Most moms weren’t prepared when schools announced that our kids would be distance learning for a little bit. We are already stressed with the idea that Coronavirus had hit the United States (and we didn’t know if we were safe). Work was sending people home. And we all needed to find toilet paper… quick! The last thing moms needed, was the stress of suddenly becoming a teacher. But… here we sit in our make-shift classroom, trying to figure out the best way to do school from home.
I admit, I thought distance learning would be easy! After all, I was homeschooled. I do fun educational lessons in the summer with the kids, and I am teaching my son preschool at home. However, after the stressful first week of crying through distance learning, I decided that we needed to make some changes.
Here is some tips I’ve discovered for a Stress-free Distance Learning:
The first week I thought it would be as easy as going to ONE website. I had no idea that we would be directed to go to this link, then this page, then a zoom, then back to this, and print this. It was stressful. I was trying to figure out how to work from home, teach three kids, and keep my sanity.
After the first week with all its melt-downs and tears, I decided to get organized and make a schedule and chart. This helped.
Try to keep the schedule similar to the school’s schedule. My kids like their sleep and I like my time so I wake up early. I get a WHOLE hour to myself in the morning. This is MY time I do whatever I want whether its getting work done or just enjoying the quiet house with a cup of coffee. I wake the kids up at 8:45 and they are in school by 9am. Here’s what that means- They might be in their pajamas. I don’t stress. They might be still eating breakfast. That is OK! We break for lunch. Lunch can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Our goal is to finish all school work by 3pm. Anything that hasn’t been completed becomes homework (I’ll get to that).
This is a simple chart that anyone can make using poster board and post-it notes. Every Sunday night, I go into the dashboards and write down every assignment on post-it notes, with the due date, and stick it to the day its assigned. This helps me to see their work load and we can spread things out if we need to. Once the assignment is done we move it to the done column and on Friday we double check that all things are turned in.
Take a Break from Distance Learning
When things are stressful, it’s best to take a short break. If my kids seems distracted or bored with school, sometimes I give them a stretching break. It’s just a little break from the school work but it might just be what you all need! Maybe have them check the mail and come back and move the clothes from the washer to the dryer for you. If it’s been a stressful day and you are all about to have a melt-down, it is ok to shut it down for the day and make it up tomorrow.
My daughter has not mastered her time management skills. She needs alot of supervision to stay on task. I’ve started setting a timer for her and she needs to finish each class by the time the buzzer goes off. I give her 10 minutes after the buzzer (and 2 extra chores) to finish up.
Most of the time, my kids finish all of their school work by 4pm. Anything not finished by then becomes homework. We can’t spend our whole day on school work so it is up to them to finish up in the afternoon and evening.
Appreciate This Time
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that moms are stressed or overwhelmed with schooling their kids. There are moms who are over it and hope that the schools will call off the whole distance learning and call the last nine weeks a bust.
I feel like we should be grateful to have our children in a safe, healthy environment and BONUS: they get to continue learning at home! I am thankful that our school administration and teachers are trying their best to keep our children on track!
Yes, this messes up our routine and adds stress. We are not classroom teachers but parents ARE teachers. It shouldn’t feel like a burden to teach our kids! We have a very unique opportunity to do create some awesome memories with our children. Have a picnic lunch. Play games. Read stories together. One day our children will talk about the time when the schools closed down and they were taught by their mom.
How will they tell this story?