Distance Learning is a better choice for some families but it still requires supplementation to balance out individual developmental and academic needs for your child.
My advice for families who are Distance Learning this year is to get organized with a schedule or planner, carve out space in your day for learning time & another time for work (if you are fortunate enough to be employed) so you have the rest of your day to get what you need done.
My son has 2 speeds… GO!!! and asleep. I get up way earlier than my household so I could have a few quiet work hours before I have mom duties, chores or school work that needs tending to.
Supplement Distance Learning with:
Play based learning is where kids build foundational skills using play. This can be done with educational toys, thematic units and the child’s interests in mind. Check out my shop for my ebooks by theme or just buy the whole bundle.
Upgrade your at home toy stash with high quality educational toys. These will help kids engage in learning while they play. For recommendations see our Best Christmas Gifts Posts. It’s time to add to their LEGO collection, STEM toys & at home library!
How much time should we spend learning?
The age & temperament of your children will help you determine how much time to spend doing school work.
Preschool: 5- 20 minutes/ day (focused quality play based learning, reading, counting, etc.)
Kindergarten: 10-30 minutes/ day play-based learning activities
Grades 1-3 to spend 40-60 minutes for learning time per day.
Focus on quality over quantity. My son’s participation, interest and focus varied each day while we were preschooling at-home. More days were 5 minutes of sustained attention and focus & it was like the line at Disneyland. I spend hours waiting and then it’s over in 5 minutes or less. I wondered if I had spent all of that time planning and preparing activities for nothing. He was academically high in all areas upon entering Kindergarten, so just focus on quality learning time.
Family game night is a great way to support multiple grade levels using board games.
Distance Learning 2020
No one really knows what it’s going to be like this year for sure.
Last spring everyone was thrown into Distance Learning & the expectation varied by district. Some schools took attendance and gave participation “grades”. For the 2020-2021 school year attendance will be counted and grades will be given. It will be imperative for teachers and parents to build strong relationships and work together to make sure that school goes as smoothly as possible.
If your teacher schedules or requires something of you that is too much, tell them.
Ask for a phone call meeting or send them an email letting them know what is not working and suggestions on what you think may work better (or ask them for their thoughts on alternative ideas for your child). I had to do this last year with my child when the distance learning plan wasn’t working for us. We set up alternative assignments and I posted pictures of what we were doing in our class app (so she knew we were still working on things at home).
Set up an alternative work schedule or assignments to support your child at their level.
Quick tips that go a long way!
- Start getting into your routine EARLY
- Get ORGANIZED, download a productivity/ Organization app like Toby Chrome Extension
- Make time for family fun
- Set realistic expectations
- Use play-based learning (board games, integrated art projects & collaborative learning like STEM or MAKER days)