Because we are in the middle of a pandemic, parents will have to take on more of the responsibility to ensure that their children get a quality education. Many schools will be operating on a remote learning program to some degree, but for such a program to be successful, parents need to organize their homes to be conducive to learning by making sure the home environment has everything their children need.
Parents should understand that their children need every educational advantage during these difficult times, and organizing the home for educational success is critical when participating in remote learning. This process starts by establishing a special place in the home where children can do their school work, study, read, research, etc. Most parents create a workstation in their child’s bedroom, but if another room in the house is more conducive to remote learning that room can be used. The area should have a desk and chair, resembling a work station from school, so the child can feel comfortable. The work station should include the following, as necessary:
- Books (bookshelf), magazines, and newspapers
- Pencils, pens, paper, and school supplies
- Computer, printer, and internet connection
- School information
If parents want to do more in the room, they can display certificates, awards, report cards, and completed school assignments with good grades. For motivation, parents may want to display positive posters on the walls as well. Posting words and math problems can help the area resemble a real classroom more closely. The idea is to make this a positive educational environment because children will be spending a lot of their day-and possibly evening-in this room.
Once the room is completed parents may want to consider the schedule for remote learning. Most schools operating a remote learning program will establish a schedule, probably from 8:30 to 3:30. The curriculum will be set, and the school teacher will handle the actual teaching. The schools will need the support of the parents to ensure success with remote learning, especially with younger children who may have a hard time staying focused. Therefore, parents will spend their time monitoring their children to ensure that they are on target. They also need to make sure that they have the proper technology and everything is working. In addition, parents should make sure their children eat breakfast, lunch, and possibly a snack. Parents should also incorporate some kind of physical activity for their children during the day. As you can see, parents have a full-time job.
Some children will have a hard time adjusting to the remote learning format; if this happens, parents must speak with the school for assistance. Parents might also want to schedule some additional educational activities after the remote learning day is over so children can stay on target and not fall behind. Additional reading and writing activities are a good place to start. One way to encourage children to read is by placing reading materials in each room of the house. Children who see reading materials throughout the house will be influenced by what is important to the parents. This is a great seed to plant that will grow over time.
Parents must stick to routines so children know what is expected of them each day. Children still need time set aside to do their homework, eat, do chores, and engage in some fun activities with the family. Parents may also want to keep children engaged in other activities so they don’t become bored or depressed. A few special projects that parents can consider are:
- Learn to cook a special dish
- Write letters to relatives
- Learn to shop for groceries
- Take a computer class online
- Learn about financial literacy
- Learn about the Bible
- Learn about playing the stock market
- Learn how to play an instrument
- Learn how to play chess
- Learn a new sport/game
The key is for parents to create an environment that fosters creativity at home so children can learn, play, and grow. That’s why it is so important to structure the children’s day with their best interests in mind.
Developing educationally successful children is one of parents’ most important jobs, but they should also remember that children need time to play and be children.