Schools across the U.S. are shutting down as authorities attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
While many schools are doing their best to provide homework materials to help kids continue learning while schools are closed, sometimes supplying online courses, there are inevitably holes in these remote lesson plans, especially for students who won’t return to school this year.
Here are a few tips from homeschooling and education experts to help parents keep their children on track with homeschooling during the coronavirus outbreak.
Optimize lessons for your kid
Jamie Heston, a homeschooling consultant and mother of two homeschooled children, told Fox News that parents should try to teach to their kids' strengths at different times throughout the day. Each kid learns differently, and they may be able to best understand and retain different sorts of material at different times. If they’re awake and attentive in the morning, that might be the time for math, while afternoon energy can be channeled into writing or artistic pursuits.
But some structure is key
Try to build a schedule that works for your child. Maybe the schedule they followed at school worked great, in which case keep up with that, but don’t be afraid to change it up. No matter how you structure the day, though, be sure to include breaks to allow your kid’s mind to process information they’re learning.
Create a learning-focused space
While some kids may prefer the structure of a desk and others might think best while lying on the floor, the exact space doesn’t matter as much to learning as eliminating distractions. David Roy, a lecturer on education at the University of Newcastle, argues for getting kids away from screens large and small. Turn off the TV and disable pesky apps.
Find ways to get kids interested
A bored kid is a kid who isn’t learning. Heston explains that kids learn best when they’re interested in the subject, so find ways to make learning engaging. Use a game like Monopoly to teach math skills, or take the lesson to another room, like doing math problems with dishes in the kitchen cabinet or pillows on the bed.
Schedule time for yourself
Just because you suddenly double as teacher and parent, doesn’t mean your job can be put on hold. Professional teachers don’t spend every minute with every student. They assign tasks for kids to complete. Use this model to get some work done yourself, setting kids up with an assignment, then circling back at specified intervals. Keep them on track by promising to stop work at a certain time. The evening, after kids go to bed, is also an excellent time to plan to do some work yourself.