Putting my parent hat on, I will tell you that my oldest son is in Kindergarten. I am trying to balance doing my own work with being home with three of my own kids ages six and under. This is the situation many of us are in, and educators understand! Yes, my son’s school came out with lots of E-Learning information. I personally find it important for my son to practice his writing, since his handwriting needs some work. Due to that, I have had him continue his spelling lists and write some letters to family and friends. There are other E-Learning things that I don’t think he needs as much practice with (for example, he is above grade level in math), so I am not doing them. What I am doing is some things I would not normally have the opportunity to do with him, and to me, that is what it takes to embrace and navigate this difficult time. We have been doing a lot of puzzles, art projects, streaming fun things like Mo Willems “Lunch Doodles,” doing some online touring of national parks, taking some cool pictures around the house and more. Trust me, your child’s teacher will applaud things like this. They wish they could have the time during the school day to do many of these things.
Here are some simple tips for E-Learning:
1. Remember that while routines are nice and help many of us stay on track, you have to know your own child. Your child might not need tight routines while at home and that is certainly okay.
2. Choose a few academic things a day, but do not drive yourself crazy! Fill the rest of the day with other activities that help your child grow and learn in other ways.
3. Build in some independent time each day. Children need this the most! Give them some time to relax and decompress on their own. During quiet time each day, my son has been working on Legos, puzzles and cleaning his room.
4. For older students, monitor cell phone and social media usage. I cannot stress this enough! While we want our students to feel connected, many students are not developmentally ready to handle the pressures of group texting and apps that are not age appropriate. Monitor them all the time on cell phones and social media.
5. If it is nice outside, go outside and stay outside!
6. Give yourself a break. No one is judging your skills as a parent or a teacher. We are all in this together and taking it a day at a time.
7. Enjoy the gift of time with your children. Our lives are so hectic and busy during normal circumstances. Take some time to play a board game, watch a movie together or just sit down and chat.
From one parent to another, stay healthy and stay sane!
All the best,
Tracey Ratner Elementary School Principal and Mom of 3