Planning for the new school year sounds exhausting with the uncertainty of schools reopening in the fall. Some states have decided to issue distance learning, while others are opening their schools.
As teachers begin to fear the worst, parents think of clever ways to improve their at-home schooling environment.
Fellow bloggers are setting up stations in their homes and sharing ways you can do the same.
Distance Learning Schedule For Parents
Early mornings are essential when planning a morning routine for success. Aside from having an alarm, you’ll need to create a strategy as well.
Make time in the early hours to think of the things you’d like to accomplish throughout the day.
Chores might not be top of mind while trying to ensure the kids complete tasks, but they are important for your self-care and mental health.
Schedule time for play with the kids. Whether you decide to build LEGO creations or work on a family project together, dedicating time to the kids will help you improve your relationship.
Lessons From Distance Learning
When I set up a homeschooling schedule for the kids before the coronavirus outbreak, it was interesting to see how our kids enjoyed having a routine that was similar to our daily schedule.
There was a rumor that the Broward County schools wouldn’t be opening for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year and I wanted to make sure my oldest was still learning.
After creating a schedule, I spent a weekend planning out lessons for all three kids.
From learning packets to reading time, it was laid out for our kids. This helped them get a better understanding of how the family would continue to hit the learning objectives for the year.
There are a number of lessons I’ve learned distance learning with three kids while working from home.
Don’t expect too much.
I wanted to scream after the second week of following the first distance learning schedule.
When planning for the day, you need to focus on ways to make learning exciting. Yes, there are tasks that need to be accomplished that day, but you shouldn’t overwork your child (or yourself!)
Snack when needed.
Although snacks are essential, it’s best to not schedule those in like I did. Letting the kids grab a bite here and there will help me take breathers as well and give the kids more independence.
Leave room for play.
Playtime is important for the kids. It’s how they learn best. Incorporating games into lessons will come in handy as their minds begin to wonder off.
Limit screen time.
I often say this but didn’t really do it during the spring and summer months. This means limiting my screen time as well. Remember, lead by example.
When your kids are active they tire themselves out. Yes, their focus is to learn during the next couple of months, but they can also learn by helping around the house.
The homeschooling schedule included a time for the kids to clean up before bed. As exciting as it might sound, it didn’t always play out as I had planned.
This time around, the kids have chores to do and work together to accomplish them. It’s a great addition to your distance learning schedule since they’ll be learning basic skills as well.
A New Schedule For The Kids
Working at home while trying to help the kids with their learning tasks can be a exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be.
By planning ahead and thinking of potential scenarios, you’ll make the transition a lot smoother for yourself and the kids. Not being able to meet with classmates in person will require more attention from you, the parent. Also, one of the perks of having multiple children is that they can act as their classmates.
Recess is still in session!
Take the time to enjoy the outdoors by going for a walk, riding a bike or simply kicking a ball around. You can always brainstorm ideas with the kids. This is something my family and I do to help get the kids involved in the planning process. It gets them excited as well.
I’ve always told the kids how important it is to tackle the tough things first. Math is a great subject to start the day since it has problem solving and gets your mind going.
Following it up with science is always fun. Experiments and such are what the kids really enjoy.
This academic year, reading time stays the same since it helps break up the day and prepares the youngest of our tribe for naptime.
The last lesson of the day will be on the subject of social studies, which is based more on everyday life lessons.
If you need a visual idea on how to plan your schedule, you can take a peek at what this school year’s daily routine will look like for us:
How To Prepare Your Home For Schooling
As we prepare for another academic year, there are a handful of school supplies we’ve picked up throughout the summer months. From notebooks to copy paper for the printer, it’s important to stock up on the essentials.
Based on previous school supplies lists, I know there’s a need for other necessary items. I’ve listed 5 necessary products below.
Your child will need writing material such as pens and pencils. I always opt for pre-sharpened pencils and stick to black pens for the family. My kids aren’t using pens at the moment, but I purchase small packs for myself and my husband.
Chromebooks are my go-to when it comes to working from home and for the kids during distance learning. Last year, I snagged a great deal online and purchased two. One for myself and my oldest. You can always find a great price on an HP Chromebook via Amazon or Best Buy.
BONUS TIP: If your child is familiar with touch screens and enjoys using tablets, then I suggest going with a touch screen Chromebook. You can always add a USB mouse as well.
Schools haven’t changed much over the years in terms of the notebooks they require. There are a variety of options for composition notebooks available online. Choose the option that comes with more than one. The kids will need more than one throughout the school year.