With schools closed and kids stuck at home, there are parents across the country who never thought that they would have to teach their kids full time, let alone try to complete their own work from home at the same time. Managing a new schedule while also trying to learn how to teach, keeping the kids busy and motivated, and trying not to stress out too much about the virus going around will be incredibly challenging. But there’s nothing like having a community of parents and teachers join together to offer support and solve a problem.
At New Vision Charter School in Loveland, that’s exactly what we strive to be — a supportive community that works together to help parents and students in need. So while our charter school is extending its spring break until March 27, we wanted to provide some tips on how you can supplement their learning. As educators for students across the Loveland area, we are passionate about helping students in whatever way possible.
Start With a Simple Family Meeting
Since it is Spring Break, the transition may not seem quite as strange as it could be if your kids were pulled out of school suddenly, but sitting down to talk with your kids about this new normal will help them understand what to expect going forward. Let them know that even though Spring Break is longer than usual, that it doesn’t mean they get to skip school until April. When the actual Spring Break week is over, let them know that there will be a consistent (or as consistent as possible) schedule that they will need to follow. Ask if they have any questions, and try to be open and honest as possible.
Keep it Consistent
New Vision Charter School truly understands that parents have their own busy schedules and work that needs to be completed, but as much as possible, try to keep a consistent school schedule while at home. Get them up in the morning as they normally would. If you know their school class schedule, you can even try to teach the same subjects at the same time during the day. Take breaks or “recess” when it is typically scheduled during the day — breaks will be essential. If possible, during lunch break, have an online lunch social hour so your kid’s friends can all get online and catch up. Having a reliable school schedule will help to keep them in that frame of mind, making it easier for them to return to school when the time comes.
Use a Dry Erase Board
Or if you don’t have a dry erase board use a piece of paper taped to a wall or even a piece of cardboard if you’re really strapped for materials. On the board you can write a brief lesson plan or schedule for the day, homework assignments, due dates, and chores. As items are completed, have your kids check them off to keep them involved and engaged.
Set Up Learning Spaces
Since you don’t have a typical school room layout with desks and a blackboard at the front, ask your child or kids where and how they would like to have their learning space set up. It may be the kitchen table, the coffee table in the living room, or if they’re young enough, even the floor in a play area will work (just be careful with spills). Letting them help you create their learning space is a great opportunity for them to play an active role in their learning and education, making it work for their needs.
Make it Fun
At New Vision Charter School, we always strive to make learning fun, and it may be even easier when you’re at home and can explore outside of the “classroom.” Have them help you bake a loaf of bread and talk about the chemical reactions in the yeast. When the snow melts after this recent snowstorm, you can explore outside to find earthworms or go bird watching outside and then work to identify which birds you see and hear. There are even some great ways you can introduce physics lessons at home. It takes some creativity and imagination, but that’s exactly what learning is all about!
There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but New Vision Charter School in Loveland wants to help parents and students get what they need during this time. We understand that adjusting to a new schedule is hard, but if you can keep your kids curious during this extra week of time away from the traditional classroom, that will go a long way.
Contact our staff at New Vision if you have any questions about how to teach your kids at home. And remember to still take some time for yourself!