Top Tips to ease the transition back to school
A new school term is about to start, and although many countries have decided to open up public and private schools again (following strict health regulations of course), many others have decided not to. Indeed, distance learning appears to be the new educational system for many families.
If you are one of the families that will be experiencing homeschooling 2.0, rest assured because I have compiled a list of useful tips to get you and your kids ready!
1. TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
Talk to your kids openly about what the new term is going to look like. You may have some concerns, but they will have them too. By exchanging each of your views, you will be able to come up with possible solutions together. It is important that you LISTEN, REASSURE and SUPPORT one another now more than ever.
2. IDENTIFY WORKING AREAS AND SET SMART GOALS
Once you have identified previous limitations or difficulties, it is time to prepare for them by setting SMART Goals. When creating these goals with you children, bare in mind that they have to be:
S - Specific - write out clear and concise goals.
M - Measurable - identify ways to track your progress.
A - Achievable - set challenging yet attainable goals.
R - Relevant - these goals must align with your values and desires.
T - Timely - set a timeframe for successful completion.
We've prepared a handy SMART Goals handout to help you and your family achieve all that you desire. Check it out!
3. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN BUT MAKE IT FUN
Grab a big piece of paper (I recommend A3) or, even better, a white board (if you have one) and start writing down all the school related stuff i.e. scheduled online classes, activities, group work, etc.
Now that you have your baseline done, it is time to design the routine you and your kids would like to follow each day. As a Pro Tip! Remember to incorporate enjoyable activities that will foster learning outside of classes. A golden trio within the Homeschooling community are:
- Books : adventure books, nature guides, illustrated encyclopaedias, . cookbooks, ... and any other kind of book that you wouldn't necessarily think - about when it comes to academics.
- Hands on experience : DIYs, cook-alongs, construction projects, outdoor activities, gardening, ... if you can imagine it, you can make it!
- Technology : there are a lot of online resources out there (and soon to be here in Home Schooling S.O.S), now it's the time to make use of them!
But anything that would make your days more enjoyable and also challenge . your child's mind will also do the job! This isn't a one-size-fits-all. Find out what interests your child has and exploit them.
3. Remember to be flexible. The suggested extracurricular activities are just that, a suggestion. Don't feel like you always have to jamp-pack your days with certain activities or exercises, it is okay to just watch a movie / random youtube video, take a nap, or simply do nothing from time to time. It is your life, you choose.
4. PREPARE FOR SET-BACKS
Difficulties are bound to arise sooner or later, so working along with your child to set certain cues or action plans that will help you confront this difficulty together, will stop it from becoming more stressful than it should be.
5. GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT
Sometimes things won't go as planned, i.e. the internet will stop working, your child won't log-in on time to the next Zoom class, one or two home works will be forgotten, ... and you know what? It's okay, it happens. We are all humans, and we make mistakes. Your child is human, your child's teacher is human and even the school's principal is human. Because we all share the same nature, we are bound to understand when things go wrong. At the end of the day what matters most is that you give it your best shot and you show up for your child. Taking care of his/hers and your emotional well-being is by far more important than getting an 'A' in mathematics.
'LEARN from the past, PREPARE for the future, LIVE in the present!' - Thomas S. Monson
There you have it, 5 simple tips and tricks to get you and your children ready to go back to school.
Aside from how practical these tips might be, REMEMBER that you already experienced this once before, at a time when you had less information, less resources, and there was a lot more uncertainty in the world, and... YOU MANAGED IT!
From now on, it can only go better,
Ninibeth Leal Perez
& The Team Home Schooling S.O.S