With local schools closed and the shift to online learning coming next week for FHUD, many parents may wonder how to help their kids continue to make academic progress. There are numerous resources out there offering online lessons and online tutoring as children begin to re-engage via e-learning on March 30. Many of these resources are also good year round, as way to stimulate academic engagement and focusing screen-time on educational pursuits.
Here are some resources you can use to augment e-learning lessons provided by your child’s school, to provide additional practice, or to get online help:
- PBIS Rewards – Online Learning Resources
- The Journal – Free Resources for Schools During COVID-19 Outbreak – some of the resources require a teacher or school to register and provide parents with log-in info. Some resources are open to parents directly.
- We Are Teachers – 175+ Amazing Online Learning Resources
- LiveScience – Activities and Online Resources for Homebound Kids: A Coronavirus Guide
- Action for Healthy Kids – COVID-19 and At-Home Resources
- Rose Hulman Institute of Technology – AskRose.com – Free tutoring for grades 4-12 in science and math. Available via phone, email, or chat. Also provides online resources (PDFs and videos) on various science and math topics.
- ASU – Online Tutoring – Free tutoring in core classes via online video chat. Available to K-12.
In order to help your homebound student make the transition to e-learning more successful, here are some tips alleviating stress and creating a workable structure at home:
- Limit distractions – During school work time, turn the TV off and limit access to devices except for what is needed to complete school work.
- Have a designated learning space – Create a space for your child to complete their online activities. This can be a desk or a table, but it should be located where you can keep tabs on your child and should also be free from distractions. Try to avoid using the same spaces they would normally use for play or TV – they need to associate the space with learning and school.
- Keep a regular break schedule – Kids need routines to be successful, and it’s very difficult for kids to maintain focus for extended periods of time (depending on the age). So give time for snacks and physical activity at regular intervals. Set alarms if you need a reminder. If you aren’t able to go outside due to weather, there are “brain break” YouTube videos that will get your kids moving and provide a physical outlet. However, the best bet is take walks or go for a bike ride, or take a dip in the pool.
- Let them chat with friends – More than likely your kids are missing their friends from school or from their sports teams. While not the same as in-person social interaction, giving them time to video chat with friends will help keep them from feeling isolated and will keep them engaged socially.
- Limit screen time – while online learning is necessary to get through the next few weeks, studies show that students who do all their work online often have lower test scores. Try to mix up the learning with both the online requirements provided by your child’s teacher(s), but also encourage written work and reading physical books. Keeping a journal or printing worksheets can help, too, and try to get a hold of our child’s actual textbooks from school, if they haven’t already brought them home.
- Check-in with other parents – all Fountain Hills parents are in the same boat during these challenging times. Keeping the lines of communication open with other parents will allow you to learn from and share what is working and what is not, so that you can figure out best practices. Help each other.
- Try to maintain consistent schedules – keeping the kids on the same sleeping and meal schedule will help with the transition. Help them keep track of what’s due when and any scheduled video chats with their teacher(s) on a calendar. The should have a goal for the work they want to complete each day and stick to the deadlines they are given.
- Avoid the vacation mentality – It’s easy to fall into the trap of treating social distancing like an extension of spring break or summer vacation. It’s not. They have to meet the obligations required by their school, or there will be consequences they may not enjoy. Especially for older students, a lapse now could impact semester grades, which can impact future goals for college.
- Make family time part of the schedule – don’t allow working from home and e-learning to overtake your family. Schedule family time if you have to, and try to keep it fun and light. Limit screen time and get outside if you can. You can also find educational opportunities in fun family activities – a lesson on fractions while baking cookies or making dinner, or teach your kids to change the oil or tackle a project. Talk about plant life while on a walk or create a backyard scavenger hunt. Use your imagination!
We wish you all the best of luck as you transition to this new kind of learning! Check out our Support FH page for updated info on how we can support each other during this time. Susan Pellegrini and Karen DeGeorge are ready to put their care and expertise to work for you. Buying or selling, our first-class service comes with a wealth of experience and eye for detail, ready to focus on you. Visit our website to learn more and contact us or give us a call at (480)- 315-1575, we’re here for you.