How we are preparing for remote learning
It’s official! We are learning from home this fall aka Dismondy Homeschool! This was a decision made by our school district here in Michigan to keep our children, teachers, families and school staff safe. Different decisions are being made around our country and from what I am reading on Facebook, there are a lot of emotions and judgement around these decisions and choices. STOP THE MADNESS PEOPLE! We are STILL in a worldwide PANDEMIC! Be nice to each other.
I have read over and over again that when you are mean and disrespectful to others, it’s because of insecurities you are experiencing yourself. I am often reminded of this when I am parenting my children. When I have a tough day and maybe I wasn’t the nicest I could have been, I dig deep to reflect on why, apologize if that makes sense and give myself GRACE to move on and do better. Often I find my reactions are due to something totally unrelated to my children leaving their toys all over the house.
Back to the topic at hand, rant over!
We are learning at home and getting our place ready to have some SUCCESS in doing so. I’m continuing to work from home. We can do this!
#1 THE SPACE
We are lucky to have a den to designate for learning. However, during quarantine, we realized that sometimes a child needs to go to a different room if they are distracted or need flexible seating. Just like in classrooms, remember not all children can sit in a chair and learn for hours on end!
I want to assure you that you do not need a room or even a desk for each child. That’s unrealistic. We have a designated space and the kids still need to move around and a change of scenery when they are working. I don’t allow them to go up to their rooms because I think that’s too distracting when homeschooling. We also don’t have music or a television on during learning time.
Most importantly, have a place to put their supplies and consider a mobile bin that they can keep their stuff in and move to different learning spaces. If you have your heart set on a desk, check out IKEA. They are so affordable and fit different spaces!
#2 THE PLAN
In our children’s school, 3rd through 5th grade uses a planner. We will make sure that our two that are 3rd and 6th grade have their own planner to organize during Homeschooling. If things are assigned on Google Classroom, I still want it transferred over to a paper and pencil planner. This is a visual learning tool for me just as much as it is for my children. It will allow me to SEE all three of their schedules (I will do work WITH our first grader on getting his plans on paper) so we can set reminders for Zoom calls and what not.
Getting organized, planning things out and visually reviewing these plans helps children develop time management skills.
Quick Tip for Homeschool Learning: We found the kids could work well for 30 minute blocks then needed a quick break. We set a timer on Youtube (do this or they will ask “How much longer?”) and then used GoNoodle or Koo Koo Kangaroo movement videos to give our brains and bodies a quick break before moving onto the next block.
#3 THE SUPPLIES
We have pencils, an electric sharpener, crayons, markers and their notebooks all ready to go in this room. Some construction paper, glue sticks and a place for notebooks is good too. I love the tubs in the Target Dollar Spot right now. Great for organizing with multiple children!
The kids also have inexpensive headphones. We have one old laptop and two ipads that they are doing their work on. Remember, most districts are lending these out to families so be sure to connect with your child’s school on getting the technology into your home.
Whether you chose to homeschool or your school district decided on remote learning for you, there will be good days and bad days. Don’t forget 2020 has been a hard year and that so many millions of families are in the same position as you this year.
I’ve always worked from home except for my speaking engagements and was thrown off when that ALL came to a screeching halt in March 2020 (along with the launch of my new parenting book, Sunny Side Upbringing: A Month-by-Month Guide to Raising Kind and Caring Kids). I felt anxious and my kids were confused. I wanted to offer something to families during the quarantine to help parents and children deal with these emotions and this unknown. So, I started a free class that taught positive social skills and mental wellness. The class met several times a week online and was called Sunny Side Homeschool. It was so popular that I am offering it again this fall. Find out more here!
Sign up for the Empowering Kids with Character newsletter and get a list of 101 Must Read Books for Families! You are sure to find books on this list to read and start some good discussions!