Stand and Deliver – A Parent’s Guide to Unlocking your Inner Teacher and Dealing with Covid-19 School Shutdowns

With the the widespread shutdown of schools across the world, parents have suddenly had the important role of teacher placed in their hands. While schools scramble to find ways to adapt and take teaching online, the reality is that parents will have a larger part to play in the education of their children and their own personal learning.

Establish A Routine

While schools are far from perfect, one of the things they do provide is structure. With you kids now hanging out at home, it’s going to come down to you to provide this structure. Left to their own devices, most kids will not spontaneously crack open a math textbook and proactively further their education. Set aside dedicated time each day to be put towards focused and meaningful learning. Keep in mind that while your kids were physically at school for about 6 hours per day, in reality a large chuck of this time was not fully dedicated to active learning. Be realistic and shoot for around 2-3 hours per day devoted to learning. Make sure your kids are taking breaks and keep the learning sessions to under 1 hour. If you establish set times, it will be easier to get into a routine. Also, don’t forget to maintain a regular sleep schedule, which could mean turning wifi off at a certain hour to make sure you kids are staying up all night online.

Don’t Forget about Physical Activity

If you are not in a lock down situation, than attempt to get out for a walk as a family at least once a day. My family has been doing this after dinner. We are very fortunate to have a wealth of hiking trails around us and have been definitely taking advantage of them. Remember your social distancing and avoid large groups. We do see people out on our walks but we make efforts to give people space and be friendly. If you are stuck inside, you’ll likely be able to find fitness classes on TV or online.

Leverage Netflix

A lot of us will turn to Netflix as a coping mechanism over the coming months but you may not have thought to look at Netflix as a learning rich resource. Netflix has a wealth of documentaries that you and your kids can learn quite a bit from. Set aside time each week to watch 1 or 2 of them.

Use Free Online Resources

You can learn just about anything online now a-days, so take advantage of it.

What to learn a new language?

Check out apps and websites like Duolingo, BBC and Memrise

Stay on top of and Strengthen your Math Skills

Check out websites like Khan Academy, IXL, TED

General Mind Expanding Sites

Check out sites like TED , Lynda.com, Udemy

Brush up on your Science

Check out sites like Bill Nye, TED, Brain Pop, National Geographic Kids, Nasa Kids Club

Learn to Code

Check out sites like Codeacademy, freeCodeCamp, Code.org, Udemy

Teach your Kids how to Cook! (With supervision of course)

Check out sites like Rouxbe, Instructables, Youtube

Teach you kids how to do Laundry!

Youtube

Expand your Learning (This is for you Parents)

While you’ll be helping your kids learn, it’s just as important to work on your own personal learning too!

Some great sites to check out include Coursera, Udemy, Lynda.com and edX. Also, don’t forget that picking up a book can expand your mind and you skills too.

You can do this!

Remember, It’s not about being perfect. As a parent, we are all teachers in one way or another. Stay positive and try your best. Try to find ways to make learning fun for your family and discover what works best for you. We are all in this together and if we share ideas and resources and insight, we can ultimately come out of this stronger on the other side!

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