The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has brought many changes to the everyday lives of children and adults everywhere. One of the most significant changes is the nationwide school closures. As of March 23, all schools in the United Kingdom have been closed to students unless their parents are key workers and have no other form of childcare.
While these precautions are essential to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health of our children, the closures have turned many unsuspecting parents into home-educators. What’s the best strategy for keeping your kids entertained while also ensuring they can continue to learn the subjects they need to? And how do you stay sane through it all? Let’s take a look at some of the most useful tips for homeschooling during the coronavirus outbreak.
We’re not saying that you don’t intuitively know your child, but do you know how they learn best? Don’t feel bad if you’re unsure of your answer to this question; your child’s teachers are likely best equipped to have the answer because they spend all day with your child in the classroom. However, figuring out what type of learner your little one is is essential to helping them keep up with their schooling while at home.
Different children will do better in different types of learning environments. If you know that your child thrives on being social and learns better in groups, set up your webcam and arrange a virtual study session with their classmates. If you know that your child loves to be independent, take a step back and allow them to complete their work on their own. If you’re unsure as to how your child learns best, ask them. They’ll be able to tell you what kind of assignments and projects they enjoy most in school and you can then form a plan around that information.
Adults who now find themselves working from home are facing the same struggle as children who now find themselves learning at home: your home life and work or school life are now occurring in the same space, blurring the lines between relaxation and concentration.
To help differentiate the two more strongly, have one or two designated areas for learning in your home. It can help your kids get into a “school” mindset when they’re not in the same space where they play or watch television. Of course, not every family will have this much space. While 84% of people who have invested in real estate have suggested they’ll make another real estate investment, plenty of people barely have enough money to make the first investment. If you don’t have enough space in your home to dedicate an entire room to education, have your children pack up their materials in a basket or box so that they can tuck them away when they’re done.
It can also help to have a general daily routine. Try to keep your kids on a fairly regular schedule so that they can benefit from the structures to which they’re accustomed. However, keep in mind that most home-educators don’t teach for seven straight hours like teachers at regular schools do. Aim for two to four good academic hours and don’t be afraid to let the kids sleep in and relax a little.
As many schools adjust to the reality of being closed for several weeks or even months, they may be starting to roll out online lessons. With 80% of parents who send their kids to private schools happy with the academic standards, professional educators will be reluctant to lower their successful ratings, even in the time of a global pandemic. However, it may take some time for your child’s school to create and release these valuable resources.
In the meantime, take advantage of the wide variety of resources available online. YouTube is filled with webinars on different subjects for kids that can serve as great teaching tools. Many educational websites, such as Scholastic, are also offering free subscriptions while schools are closed. If your child learns better through listening, use some of the audiobooks and podcasts out there to help them learn.
With all of these resources available online, try not to get overwhelmed by the idea that you need to download every single PDF or play every available video for your child. If you’re working from home yourself, trying to manage your workload while giving your child the perfect education will be nearly impossible. Prioritize the lesson your child needs most as well as the subjects they enjoy the most.
While you pick through the endless stream of online educational resources, don’t forget about the extracurricular activities that your child loves. Everyone will be staying at home and practicing social distancing for the foreseeable future, meaning that your child’s in-person piano lessons and dance classes will be put on hold. This change in fun activities can be especially disappointing for families who were among the 16% of first-time homeowners looking for new homes in urban areas in 2019. After putting in the effort to find a home surrounded by cultural and creative opportunities for your child, it can be devastating to see it all shut down and your child’s interests wilt.
Luckily, the Internet also has a solution for continuing these activities during the coronavirus outbreak. From online craft sessions to Sunday schools, people are creating virtual resources to help everyone remain connected with their real-life communities. Remember to dedicate a few hours to helping your child pursue their passions, even if its virtually.
One of the most important points to remember during all of this is that it is an undeniably stressful time. Everyone is trying their best to continue life as regularly as possible, but this situation is the first of its kind for families across the world.
If you need to settle your kids on the couch with a movie to get through the day, that is completely fine. You were never given the appropriate resources to completely recreate their school day at home and you are likely dealing with your own work or domestic struggles during this crisis. Remember that you don’t have to home school every second of every day if it is going to cause emotional distress for everyone involved.
No one quite knows what the end of this coronavirus outbreak is going to look like, but people everywhere are creating resources and strategies to help one another get to that end. Look online and don’t hesitate to reach out to your community for help when educating your kids at home. In times like these, everyone will benefit most from taking the time to help one another.
For those who prefer a more traditional home-like experience when on vacation, a timeshare can make sense. If you’ve gotten many years of good use out of your timeshare and now want to get rid of it, a timeshare cancellation company like Timeshare Freedom Group or Lonestar transfer may be able to help.