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Surviving distance learning while working from home

Distance Learning Tips for Parents & Children

Most of the world has been working from home for 30+ days since COVID-19 decided to show up. We are not only juggling work projects, deadlines, and virtual meetings, but also laundry, more cooking, and for some of you…homeschooling your children. Parents and children are not only spending more time together at home, but they are probably trying to strike the perfect balance between playing teacher and student while maintaining peace. Parents, you’re not alone!

Here are Five Best Practices to Keep in Mind for Homeschooling During COVID-19:

1. Encourage your children to be more independent. This can apply to all ages. Set and stick with schedules, but encourage your kids to design their own schedule, or design it with them. Do you know your kids' learning style? If not, have them take a quiz. Be sure to review any lesson plans or project requirements for your kids to finish the year strong.

2. Lean into communication technology. Help set up a virtual study group between their peers. This will keep them socially stimulated and learning at the same time, rather than via text. Facilitate if your children are younger, but also offer to facilitate the older ones. Get other homeschooling parents involved (while you both drink wine in the background). Study session and a virtual happy hour? Sign me up!

3. Force yourself and your family to recover, mentally. Share with them projects you’re working on at your job. Ask about and listen to their school progress. You don’t need to “micro teach” your kids. Set aside time to check in, but also set aside time to take breaks together from work and homework.

4. Ensure that your kids stay active. My mom used to have all six of us kids race laps around the house for exercise, probably while she enjoyed a moment to herself. Leverage wearable technology or your phones to track steps. Once, my dad designed an obstacle course in our backyard. The kid who completed the fastest won a $5 bill. Get creative with a prize! It doesn’t have to be money. Perhaps more streaming time would be more motivational.

5. Find an accountability or “check in” buddy. Schedule a weekly call with other parents to discuss best practices, vent, and laugh. Call another mom or dad or family member and ask what they’re doing to survive and thrive. Or simply check in with your kids. Several times a week, our family would all gather around the living room and share a favourite school project we’re working on, a proud moment, or a fun weekend activity suggestion. If you can’t wrangle all of your family together, check in with them one-on-one.

Take a step back, think about how the past 30 days of homeschooling during Coronavirus have been for you and how you can continue to be a rockstar at your home not only for your kids, but for your own sanity as you juggle both being a teacher and an employee. We will get through this!

To learn more tips and tricks for an effective work from home or online learning transition, check out our Remote Work Resources page.


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