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Best Practices for Families

Learning at home: best practices for families


Stay Connected.

Staying connected with your school to understand what their plan is for instruction during your child's time at home, in addition to the technology needs you may need to consider.

Give kids an outlet to discuss emotions.

Writing in a journal is a good way for adolescents to process their feelings in this uncertain time. You can also set aside a time to talk as a family about how everyone is feeling and coping with the outbreak.

Help your child solve problems.

Most online classes aren't a virtual meeting. There are lists of assignments, discussion boards, forums, and projects that are accomplished at the student's own pace. Your child is not in the same room as the teacher. Don't think you must be in the same room as your child to help.

Have an adventure mindset.

Help your child understand that every moment in life offers opportunities to learn, create and grow.


Make a school schedule.

Most kids are used to having a schedule for the school day, so recreating something similar at home can ease the transition to a different learning environment.

Time for learning by grade level.

The general rule of thumb for cognitive time on tasks for students working at home is roughly 10 minutes per grade level per task while spreading the time throughout the day.

Build in breaks.

Traditional school programs incorporate some sort of recess or outdoor time, and a work from home schedule should be no different. Outside time and fresh air has huge physical and mental health benefits.

Downtime is your friend.

Downtime, or time for kids to work on projects quietly and independently, is just as important as active time outside. Kids need time to "disconnect" every day — from each other, from parents, from technology and from the outside world.

Healthy Habits

Stick to a sleep schedule.

While it might be tempting for your older children to stay up late every night and sleep late every morning, changing healthy sleep habits is not beneficial to their physical and mental health.

Get crafty.

Art is an important part of education and working with your children at home also provides parents with an opportunity to get creative with the arts.

Make time for yourself.

Everybody will need a breather right now. Make sure your children know that you will plan blocks of time for yourself and that they will need to self-entertain. This will give you time for needed chores and your own mental-health time.

Provide physical activity breaks.

Allow for short 1 – 5-minute breaks at least 2-3 times per day. These can include movement breaks, stretching, games involving movement, walking breaks, calisthenics. Make the activities fun.

Accept your limits.

Children aren't the only ones relegated to working from home in the immediate future. Many parents with office jobs have been asked to do the same.

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