As schools across the nation have closed and businesses have been forced to shut-down in efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), millions of children and families are forced to stay home. I know that parents are struggling to manage the balance between work (or lack thereof) and meeting the needs of the family, while keeping anxiety regarding this situation under control. I am creating this space on my website to offer guidance, tips, and links for resources. As always, feel free to reach out to me for further assistance. All appointments at this time are being held via telemedicine (on Zoom), or regular phone consultations.
TRANSITIONING TO SCHOOL AT HOME
Tips & Strategies
HOW MUCH TIME?...
You have probably heard by now that school at home cannot replicate traditional school at school. This is true! Children learn much differently (and more efficiently) in a 1:1 format vs. a large group. Thus, you do not need to attempt to replicate a six hour school day at home. The following is a guideline for how much time to spend on academics at home, keeping in mind that every child is different:
Pre-K: 20-30 minutes
K: 60 minutes or less
1st/2nd grade: 90 minutes or less
3rd/4th grade: 120 minutes or less
5th/6th grade: 3 hours or less
Middle/High school: widely varies as adolescents are typically more independent at this point.
HOW TO STRUCTURE?...
Children that are used to school are used to structure and routine. This also cannot be exactly replicated at home, but routines at home, especially during this time, are beneficial. Here is an example chart that can be used to structure the "school" portion of the day.
The chart is structured so that they complete 2 subjects, take a break, complete another 2 subjects and earn their choice of "reward." Have them choose what they want to do for their break, and what they want to earn when they are done before they get started. You can give choices (make a white board with choices possibly before-hand, so that they aren't selecting things you don't want to do ;)
If your children are early risers you can be finished by lunch time and have the rest of the day "free" of school work.
This tends to also work well to structure so that there is no screen time or real free time until school work is complete for the day. It may take some time to get into the routine.
You can choose the subjects ahead of time based on what you know needs to to be done. If possible you can offer a choice of the 2 harder tasks for 1 and 2 (which one do you want to do first, the other will be second), and save the easier two subjects for 3 and 4. They can check the boxes when work is complete. You can write what needs to be done in each box if that helps them to see what needs to be done.