Preparedness and structure are two keys to successful home schooling during the current COVID 19 public health situation. As schools throughout the country have closed, parents who regularly teach their children at home and other experts offer advice on maintaining a learning environment.
Maintaining structure throughout the day is essential, just like an in-school day is highly structured, notes Jennifer Openshaw, a nationally known financial expert and CEO of the non-profit Girls with Impact.
A whiteboard is a great tool to support a structured day, she says.
“Be sure to make it a visual schedule,” she writes in an online post. “Yes, find that dry erase board and markers. … Smart scheduling will surely help you be productive, too.”
If possible, she recommends, follow your children’s usual class time schedule. That includes lunch and break time.
But some home schooling mothers suggest letting children determine the order of the day’s studies.
“Give them a say in which subjects they want to tackle first,” recommends Florida mother Wendy Moores.
A daily structure is especially important during turbulent times, such as the current health crisis.
“Many routine activities are now disrupted, and that’s going to be an emotional process for everyone,” said home schooling mother Maria Chamberlain in an interview with TODAY Parents. “Kids are going to be disappointed, as are parents, not to have their normal routine.”
Home schooling mother Heather Bowen agreed, saying children should help in keeping track.
“For younger children, a dry erase board, where you can list out all assignments and chores for the day and then check them off as they go, may be most effective,” she said.
Besides maintaining structure throughout the day, being prepared to help your children is important, too.
“Look over their lesson plans, etc., read their textbooks. You need to do your homework so you can show them how to do theirs,” said Moores.
Other tips from Openshaw and from home schooling families include:
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Jim Muth is general manager of EVERWhite, a US manufacturer and seller of whiteboards and tack boards used for teaching, coaching, planning, collaboration and tracking. Along with his expertise in the use of whiteboards, Jim excels in leadership, new product development, business operations, lean manufacturing, continuous improvement and product marketing. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Technology, with a focus on Product Development and Design, from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.