Home learning Quarantine Edition
Let’s talk about home learning. The good AND the bad. Let’s get the bad out of the way though…
Teaching is HARD. Teaching is A LOT of work. There we got it out of the way. Now, let’s shift our focus because the power of thought is REAL. But out of all of this, I do hope that people stop looking at teachers like babysitters and a bit more like educators 😉
As a former special ed teacher, this quarantine has sparked my joy of teaching and I want to share some of those tips with you. If you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen the home learning environment I’ve set up for my step-son, Thomas. All of the videos are saved to a highlights story called “Home Learning”.
If you’re going to take away ANYTHING from this post let it be that you come up with some sort of daily routine. I can’t tell you how much kids THRIVE off routine! Try to make a routine that mimics your #BQ (before quarantine) day-to-day. This looks different for everyone, so what may work for us, may not work for you. Here you can find a template that you can use to customize your own kiddos schedule! I suggest putting this template in a plastic page protector and fill out daily with a dry erase marker in case your schedule is not a fixed one!
Some tips in creating a Home Learning environment
- Set up a designated “home learning” spot, whether it be their desk, kitchen counter, etc. think of this as their “school desk”
- Your new best friends will be Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers. These websites both have ideas, worksheets activities for things to fill up your day! While somethings are paid, there are a ton of free options as well!
- Most kids learning websites are offering either reduced subscriptions or free subscriptions, a few I recommend are abcmouse.com , abcya.com , and starfall.com
- Build breaks into your child’s day. After 2-3 “school” activities, Thomas is allowed to pick a preferred activity from his “break menu” he gets 30 minutes of watching TV, playing outside, playing a game, etc. LET THEM PICK! It has to be rewarding for them, not for US!
- Establish “home learning” rules. Some rules can be raising your hand, working quietly, checking over work before saying “I’m done”, etc. Practice what these rules look like and praise your child for demonstrating them correctly!
- Praise the good behaviors! It’s easy to get wrapped up into all the things your child is doing wrong, but make it a daily effort to point out the good things they’re doing and you’ll see how this ultimately starts to come naturally.
- Give your child work they are able to accomplish independently if you want to minimize asking questions and disruptions.
- For smaller kiddos, set up “centers” such as library time, play dough time, arts & crafts, sensory play, pretend play
- Try to have your kids busy and quieter times coincide with your busy work times 😉
While I’m the first person to say how important early education is, I can’t help but to think that although what’s going on in our world is awful and scary, I’m grateful for all the quality time I’ve been able to dedicate to my family.
As a current BCBA, my work life has completely shifted from hands on in a clinic setting to remote telehealth sessions. While we’ve been able to adjust, one of my favorite aspects is that on days when Thomas is here, he helps me work on my clients social skills like playing virtual Simon says, tic-tac-toe or engaging in conversations! I wouldn’t normally have this opportunity to bring him into my world the way I’m now immersed in his. So, while I HIGHLY suggest having a schedule and routine during these crazy times, more than anything, I HIGHLY suggest treasuring all this extra time with these crazy kids