Just like everyone’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic is unique, everyone’s experience of online learning is different.
On the upside, you may be enjoying a more relaxed schedule and some welcomed downtime. Perhaps you are enjoying the break from early morning drives and after-school pick-ups. In fact, increased time and connection with your children and extra time outdoors can be positive benefits of this time.
On the downside, you may be working from home or scrambling to find childcare so you can go to work. You might be frustrated with technology and the uncertainty around the return to normalcy. While increased family time can be positive, it can also cause more strain in relationships. Plus, your child may be missing their friends and classmates.
Many school districts have been relying on remote learning to fill in the gap. However, sometimes online assignments are not easy to access and your child may struggle with technological challenges. Some students simple do better with pencils and paper. And then you ask yourself: Will my child fall behind in his/her educational development?
Here are some tips to make homeschooling during COVID-19 more manageable:
1. Set a schedule and stick to it. Make it manageable, realistic and easily achievable. For example, some parents get their children to work from 9am-1pm, while others prefer 10am – 2pm. Secondary students have longer days.
2. Accept that this is a crisis-schooling situation. This is not regular, online home-schooling. You are not expected to know everything. It is okay to ask staff, teachers, and administration for extra help. This is not business as usual.
3. Focus on connection with your children and on supporting their emotional health and wellbeing in this uncertain time. Fear, stress, sadness and other distressing emotions can limit learning.
4. Find what works for you, your family, for your particular situation and experience of this pandemic. There is no one right way to get through this.
5. Get outside, go for walks, and take physical activity breaks! Take mental health breaks as needed too! Watch a funny show, play a game or enjoy a favourite activity.