Today was the first of many days of schooling and working from home in our household due to state mandated school closures as a result of COVID-19. This is now the reality for many families across the country, as we await the end of this global pandemic. Many schools are sending classwork home to ensure that students don't miss a beat while schools are closed. This is similar to what happened earlier this year when cold weather kept children home for a few days. The difference this time around, is that most schools are closed for at least two weeks, giving parents an opportunity to see just how hard teachers work.
I was prepared to print out and review my daughter's assignments daily and get everything back to the teachers as directed. What I didn't account for initially, was the volume of work she'd receive and what it really takes to stay on top of it, all while working from home and managing my own deliverables. After today, I have a few tips that will help other families stay organized during this time, including:
- Read through ALL communications from the school and ask questions if you're unsure of anything
- Inform teachers if there is any reason that the assignments can't be completed within the designated timeline
- Have school (paper, pencils, pens, rulers etc.) and printing (paper, ink) supplies available at home or make special arrangements to ensure that everything can be printed/completed
- Develop a lesson plan to balance the workload to prevent you/your student from becoming overwhelmed
- Map out time each day to talk through instructions and review completed assignments with your student(s)
- Pay close attention to subjects that your student(s) may need additional guidance/direction on
- Tap a family member/friend virtually to help with assignments if you aren't able to assist adequately
Most importantly, be patient and work with your child/children the same way we count on teachers to do daily. We know that educators have a tough job, and now it's our time as parents to do our parts so they can focus on their own families. These are just a few things I thought through as I set us up for week one. Feel free to share any additional tips in the comments or via social media that may be useful.