We are living in an extraordinarily challenging time. Many families are struggling to work from home while the kids are out of school and are desiring to be a more effective team. And, if you are like most families, you may be wondering how these kids could possibility eat as much as they do!
Here are some tips to help you stay focused and productive while the family is secluding at home:
1. Hold a family meeting. Ask your family members if they have any questions or concerns they would like to explore together as a family team regarding the virus, quarantine and the family’s future plans.
2. Share your daily schedule. Ask everyone for ideas on what they can do to provide the privacy each person needs to get his or her work done. Invite their voices into the solution. Ask if you have their permission to hold them to their commitments and how they would like you to do that. Implement the ideas generated as best you can.
3. Get everyone involved. Ask what they can each do to get the most out of this time of quarantine. Ask what they think you can all do as a family to include extended family members.
4. Give praise. Remember to catch and acknowledge your family members for doing something right and for being helpful and considerate.
5. Discuss roles. Help everyone understand their various roles, and explore those roles with them.
Learning together may be a hidden gift of sheltering in place with school/college age family members. Perhaps this is the moment for you to finally learn to play a musical instrument or learn another language together.
Although many students do not want their parents tutor them, it can be a great opportunity to join them in the act of joint discovery — a co-exploration of a subject you are not the expert on — and you can learn together. There are many online learning sites. We wholeheartedly suggest these three free resources we are familiar with; they have excellent online reviews.
Many K—12 schools are providing online classes and digital work packets. If you find, like we did, you we cannot help your child with a specific subject, or if your student needs/wants more support or prefers to work online or alone, you may want to review these excellent education resources.
Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Lisa Calhoun of Inc. states, “Some 20 million people around the world access over 10,000 free, self-paced courses on Khan Academy’s learning platform from companies such as Pixar.” Khan Academy is supported by the Doerr Foundation and Google and is led by several internationally known educators and developers. Bill Gates found these classes provided him what he needed to support his son’s education. He later provided the academy with a grant through the Gates Foundation. The academy is a nonprofit organization and offers a wide array of classes.
This distance-learning toolkit is free, and it also offers premium paid learning. Edmodo has great teacher- and community-generated content. This global education network helps connect all learners with the people and resources they need to reach their full potential.
Mangahigh is one of the world’s first gamification platforms for math and coding. On this game-based learning site, students play math games as a fun way to learn new concepts and apply knowledge. Games cover certain learning topics and are sorted by ability and grade level. They are designed to adapt in difficulty according to a student’s ability, keeping the student in his or her zone of proximal development. Mangahigh successfully delivers fun, competitive, game-based lessons that drive greater engagement and understanding.
We think you will enjoy these learning platforms so much that you and your family will continue to use them, even when schools are back in session.