Facilitating distance learning is a new reality for families, and one that doesn’t come with a guidebook. While staying healthy and safe to help curb the spread of COVID-19 is necessary, it doesn’t make this new chapter of school easy.
Our kids are used to a physical school, a classroom with a trained educator leading the way, and peers to engage and collaborate with. Switching over to distance-based lessons where families are now tasked with keeping their children engaged when they’re surrounded by the distractions of home is hard! Teaching your own children is not easy, power struggles are sure to arise, and it feels impossible to motivate a kiddo to work on math surrounded by the distractions of home. As parents, how are we supposed to make this work?
We have a few resources that can help support the learning that’s happening at home by providing hands on manipulatives and structured breaks similar to those provided in the classroom.
Adding in some movement and exercise throughout the day can help your child burn off energy, as well as light up their brain!
Go Noodle is a free website created by child development experts. There are short and fun interactive videos that help teachers and parents to get kids up and moving through brain breaks. Desk-side movement helps kids achieve more by keeping them engaged and motivated throughout the day.
Cosmic Yoga is another free resource to promote mindfulness and relaxation for kids. There are interactive adventures which build strength, balance and confidence - and get kids into yoga and mindfulness early.
In the typical classroom, you child is likely used to having hands-on manipulatives and visual aids to help them understand and engage with their daily lessons. It can be hard for kids to be expected to engage in the same content without the same materials!
Many items that you have around your house can double as great math manipulatives. For example, coins, blocks, silverware (or any item you have an excess of!) can be great counters. Lima beans can be painted different colors on each side and used as double-sided counters. An egg carton can be trimmed down to become a 10 frame. Get creative, household trash could become a learning treasure!
When there’s endless distractions in the home, adding choice into your child’s day can help to lessen the inevitable power struggle about getting school work completed. Allowing your child to determine what subject they work on first, what writing utensil they get to use, and where in the house they can do schoolwork can be a small win for everyone.
Creating a choice board can also be an easy way to put decisions about learning into your child’s hands. It doesn’t have to be pretty – but a structured board can help eliminate the endless negotiating that may occur because the choices are already pre-determined.
Distance learning is a tricky new territory for both schools and families to navigate. Having some intentional, meaningful tools in your home can really help bridge the gap so this reality doesn’t feel quite as overwhelming.
If you need some extra help during this time, please reach out, we would be happy to chat and discuss how we can help your family!