April 17, 2020
They say it takes 21 days to cultivate a habit. We are at the end of week five or 35 days into online learning from the stay at home order. At the beginning of the order, I had no idea how this home schooling business was going to go down.
When my kids were little, I was a total type A mom with their eating, napping and bedtime routine down to a schedule. It was time to reclaim that mom because she was really good at staying home with four kids. It was imperative to succeed at distance learning and an online high school program, I needed a plan. Now five weeks in and at least two or more to go, here’s where we are now:
- My kids’ teachers are absolute SAINTS AND ROCKSTARS. They are with my kids all day long and continue to have what seems like boundless energy. I’m tired after five weeks.
- Sticking to a schedule is absolutely crucial to success. Oddly enough, these last five weeks have been flying by because everyone knows what they should be doing at a specific time during the day.
- Mandatory outside time has been an essential part of our day. It is true that we all need to burn off some energy from being cooped up inside. As long as my kids get at least 1-2 hours outside, the annoyance level decreases ten fold.
- Being flexible about our day allows us to spend more time on an activity if we need it. The side of me that likes to control situations is okay with merging into the next time slot.
- Working together is key for success. As a family, we came up with our schedule. We decide what to do for specials each morning and come up with a multitude of games during recess. The kids have a plan on who gets to ride the hoverboard and scooter on certain days. And we call each other out if someone tries to veer off the tracks.
- Again, this needs to be reiterated, yes, I’m not your teacher (they are amazing) but I’m doing the best I can with the tools at my disposal.
- Taking regular breaks throughout the day. We don’t crammed all the learning in a three hour block. From experience, if we break up lessons then we can avoid burnout. So far, so good.
- Reward yourself. Yes, I realize they shouldn’t get rewarded for doing school work because it’s required. But instead, reward the family for not killing each other during this transition period. We’ve been doing ice cream on Friday afternoons along with movie night. It’s the best way to cap off our week and head into a relaxing weekend.
It was never in my parenting plan to home school my kids, but it’s good to know I’ve figured out a way to learn along side with them something new about myself while being quarantined along side them. Nevertheless, when the governor gives the go ahead to send them back to school, I will have an even greater appreciation for their teachers as I plan to look for a private school near me. Seriously, someone give those people a raise!
How are you coping with online distance learning?