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Back to school this fall will look different as each family makes choices and navigates the new COVID-19 reality. For some families, this will be further complicated by parents’ work schedules. But despite these challenges, these are some ways you can make learning at home fun and valuable for children.
Set up a school space. Whether it’s a corner of the dining room or family room, or a separate room altogether, a learning zone is important because there are so many distractions in other parts of the house. Store school supplies in that area so there’s no reason to leave until their work is all done.
Stick to a schedule. Set the clock for your kids to finish their assignment and move on to the next subject.
Schedule breaks. Get up and walk, dance, and exercise inside or out.
Use learning apps. Support the subjects your kid is learning in school with apps that make it more fun. This is especially helpful for subjects that your kid struggles with.
Schedule exercise time. If your child is playing a sport, this may not be necessary. But if they are not, it’s important to schedule physical fitness into the day. Exercise boosts mood, energy, and brainpower. Even if it’s raining or snowing, there’s plenty of online exercise videos available to do indoors.
Educate kids about online safety. Students think of the internet as a place for entertainment, so it’s important to remind them that certain rules and precautions must be followed when they participate in virtual learning for the sake of their own safety. Establish guidelines about what they can do online and if necessary, use parental controls.
Socialize. It’s important for your kids to socialize with peers, and there’s plenty of ways to do that outside of school. Sports, music lessons, clubs, and play dates are good ways for your children to work on their friendships.
As you and you child transition to online learning, please know that you don’t have to do it flawlessly. Do the best you can, don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t stress about doing it perfectly, and your child will be just fine.
Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.