07 Apr 2020
Education at Home: The New Normal
Last month, most of us could not have dreamed of where we would be today, with no end in sight. It has certainly been an adjustment in our family, and still is. Our business model of home based one-to-one tutoring has shifted abruptly. For now, we are an online tutoring company. I am thrilled that many of our tutors have risen to the challenge to continue to work with their students on various platforms. We are here for you. One advantage is that we no longer need to match locations, so if you need additional help, we have the tutors.
While you are muddling through online education, I have some tips to help you with your home school routine right away.
- Structure: I always say, “If it’s not on my calendar, it probably won’t happen.” For your kids, it is most important to have a schedule, which you can plan together the night before. This should include a wake-up time and bedtime. Be sure to include reading for pleasure for children of any age. Everyone should have a Kindle app. Some children may prefer an audio book, which they can even listen to while walking. You can also include puzzle time and drawing.
- Check list for completion of tasks. You can even incorporate a reward system for finishing a certain number of tasks for the day.
- Take exercise and movement breaks throughout the day. In fact, exercising first thing helps get the brain flowing. Some children learn better while moving. Students can work on review or memorization while walking, jumping rope, or playing multiplication basketball.
- Take the time for a nutritious breakfast and lunch. In addition, many psychiatrists recommend fish oil to help focus.
- Vary schoolwork locations. Recent research has shown that varying locations for learning is more effective than sitting in the same seat all the time. This can include the dining room, the couch, the deck or the trampoline (but not the bed, which should be just for sleeping).
- Delve deeper into areas of interest. This can include all kinds of research, such as books, articles, interviews, YouTube, and documentaries. Our public libraries have many resources online.
- Use online games and educational apps to enhance your child’s learning in a fun way. These are great activities for when you don’t have time for personalized instruction. To find the best ones, check reviews and ask your friends. The popular non-profit Khan Academy has stepped up to offer daily schedules and extensive material for all subjects on its website.
- Explore educational videos and documentaries. A good time for these may be when you are busy at work.
- Set a time for parents to be available. No matter how independent your child is, it is important for parents to set aside time to go over material and answer questions.
Remember, as we all continue to adjust to the new normal, the teachers are working out the kinks in remote learning. Our days will get easier over time, and our children will continue to be engaged and learn.