list of things that distract your child. Then find ways to limit them during learning time. For example, is the dog a big distraction? If so, can you put the dog in a separate room when your child is doing schoolwork?
4. Consider limiting your child's cell phones and tablets until their schoolwork is done. This will help them focus on learning during learning time. Also, iPads distibuted by the school should only be used only for schoolwork. This will help put your child in the mindset that it's time for learning when on this device.
5. Monitor the device. Every so often, check in on your child. Look at your child's eyes to see if they're following along with the screen. Check if they're doing the work or zoning out. It is important to confirm that your child is indeed learning. If there is a problem, please contact us.
6. We're all in this together. You are not alone in this journey. Mrs. McCabe and I are both parents and are navigating this time at home ourselves. Share your concerns with us and your successes.
7. Plan you work and work your plan. Good planning can relieve stress for both you and your child. We will be posting our schedule and plans in Schoology. Check these plans with your child and go over them together. You may find that tasks that may not have been difficult in the past can become more challenging when learning at home. It's important to reinforce boundaries and offer incentives for healthy behaviors.
8. This isn't a vacation. Even though staying home from school might feel like a holiday, remind your child that they are not on vacation. Assignments and grades aren't going away just because school is online.
9. Don't forget to have fun. Plan off-screen activities for the whole family. Organize a tournament, family card games, charades, board games, or get outside together after school and work time.