The WHO has clarified the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic. According to UNESCO monitoring, 56 countries have closed schools nationwide, impacting over 516.6 million children and youth. Here is Washington Major Jay has declared a state of emergency on March 11. Our schools have been closed for a week and it has been a learning experience.
Wanted to share the lessons as we transition to this new environment:
Having the whole family at home for over two or more weeks with limited places to go will be hard and overwhelming. Take deep breaths, do your exercises and find ways to get alone time for each member.
Before eLearning beings sit down with each child to ensure they have access and know what is expected. Also make sure they know how to use the tools the school is using like Google Classroom, Google docs, Zoom, Moodle, etc. Review their schedules so both you and they understand how the day will go.
The first week will give you an indication of what is working and what needs to change. Does the location needs to change so the child can focus, can you walk into their rooms to check on them or should they have a sign as to when you can enter so you don’t walk into a zoom session during a marketing class.
With everyone using the WiFi at the same time your connection may be slow. If needed make changes to your internet plan to ensure connectivity.
Set this up as you would your home office-find a separate location to be their school office. If you have space use a different room instead of their bedrooms. We have one child in a spare bedroom and the other in the family room, each room has a door which is very helpful for all of us. Try and make sure they are ready for school and not in their PJ so they can change their mindset to learning mode. Keep extra distractions away from the workspace.
Work with all the schedules to see if you can find time to all connect during the day even if it is for 15 mins to chat and check-in. To ensure they don’t feel isolated let them connect with their friends on FaceTime, Snapchat throughout the day. My kids have been using these tools to do homework with their friends, help each other with a difficult problem and sometimes to just fool around.
Fit in physical activity into the day for both yourself and your children. For us, evening practices were the physical activity until yesterday when everything got canceled. We are working on a new plan to go outside, get fresh air and physical activity. During the day open up the windows to feel fresh.
Use this time to provide healthier lunches and snacks since I am not limited to a sandwich for lunch. This is a work in progress. Order nutritious meals, snack options as they will be snacking more during the day in between classes.
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