Let's all face it. This school year SUCKS!!!!!
COVID-19 has stuck around longer than we all wanted , so that means that it now impacting what school is going to look like for our kids.
Now, we all may have had a bit of experience because of last year, so now we really want to hunker down and make things better than before. Question is... where do we start?
Well, luckily for you... I am in the same boat. So I wanted to do a quick video on the tips that I am going to be using for my kids during homeschooling to help keep my mental health intact and to help them through this transition as well.
Here are the tips that I talk about in the video to help you!
Celebrate the new school year:
So I have a kindergartener starting this school year and it SUCKS that I don't get to have hat first day of school experience that I have been waiting for SOOO LONG! But, I am not going to let COVID ruin this experience for me so we are going to celebrate at home this big milestone for my son! Party Time!!!!
Separate school and home life:
Now that sounds weird. I get it. However, it is important that kids can differentiate work and play and get ready to learn. That means having a separate space for school. That space should be designated for learning (understanding that sometimes it may also be a dining room), and not a space to relax and chill. That helps keep their chill space pure and clean and to focus on the work that needs to be done.
The next subset of this tip is a bit controversial and that is to make sure you kids get dressed. Being in pjs feels relaxing and calming, I get it. I LOVE me some comfy pjs, but we need to create a sense of "work" mode and that requires being dressed. Plus, you want to be dressed appropriately for school, just like they would need to be for in-person learning.
Have a routine or structure:
First check with the school and teachers to see what is required structure wise. Once you have that set, then implement things that you see fit for your household. Like what time to get up, what time they need to be dressed by and when to eat. Eating is important!!! Also add in times for breaks and fun.
Now this routine and structure can be adjusted as the school year progresses. Over time we can see what is working and what isn't and change things how we see fit. Whatever works for you and your family... then DO IT!
Know your resources:
Teachers and administration are essential during thins time. They want to help. They want to know what they can do to help. Let them know. Reach out to them.
Now I think it is important to note, that as our kids get older, we need to teach them to advocate for help. This is especially true for high school kids. Teach them how to ask questions and ask for help. More importantly, teach them how to write and email and send messages to their teachers. Listen in at 9:24 to learn more about why I think this is important.
Know when to take a break:
This goes for you and our kid. This is VERY stressful for EVERYONE, so it is ok to take a break when we feel overwhelmed to reset and get in a better space. As parents, we need to have a lot more patience with our kids and their attitudes, so it can get hard. So take a break when you need it. If you find that your kids is extremely frustrated and overwhelmed, have them take a break and let their teachers know.
Set up a reward system:
Kids normally have some type of reward system at school, whether that is a gold star or an A+ on an assignments which helps motivate them to keep up the good work. So set up a reward system at home when you think they are doing a good job. It could be a chart with gold starts or a small treat for dessert. Whatever you see fit.
For younger kids, rewards may need to be more frequent. For older kids, rewards can be more spaced out.
Make things fun and approachable:
Online learning can be brutal because it isn't as engaging as in-person education. So find ways to make things fun. Also remember to bring in art class and P.E. to the home. It helps bring more energy and reset for the next subject.
If you find that your kid is struggling to learn a particular lesson, try to use real-world application that they may relate to more. Check out my example at 15 minutes to learn more about what I mean.
I hope these tips are helpful, but remember to do what is going to work for your family. You know your families structure. You know your kids strengths (which I recommend to play into them more) and what they struggle with (so recognize that they may need more help in those areas), so you are the EXPERT.
I wish you the best during this school year. We are in this together. We can do this!