Last week we welcomed four parents to share about how they are handling working and teaching from home.
Many parents have been unexpectedly put into the role of a teacher at home. We had a webinar this week that allowed us to hear from three parents about how they are managing working and schooling at home at the same time.
Here are some big takeaways:
Know your philosophy of crisis schooling:
The first question on the panel was “what is your philosophy” of working and teaching. Each parent had their own beliefs and ideas that are getting them through crisis schooling. It’s important to step back and think about what your philosophy is for your family. One parent on the panel, Sara (Possip team member), said that she takes it a day at a time and relates their philosophy to what her pediatrician told her about solid foods for her children: Every day doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s the overall week that counts. Kids can eat junk food some days, but the overall week should include nutritious choices. She connected that to having days where not much academics is happening, but over the week, they will get all their academics in at some point. A “week interval” mindset may help you and your family!
Another parent, Courtney (founder of supermoneykids.co), has a philosophy around creating a good working environment for everyone in the family (his daughter, his wife, his mother-in-law, and him). He believes when everyone has a good working environment then his daughter can still successfully learn during this crucial time in her development. Reflect and come up with your beliefs and philosophy during this time with your students learning from home.
Empower your child to help:
Your child can actually be one of the best assets during this time. One parent, Mandy (creator of https://nowtakeoff.com/), allowed her 4-year old to help recreate “centers” that they have at daycare and she was so excited to help. It also increased her idea of “normalcy” during such an uncertain and uncomfortable time for children. Another parent, Shani, discussed their strong morning routine where she and her family start out with a motivational quote, bible verse, and fun fact of the day. After that, her children practice mindfulness and go outside and write down two observations they have. Allowing children to lead routines like a “morning family meeting” will start off the day strong and empower your child to take on some leadership while learning from home.
Each parent participant talked about some kind of routine they had while working and teaching. It was beneficial to both them as parents and their children. One parent, Courtney, talked about how the wakes up before everyone and just has some time to practice mindfulness, exercise, and have time to himself before the day starts. Other parents talked about the importance of having clear schedules and only putting in about 2-3 hours of school work per day, following homeschool schedule guidelines. Routines allow children and parents to feel a bit more in control during this time that feels very chaotic.
Flexibility is key:
Having flexibility is key in almost all aspects of working and teaching from home. These are unprecedented times and almost nothing is guaranteed from day to day or minute to minute. The parent panel talked about having flexibility for the hours they work (some worked earlier or later than normal), for the times their children do their school work, for the amount of schoolwork students do every day, for the location of children and parent workspaces, and even flexibility for how your meetings go (sometimes your child might pop in the video meeting, and that’s ok!). Also, if you have different age children, flexibility is important so each child can get what they need throughout the week. As Courtney said during the panel, we are all ‘rookies’ at this new normal. Flexibility, patience, and grace for yourself and your child will get you through this difficult time.
Give feedback to the school
One parent whose children’s school uses Possip discussed the importance of frequently communicating with the school. Letting them know what’s working and what’s not help everyone. There are probably more parents who are feeling the same way as you, so don’t be afraid to reach out and let the school know. If your child’s schoolwork is too time consuming and you can’t finish it all on time, let them know. If your school is doing synchronous (live) lessons and the times are difficult to attend, let them know. Schools can be flexible during this time and want to meet the needs of parents. Share your thoughts and needs frequently.
If your school doesn’t have Possip, follow up! Our technology allows parents to easily give both positive and adjusting feedback weekly to schools. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any interest in learning more!
Special thanks to our parents who joined: