BCFS Health and Human Services CSD offers a range of programs to help care for and educate children throughout the United States. We understand the challenges facing parents during COVID-19 as they attempt to educate their children at home through an unprecedented time.
We have several tips for parents who are perhaps struggling to create engaging and impactful virtual-learning programs for their children. A first step for parents is to set realistic and attainable yet challenging expectations for their child’s education. For multi-child households, these expectations should be adjusted based on individual academic ability and age. The expectations can also reasonably shift over time as students accelerate at faster-than-expected rates or need to work at a slower pace.
After you set expectations for your child and yourself, it’s a good time to give your virtual-learning routine some structure. Create a dedicated work area for your child, with a minimal number of distractions. Help them to keep this area clean so they can function without a cluttered mind. Set up a daily routine so your child can stay on track with homework. And enable them to mix up their daily routine slightly by learning outside or in other calming areas.
Consider taking an opportunity during learning from home to expand your child’s education beyond the virtual classroom. We recommend activities such as laundry. It’s an exciting exercise for younger kids who might love the feel of warm clothes out of the dryer or the rumble of the washing machine. For teens, it’s a great way to teach them self-sufficiency as they’ll soon be adults and need to conquer everyday tasks. Start cooking with your kids so they understand the comfort and value of home-cooked meals. Show them how to sew up small holes in clothes or reattach a button. We also recommend talking to kids about budgeting and personal finance, as these are often neglected subjects for students of any age.
Add some structure with your child’s time learning from home for optimal efficiency and in a way that makes sense for your daily life. Of course, they’ll need to be available for online classes with their teachers, but the other learning time can be flexible. Encourage exercise sessions to help them reduce stress and improve their health. At BCFS Health and Human Services CSD, we see the benefits of painting supplies or other similar items that can provide busy children with a needed creative outlet.
Managing at-home learning is extraordinarily difficult for you and your child. Set expectations and accountability, but make sure you add some fun and give yourself and your kid credit for doing the best you can under stressful circumstances.