With schools across the country switching to online learning and many closing entirely for the remainder of the year, parents have been quickly working to transform their own homes into miniature schools. Though school districts are providing the materials, parents are still responsible for creating an ideal learning environment. Doing so does, however, require more work than some might expect.
The first step to creating a useful learning environment is to dedicate a space for schooling. It might be in a home office or at a kitchen table, but having a dedicated space for learning really can help your child. Not only will this help him or her to feel more like he or she is going to school, but it will help to provide some sense of formality to the proceedings.
The next step is scheduling. While you certainly won’t be expected to follow the seven or eight-hour schedule of a typical school day, you should try to put some structure in place. Dedicate a specific time for each subject, as well as a time for lunch and even a time for a break. Your schedule should be flexible, but it should be strong enough to provide your child with a sense of structure.
This might be the hardest part, especially for those parents who are working from home. Try to set up at least a certain amount of time each day where you can help your child with his or her work. It might only be an hour or so, but it will help you to reinforce the lessons that your child is learning.
Finally, make sure that you are aware of the limits of doing school at home. Even if you are a trained teacher, you’re going to encounter problems that are outside of your own abilities. Try to make sure that you address these problems as best you can but also try to remember that you can’t be perfect. Next year’s schools are going to be dealing with the fallout of this semester, so your goal is to help your child to do as well as possible under the circumstances.