How is everyone feeling going into a season of home learning again? I know some schools are going back but it also seems like a number have decided to extend where we left off in the spring. While everyone has different feelings around it at the end of the day, we still have to teach our sweet children.
Last spring, I initially thought ok this will be fine. No worries we will just do the work sent home and play. I did not really create a space or schedule for us. We made it the first couple of weeks totally fine and then it became a reality for a bit longer. At that point I realized we needed to create a little “school” in our home. The kitchen nook became the main learning area and then our reading and Bible study area was upstairs. What I found even in those early days was that breaking up the location was helpful even if it was just for one subject. The simple change of scenery seemed to perk everyone up and give us renewed focus.
So here are my top 5 tips for your home space & home learning –
- Make it a place kids enjoy being. We hung their art up; we picked a school name and mascot. We made it a real experience and while their only classmate was their sibling it was a fun exercise as a family. While these things aren’t necessary, I found that by creating things that felt exciting and fun in this time helps kids feel engaged and part of the experience.
- Spend a little time before you start creating a daily plan. I am not saying you must do a timed schedule, but I would schedule how you are going to work through the activities. If math is the hardest, most frustrating subject I would do it first. The last thing you want is to be close to lunch time or dinner and trying to work through something that frustrates everyone.
- Keep it Clean – I know my space may look a little messy, but it is organized to us. Everyone knows where to find what they need, and we don’t waste time looking for the work. This piece is super helpful because no one is getting frustrated BEFORE we start. Clean It Well also gives us a fresh start with minimal effort.
- If you have more than one student, I suggest that each one have their own spots to keep their work. This way things aren’t getting mixed in together, messed up or lost. I know nothing upsets my girls more than her sister messing up or ruining something of hers.
- The more organizational items the better! In this scenario where you are in charge of a lot of “work” that has to be sent into the teachers I suggest folders. Whether they are electronic ones because the work is done on-line or actual physical folders. It helps for each subject to have its own folder.
The last thing I want to add is for you Momma...
Give yourself tons of grace! Whether you are a stay-at-home mom who is working with their little ones’ early in the day and trying to make sure it all gets done. Or a working mom who is having to manage both the professional piece of you and the mother/teacher piece. These are not normal days and it is ok to get frustrated. I also believe that some days you need to just send them outside and worry about the work at another point.
The space is important in the sense that I believe it will help you feel organized and calmer. BUT the most important piece is that we all end up on the other side of this closer as families not farther apart. The best way to do that is to not create too big of expectations for ourselves or our kids.
So many good wishes and prayers as we all start this unique school year!
Raise Them Well Team Member