By: Terri King Hunt
If you thought the only way you would be impacted by COVID-19 was by developing a cough and fever, you were sorely mistaken. All over the country we are seeing the impact this CoronaVirus is having on us all. From the Capital to California, officials are taking major steps to limit social interaction and the spread of the virus. Many of these steps include the closing of entire school districts for 2-3 weeks and for some “until further notice.”
For those of us who homeschool, not much will change but for the many others who will now embark on a new adventure, how can you ensure your children enjoy the adventure but do not lose valuable instructional time? Here are a few things to keep in mind and implement first thing Monday morning to keep things moving smoothly.
Maintain your district’s learning calendar
If your school district was not planning to be on spring break for another week, do not use this week as your “spring break” Believe me when I say this, if you think you will be able to get your children on a schedule after allowing an entire week of staying up late and sleeping in, you won’t. If under normal circumstances, your students would be in school for another week before spring break, maintain the same academic calendar.
This leads me to my next tip…
Create a schedule and stick to it.
While I am not suggesting you wake up at 5AM as you might normally, I am suggesting you maintain the schedule they have inside the school day. Most elementary schools begin instruction by 8AM and are eating lunch by 11AM. Middle schools typically begin instruction by 9AM and High Schools by 8AM. It is important to maintain a schedule because our brains retain information better when there is order and predictability. Students should engage in Reading, Writing and Math daily. If you are really diligent you can knock all of that out before lunch!
Leave the TV off
Create a start and end time to your instructional day. We typically have school from 9AM-2PM with an hour lunch and 10min breaks between each subject. Make it a rule that the television must remain turned off until your instructional time is ended. For us that means no TV (YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and Disney+ included) until after 2:00PM. TV is very distracting and if you’re not careful it will suck you in and have you watching for hours without even realizing it.
If you maintain a schedule that mirrors that of the school day and you leave the TV off, you will be able to limit snacking. Television commercials are full of food ads and they stimulate our need to eat. Snacking not only destroys your budget, it distracts and causes fatigue.
Most districts are creating virtual learning plans as well as sending work home to review. If you are looking for additional resources to help with supporting your child’s learning during this time this document is a great place to begin. Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings
Additionally, I use these sites to support my homeschool instruction
Reading/Social Science: https://newsela.com/
If you are looking to partner with organizations or teachers who specialize in online learning please visit Terri Teaches on Facebook for a list of options.
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