Although we are from many different nations and backgrounds, one thing I think we can all agree on is that we desire the very best for the children in our lives.
Here are some tools that have helped us and others succeed in online school, as well as a helpful link.
1. Have a clear line between school life and home life.
Without a separation between school work and the rest of life, kids can easily become overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed. Find a designated place, like a shelf or a drawer, to put all of their books and supplies when they are finished and ready to move into home/family/friend time. School work out of sight allows space to move to the next thing and keeps them organized!
2. Practice Routine
Research has shown that children (and adults) need routine. Kids thrive on security and structure. Routine helps our emotional, cognitive, and social development increases energy level, promotes better sleep, and much more. This is a great topic to research for your child, and yourself!
Help your child find one or two designated quiet places where they can stay focused while doing their classes. On Sunday afternoons, have your child write out their schedule for the week. Having a routine location and a simple schedule that includes a start, finish, breaks, homework, physical exercise, screen time, etc. can improve your child’s expectations and reduce anxiety.
3. Develop Healthy Habits with Media & Technology
The best thing we can do for our children is to model what we ask of them. Having healthy boundaries with our technology starts with us. Smart phones and other devices are powerful tools of our times, but they can be overused and misused very easily. Know what you want for your family, and then take practical steps to get there. Choose to be intentional with your screen time in the day, and have conversations with your kids about it. Screenagersmovie.com has a great documentary on this topic.
4. Honor the Teachers and Staff of the School
Teachers are teaching the content and we don’t need to be in the way.
Simply help with homework as needed. Teach your child to email their teachers with questions on their own. Again, the little ones need our help, but the goal is to empower our kids to take responsibility instead of doing it for them.
If you see an issue that needs to be addressed, do it in a way that honors the teacher. Start by going directly to the teacher by email or a phone call, then if you need further help, you can call the principal or president. Assume that what you are assessing is only one side of the story, because it usually is. Our teachers want to help our children thrive!
5. Take this Rare Opportunity to Engage Your Children.
Enjoy them. Add value to them. Take this much needed pause in our busy world to remind them of WHO they are and what you see in them. There are suggestions online like “101 ways to Praise a child” to help with ideas. You can watch old family videos, tell your childhood stories, look at pictures, play games, and find fun questions online, and get to know each other better.
You may be at home with them all day, or after work. Redeem some time with them. It is worth it. They are worth it, and you are worth it. Discover what they are interested in; enter their world. Pursue them as if you are just meeting them.
Sometimes we need to win our kids’ hearts back. And that’s ok… use this time to do it. It’s not too late.
For more on any of this, I recommend the link:
Let’s help and encourage each other as we build this next generation of young people whom we dearly love.
An article by Allison Lowry