Take it easy on yourself! This is a change for everyone! Expectations and guidance from schools vary from school to school and teacher to teacher. What may work for some students and families may not work for yours. Find a routine that is sustainable for your family and avoid comparisons to what you see other parents doing online. During this time striving for consistency is more important than striving for perfection.
Make a plan - Sit down with your family and make a daily or weekly schedule that lays out your child/ children’s to-do’s. These could be big or small tasks. That way, everyone is on the same page and pace of what to do throughout the day. Syncing everyone on a similar schedule will keep distractions at bay for your work schedule, too! Plus, it’s satisfying to check them off as they get done.
Create a space - Create a learning space for your family. When they’re sitting there, they know that they are working. Working at one communal area may be helpful for siblings to help keep each other encouraged and on track. Although, if they eat, play, and sleep where they learn, the lines of school and home have blurred. If the dining room table is the best place for at-home learning, keep school work in a bin. Then it’s easy to put off to the side when everyone’s done for the day.
Check-ins - As your child completes tasks and assignments, engage with your child about what he or she is learning. Then, review their completed work and gauge the level of understanding. If your child is working in Classworks, they can easily show you their activity scores using their My Scores Dashboard.
Teacher Communication - Stay in contact with their teacher about the expectation for assignments, scores, and grades. If you feel they need extra support, request additional help or one-on-one coaching. Many teachers have instituted virtual office hours during the day. Ask your child’s teacher for their office hours schedule.
Structure and Flexibility
Creating stability - Classworks isn’t new to your family. That’s great for keeping consistency and stability right now. Reinforcing what they’ve already been doing and working on will be comforting. As a parent, learn about the expectations of Classworks to continue to reinforce that stability.
Shorter School Days - Consider what a normal school day looks like. There are bathroom breaks, transitions in between classes, role call, etc. Working at home, those interruptions have been eliminated! Keep that in mind when creating your daily schedule. Tasks may not take as long at home anymore. Your child also may need a quick brain break from the computer or assignment. Encourage them to work when they feel most focused. Keep at your own pace while at home! That will help better suit your child during these times and keep up engagement.
Passion Projects - Right now, almost everyone is at home or working from home. Perhaps your child’s assigned work takes more effort and input on your end. That can be hard to balance while you’re also managing a transition of your own work environment. Encourage your child to work on a passion project between classroom assignments. Passion projects can be based on anything your child is interested in. You can have your older children track their research here. This way, they can work independently, learn something they’ve always wanted to, and your work gets done too.
Encouragement - Although at first students may think learning from home is a fun change, as time goes on it’s natural for them to feel the loss of their routine and socialization (just as we are feeling it!). Encouraging questions, curiosity, and patience is important. They may feel frustrated at times without their usual support from their teachers. Remind your child to take their time and ask for help when they need it. Don’t forget to reach out to teachers if you need more assistance!
Goal setting - Track your student progress with the Classworks Results Page. Here, you can see success with their shields, characters, and averages. You can use the Classworks Success Notebook to set goals and see longer-term progress. Encourage your child to keep their teacher in the loop on all their hard work!
Celebrations - Your child’s teacher fills their day with ‘great jobs’, high fives, prizes, you name it, to keep students motivated! Find consistent, simple ways to help your child stay motivated while learning at home. For instance, a well earned brain break, playing a game, stickers, and extra treats. Even consider asking your child’s teacher for virtual rewards such as a virtual class dance party or introduce your pet on a class call! Also remember, a win is a win! It’s important to celebrate effort over achievement. No matter how big or small, celebrate the wins! Each day is a new triumph, and everyone deserves a pat on the back. Check out some great Brain Break and Celebration ideas here!