Try these quick tips to prioritize your kids' remote school day.
With schools providing a number of learning options, most students have some form of remote learning during the week. Rather than just embracing the chaos, there are a few ideas to keep the craziness at bay.
I'll be honest, I find it tough to juggle my kids' education, my work, the house, and everyone needing to eat ... every day! At times, I have let my kids do their own thing while remote learning; though, I want to be intentional and even make remote learning special for them. Below are some tips to help make things more special for your kids during these strange times.
Start the Night Before
I know. I can hear you snickering as you read. If you're like me, evenings are for catching up on what didn't happen that day. But I wonder if we could try to get ahead of the chaos? Take time to put the current day to bed and get as ready as possible for the day ahead.
Ask your child what he or she is excited about the next day. Plan what you'll have for lunch. I've even begun to have a specific lunch planned for each day of the week. (And, my boys now have a delightful jingle they sing for "Chicken Nugget Mondays"...) Straighten desks, remove dirty dishes from your child's work area. Be sure your child has school supplies readily available for any special projects the next day.
You may have a work schedule, and your child has a learning schedule. Find a couple of times throughout the day where you can check-in without interrupting a class session. This would be a great time to bring your child a favorite beverage or snack ... and a smile or hug.
Let your child know that you're there and excited about what he or she will be learning. It's also helpful for you to communicate your own schedule with your child. If you have an important meeting, place a sticky note on your door with the meeting times. Let your child know that you can be interrupted for emergencies only.
Take a Break
If possible, have lunch together and talk about what has gone well so far. As you talk, help troubleshoot with each other. Your child might really enjoy you asking him or her for ideas on how to solve a situation.
Laugh. Grab your phone and ask Siri for a joke. You might need to go through a few corny jokes to get to one that will give you a really good belly laugh. Enjoy connecting with each other.
Take a five-minute walk around the block. While you're walking, share ideas of where you'd like to go next on vacation.
Debrief the Day—and Celebrate!
At dinner, we've often shared what made us "sad, glad, and mad" that day. It's a simple list of words that are easy to remember and easy to identify examples in the midst of the day. You'll learn more about what's important to your child, and you'll be able to share a bit more of your life and workday.
Find something to celebrate at least a couple of times a week. It can be a great grade on an assignment, the fact that the WiFi cooperated that day, or that you saw amazing character displayed in your child. Drop everything and grab some ice cream to celebrate the accomplishment.
Or you can quickly create a celebration wall in your home. Label a blank wall, "Celebrate." Near the wall, have a pen and brightly-colored sticky notes. Each family member is invited to write out things to celebrate throughout the week. Take time once or twice a week to celebrate the new entries.
It takes a village, fellow parents. For you and for your child. Gather neighbors and friends together for playdates at the park. Enjoy conversation, share tips, and encourage each other while observing social distancing guidelines.
Encourage your child to look out for neighborhood kids and friends. Your child can be an encouraging force while navigating all of the details of learning remotely.
What tips can you share for remote learning? Tell us more in the comments below.