Now that you're an at-home "Certified Teacher," you now have your kids (your students) and their class clown friends called Distractions.
This COVID-19 quarantine process has parents going cray cray with the amount of distractions their kids get into while teaching school at home.
It feels like the kids have started Summer Break hasn’t it? It feels like school let them out and now they’ve gone crazy. Do you even know what day it is right now?
Perhaps it's because your kids want to spend most of their "extended break" free time watching TV, or on the iPad or on their phones. They may be begging to FaceTime their friends or they're constantly playing with toys, non-toys or playing with something - anything that they know will instantly make you mad!
Their attention span seems EXTREMELY short and it seems like you're teaching the students of Animal House as opposed to loving your little angel kids.
This at-home schooling thing is tough ain't it? You may be asking yourself, "Why does this seem so difficult?" Well… it's difficult because now you’re an extension of your kid's teacher. You have to now become a Teacher/Teacher’s Aide and help your kids with their school material.
So how do you do that AND make any progress with them AND STAY SANE?
Here’s a few simple things that you can do to minimize distractions to your kids and maintain your sanity:
SET A SCHOOL SCHEDULE NOW! Yes, it’s in all CAPS and underlined for a reason. If you don’t set a schedule for your kids to follow, they will create their own schedule and that will create unnecessary tension, behavior problems and lack of motivation with your kids.
Make a schedule and stick to it. All kids need a routine they can follow so they know what to do and when to do it.
Here's our schedule that Michelle put together for our kids to follow. See the pic below! She's so dang good at that stuff.
Schedule fun activities throughout their school day. Have time for music, art, play time, recess, etc. This time is unprecedented so they’re going to be out of sorts with EVERYTHING. Schedule some fun in their work day.
Work in short blocks. Try not to work in more than 30-minute blocks. All kids (regardless of age) have short attention spans. Help them out by having shortened productive periods of school work.
Schedule movement breaks. If they are sitting in the same place and learning, they will become bored or start regressing if they don’t have time to get up and move around. I’m an adult and I DON’T LIKE staying in one place for more than 30-minutes. Let them move - they’re kids.
Respect the schedule and stick to it. This will be challenging. As a parent, you’ll want school to be done. So you may gloss over some things and finagle some time slots. Try not to do this. Stick to the schedule regardless of what’s going on. If you want the kids to respect the schedule, it all starts with you and how you treat it.
Most importantly, have fun with it all. You’re a “first year teacher” who’s teaching your own kids from home! This is an incredible challenge to be thrusted upon you at the eleventh hour. Do your best and don’t allow things to get you upset.
Know your limitations and be okay with not knowing some of the material that your kids may know. Remember, you’re not a certified teacher so this whole thing will be a huge challenge.
Also, don’t worry - we all have become “first year teachers” during this Coronavirus pandemic and we've all had moments with our kids. Including me. If you fully respect what your teachers do, click this link, read the article and send it to your favorite teacher or share it via social media.
PS: All of us “first year teachers” have had a drink during "school hours" so don't feel bad because you’re not the first to do so. I don’t advise drinking on the job as a “first year teacher” but desperate times require ….. you know the rest.
*** DISCLAIMER ***
I do not condone drinking on the job or infer that any teachers are or do any drinking on the job. The above joke was in reference to at-home parents who are helping their kids with homework and may have had an alcoholic beverage to reduce stress through this whole ordeal.
Happy teaching to all my wonderful, awesome and AUTHENTIC parents!! We’re in this together!
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