As Bay Area families struggle to juggle working from home and providing education for their children, many wonder where to begin. Experts say that education doesn’t have to rigid, but there should be a basic routine. Starting with a simple schedule that remains relatively unchanged day to day will give children a sense of calm and predictability - and will help you schedule work meetings more efficiently. This could mean starting and finishing work, and having lunch every day at the same time. What happens between these blocks of time will depend on you and your children, but setting up smaller blocks of time for certain activities also aids in establishing predictability.
Oh the Places (online) You’ll Go
There are ever expanding resources in the age of online learning, but it can also be challenge to know how to use which resources. The Expanded Learning Unit at the San Jose Public Library has pulled together some of our favorite online resources and how to use them throughout the day.
Social Emotional Learning – ready to learn and help for managing stress
Any parent at home right now can probably agree that it is difficult to get their children to sit in one place for more than an hour at a time. According to their website, Gonoodle is a movement-based online tool that “inspires all kids to be active and mindful with a wide range of offerings that appeal to kids' different ages, interests, skills, and abilities”. Gonoodle provides 5-10 minute videos that help children get focused and ready to learn, while also recognizing their emotions that can impact their ability to focus. Play as many of these video activities as needed throughout the day, such as before or after lunch, when transitioning between subjects, or just for a mindful break if kids start to get frustrated with their work - parents can also join in on the fun!
Reading and Writing – and connecting!
While many schools will continue to provide curriculum and resources for students to work on at home, reading and writing can continue in creative ways outside the curriculum. Some ideas can include setting up Skype calls between friends and families to read stories to each other in spite of social distancing. This could be a great way to engage family members who might feel lonely at home, while also helping kids practice their reading skills. Children can also write letters, postcards, or emails to friends and family across town. Anyone can also sign up for the free Spring into Reading challenge through the San Jose Public Library to win prizes the more they read. Visit the link to learn more and sign up through Beanstack to track your reading minutes.
Remember to Have Fun
These are just a few ideas to start getting into a routine, but set small goals and try to make this a time to reconnect as a family with fun, games, and bonding activities. Check back with us regularly and take a look at our online resources to help build stress-free learning at home. We will continue to explore ways to use online learning resources on this page, but in the meantime, here is a link to age and grade specific learning tools to check out. Please leave a comment below with ways your family is learning online or any questions you would like us to answer about learning outside of the classroom.