When looking at school plans, remember to consider the time you or other adults will need to spend supervising. The younger the child, the more help he needs. K12 suggests that you budget 4 to 6 hours a day to help your child if he is younger than fifth grade. Older children will need supervision for about 1 to 3 hours.
Social skills are more important than social studies
Every educator I’ve talked to has confirmed that kids don’t go to school to learn math and English, even though they are important too! In a school environment, children learn conflict management, discipline and emotional regulation – all of which are difficult to take at a distance.
“In traditional schooling, standards never say, ‘Make sure children make friends,'” Khan says. “Teachers must be focused on ensuring that distance learning does not lose that element. Educators need to pull students off the screen, make cold calls, make virtual rooms to break up, ask them to convince each other of solutions, or teach each other. ”
Whenever you can, facilitate personal interaction — which can be as simple as reading to a young child or asking an older child questions about something they learned at lunch. Pandemic pods, in which several children gather in someone’s home or outside in their backyard, can be a controversial solution. But they don’t have to cost money. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to find two to three families with children of similar age,” says Khan. “You don’t have to hire someone.”
Another important life skill that children learn in school is self-management — learning to follow a schedule, remove workload, and meet deadlines.
Valenzuela offers a template for daily schedule. But that schedule should include plenty of free time and physical activity, especially for younger children. “There’s no way to expect kids of any age to sit on screen all day,” says Devorah Heitner, a media expert and author of the book. According to the script, a practical guide to help parents manage their child’s relationship to technology.
“They need both physical rest and screen rest,” Heitner says. “Do push-ups or eat a snack. Playing video games is not a great brain break during school. ”
“The big challenge with a distant school is that it wasn’t exactly adapted to the parents,” Heitner points out. School districts are not always consistent across platforms. Maybe one teacher uses a seesaw, while another prefers Google Hangouts. This can be difficult to manage, especially if you have multiple children of different ages.
If you are a parent or supervising an adult, Heitner suggests setting a time to address technological difficulties, especially for children under the third grade. Because of their inconsistent typing skills, they regularly lock them off their computers.
Let’s hope your school stays consistent, with a maximum of three separate platforms. But if you’re changing supervisory duties with other adults, Heitner suggests writing down each website, username, and password on the board. Place the whiteboard in a prominent place and photograph it to send to any adult supervising your child.
My colleague Boone Ashworth has already written about it setting up a workspace for your child. But Heitner has a few more suggestions. A cheap printer is a good solution for a child who is easily distracted or who has to share a computer or tablet with siblings. Just print the pages to read, edit, or work on worksheets away from the screen.
Sal Khan also recommends getting rid of digital media whenever possible. He recommends ED Hirsch’s Core Knowledge series for each class, as a good addition for parents or coaches in learning who are anxious to skip any basic steps.
Think Big Picture
If you are reading this, I am confident that your children will be fine. You probably have internet access. And maybe discretionary income, if you’re a WIRED subscriber. Perhaps the most helpful piece of advice for you and your family is to accept that experiencing a global pandemic means that many things will disappear.
Sometimes you won’t be able to put your child on Google Meet because you had to receive a phone call. It is OK. “The good news is that the kids are ready to learn and will learn things this year,” Heitner says. “If they don’t learn every piece, most kids will be in the same boat.”