Since the Covid-19 pandemic caused the closure of schools in the major U.S. cities, parents found themselves in a unique position to work and school their children – from home – all at the same time. I joked about this on social media by creating this open apology to homeschoolers, crafters, doomsday prepper and extreme couponers. Especially when it comes to homeschooling, parents are learning they may not be cut out for what teachers do five days a week.
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If you’ve found yourself overwhelmed and stressed, here are five helpful school from home (SFH) tips from the Chief Business Officer of Brainly.com, Eric Oldfield. In case you don’t know, “Brainly is the knowledge-sharing community where 150 million students and experts put their heads together to crack their toughest homework questions.”
Helpful School from Home Tips
1. DEDICATE A LEARNING SPACE. Just like school classrooms, schooling from home is best if done is a separate space.
“If you are not able to carve out space for a desk and are working at a kitchen table, on the couch or on a countertop, Brainly recommends having a designated school bag where you keep your computer and any necessary school materials.”
If your home isn’t large enough to school in a dedicated room, clear a space in your child’s bedroom or bring a table and chairs outside!
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2. DOWN TIME. Take a break when needed. Sitting in front of a computer screen or reading an instructional book can get tedious for young learners.
According to Brainly, “The easiest ways students can ensure they’re able to stay focused when SFH is taking breaks to recharge their minds.”
Take a mix of short breaks (five to 15 minutes) or longer breaks (at least 30 minutes) every few hours.
Physical activity is part of taking a break too! On the first day of SFH in Atlanta, we took an hour-long break after lunch to ride bikes and play basketball at our neighborhood park. You may recall, A.J. created this Razor Scooter Safety Tips video.
3. GET SOCIAL. You will hear your children say “I’m bored” and “I’m lonely” countless times while they’re out of school. Just get used to it.
Thankfully, A.J. has an iPod that allows him to Facetime with his friends.
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SFH doesn’t have to be a solo activity because “Online communities like Brainly or Kahoot bring in elements of social learning and encourage collaboration and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. You can take advantage of any number of these peer-to-peer learning platforms to stay engaged.”
A.J. is using a platform called Verge to do his online learning. He also uses Prodigy, IXL, Khan Academy and STEM Scopes.
4. GET DRESSED. Get out of those pajamas and into real clothes to make SFH feel like school.
“One of the best ways to ensure you continue academic routines and success is to actually get up and get dressed for the day as if you were still going to a physical class. Plus, bonus points that you’ll look good for video-conferencing if needed!”
Pajamas are comfy and will make you feel like crawling back into bed to relax.
5. EAT HEALTHY.
Trying to concentrate on learning with an empty stomach isn’t helpful. Healthy, balanced meals are just as important at school and home.
“Students should make sure they have ready-to-grab nutritious snacks prepared for their SFH days so they don’t have to take disruptive breaks to rifle through the pantry or refrigerator to find something to eat.”
We’re also keeping a similar bedtime even though we no longer have to commute to school or follow school uniform guidelines.
Thank you to Brainly.com and its CEO, a father of two daughters for providing his expertise.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the information you’re seeing online, remember that reliable news sources are best. I created this helpful list of medical news sites and apps.