Back To School
I know what you’re thinking back to school already? Or maybe you’re dreading the fact that your child school just announced that students will be completing long distance learning until further notice? As a mom and also a primary school teacher, believe me I’m feeling uneasy just as much as you! However, we must push through for our little ones. What if I told you that I’m here to share some valuable resources with you that can make long distance learning a little bit easier for you? Nice. Now that I have your ear, let’s get to it!
Setting The “Classroom”
Long distance learning comes with its challenge of course! This pandemic has caused many of us to underestimate the importance of minimal things such as a desk, pencil sharpener and even space. As a teacher my approach to teaching is always making learning an “experience”. Therefore, this is my biggest suggestion to you, but what truly does it mean? Making learning an experience is truly make learning fun stemming away from traditional methods of teaching. This means adding hands on activities, more opportunities to explore nature and our surroundings, etc. At home you may not have an extra room to turn into a classroom and that’s okay!
Find a area in your home that your “student” can sit and learn near a window. Windows will add natural lighting to your student learning space. Windows allow your student to focus more and set the tone for learning since most classrooms have windows. Upon picking your child learning area, stock up on supplies your child can use and some supplies your child rarely get to use at school such as paint or glitter. Dollar tree is great to shop for organizational materials such as bins and pencil holders to keep your child learning area organized and clean.
When it comes to “setting the classroom” you want your child learning area to be inviting but also make them eagerer to learn. Target Dollar Section (normally at the front of the store) has great back to school decor supplies. Target has calender’s, desk decor, growth mindset posters and educational games you can implement in your child day for no more than 5 dollars. The Target Dollar Section is a teacher’s lifeline. I use their materials in my classroom every year, so believe me that the dollar section is a teachers go to spot to spice up a room!
If you don’t mind spending an extra penny visit the “teacher store” called Lakeshore. The store is a little bit on the pricey end for certain items however, they have great resources to stock up your child learning area with phonics cards, math games, workbooks, books and so much more. Lakeshore is definitely worth visiting especially because sometimes they offer free workshops for the students to learn and complete various activities from stem, science equipment’s and etc all in store!
It Takes A Village
Remember your child has a teacher therefore, take it easy on yourself! When doing long distance learning your focus is to be Mommi first therefore, be there to comfort your kiddo during this unexpected predicament. Be open, flexible and honest that everyday wont go as planned. As a teacher we have days where we’ve mapped an entire lesson plan out and can only get to 40% of the things planned for that day. Don’t worry it happens, push through! Keep the line of the communication open with your child teacher. Check to make sure that the expected assignments are completed from your child, what standards your child is learning and most importantly making time for your student to have mental breaks in between.
A schedule is vital when it comes to not only long distance learning but learning in general. Have a set schedule and commit to it. Post the schedule where your child can see therefore he/she knows what to expect next and have something to look forward to. To make it easy I’ve created a generic editable Class schedule that you can adjust for your child learning schedule.
Let’s Get Creative
Often times as parents its easy for us to sit our child down and have them work from dawn to dusk because we think that’s how school is ran however, that’s false. Your child will need a break from learning and completing work; if not this will burn you and your “student” out. Therefore, drink a glass of wine if needed on those breaks occurring throughout the day. On average the typical elementary student receives three breaks a day consisting of special area, lunch and recess. All three breaks are vital to your child mental and physical ability to continue completing school work. Remember that your child is missing out on true social interaction so its up to you to get creative, change the narrative around the phrase “school is boring” and allow them to truly explore the arts such as Dance, Art, Music and Drama (which is something the educational system is lacking in schools).
Allow your student to give a little bit of input on what they would like for their “long distance learning” school to look like. Will they have spirit week where they could where pajamas? Can playing a video game be a alternative to recess or be an option on”Fun Friday”? Could we have cooking class for lunch instead of Mommi preparing food alone for lunch? Will we paint for art class? (Students rarely get opportunities to paint in school.) Get creative and innovative on how you would like long distance learning to run in your home. Remember what works for one mom, may not work for you. That’s the true beauty, this is the moment for you to create the core values you wish your child was able to receive from physical school. Check the file I created for spirit week ideas and mental break ideas.
You’re Now #TeacherMommi
Some of us are happy about long distance learning and some of us are still trying to figure out how did we make it through the last long distance learning a few months ago. Although the situation we’re experiencing with school isn’t ideal, look on the bright side that you have an amazing community of moms on Mommination sharing their experiences with you to give you insight and ideas on how to adjust to our new normal. To the mommi that’s worried, nervous, optimistic or excited. I encourage you to approach this back to school year with pride that you’re doing the best you can and your making lifetime memories to share with your child. In the future the moments we experience today will be the memories we share later on in life. So I challenge you to make this memory count by adding love, quality time and allow your creative juices to flow! (Download the file to get some helpful information, ideas and a little relief)