While the pandemic still takes over our lives, parents are faced with a new reality: kids are going to be staying and taking on at-home learning techniques from scratch, and many parents are a little lost.
What is “at-home learning” and how is it done?
Although for many families homeschooling their every day, the reality is that for other families adopting this modality may involve some improvisation. With today’s health crisis around the world, sending children to daycare/school/extracurricular activities is no longer an option, so how do we adapt to this new reality?
The priority should be that the children feel comfortable in a place that allows them to learn, and that the parents are able to deal with it – that too, as they are working from home. There are many families who are going through a state of stress, there are many people who are unemployed, unpaid and that is something difficult for every family. The most important thing is that everyone in the family feels emotionally comfortable and ready to take on a new adventure.
Here are 6 things you might want to consider when starting a new at-home learning routine with your littles:
1. Start your routine in advance – It’s no easy task to be a teacher. And it is even more work being a teacher + mom + cook + hard worker. So the best thing you can do is plan ahead. Waking up before everyone else at home can be extremely helpful too.
2. Designate a space – Leave a space only for these activities, somewhere that can get dirty, be cluttered, or spare a little mess while your child is left alone to do their activities. Buy plastic tablecloths or something with which you can cover the floor or table if necessary.
3. Make a to-do list – Make a list of everything you need to buy or the household materials you’ll be using. If you want to separate by activities, materials or grades (in case you have more than one child), weekly planning of what you will be focusing on that week.
4. Eat breakfast. Really – One benefit of at-home learning is that you’ll be able to eat a hefty, unrushed breakfast with everyone. Fill up! Don’t survive on a cup of coffee and a bagel – you’ll need more energy than ever to get through the day.
5. Time together – You are going to share more games and activities with your child when you can have a little more time and attention to them. But is not only games, but you can also involve them in everyday house chores. See what you can delegate to them or how they can help you, it is a different but equally valuable sharing.
6. Plan your schedule – Within this new reality, make sure you have time for classes, for play and FOR YOU. Even with all the resources, it is not easy to homeschool, so you will need off-time to relax, breathe and gather your thoughts.
Above all, don’t put yourself down wondering if you are doing it right or wrong, do not compare yourself with other families. This is a process of change that involves a lot of adaptation and little by little you will find what is functional for you as a family, it will not always work the same for everyone, and for families who haven’t done it before, it can be a hefty challenge.
Without a doubt, the first week will be one of the biggest challenges in this process. As with any venture, it is important to define many practical aspects before getting to work.
Most likely, if this is your first time venturing into at-home learning, you are likely to feel a little disoriented when it comes to finding materials and resources. The first step is to make sure you have access to those resources. It can be as easy as putting together a comfortable workspace with a desk before you start saving all your login information and checking that all necessary programs can be accessed correctly.
When you have a designated space, finding the right elements to keep in your school space is key.
- Colored pencils
- White sheets or blank notebooks
- Art and craft supplies
- A bookshelf or space designated exclusively for school-related materials
Now that you’re all set up, what’s next?
You’ll need the resources, so here are some that will come in handy when you are looking for hands-on learning materials that don’t necessarily include full-time screen correspondence.
Kabanna community: one stop shop
It is an e-learning, homeschooling program for children 2-6 years old. They also feature regular online courses and workshops for families and educators. Most of their content includes hands-on activities with a pedagogical background, structured with important developmental tools for kids.
Ted @ Home: Learning by subject
The creators of TED Talks have launched a new program to encourage student learning without going to school. The TED-Ed @ Home initiative is a daily newsletter with free lessons, activities, and challenges to support students of all ages, parents, and teachers. It includes new daily lessons for elementary, middle, high school, and colleges. Lessons cover art, literature, language arts, math, science, technology, and more.
KÄNGURU: For Spanish- speaking children
It is an initial education program, designed to learn from home
Providing support for them to encourage children to develop their capacities and virtues to the maximum from a loving, free, playful and constructivist sense. It is the first Homeschooling in Mexico based on the game theory supported by Project Zero from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
They part from the idea that parenting is hard, as complicated as millenial life is. So they have created a network of resources for your parents who work and live through fostering community and innovating solutions to parenting hurdles.
Their resources are varied, and their focus ranges from read to socialize babies and a few survival tips, to play based activities for children.
Rohal Dahl: Things to do indoors
The famed children’s book author is one that has taken over online resources as well! With storytelling expertise, different experiments and lessons for home, this is an illustrated adventure your kids are going to love.
Be wild and Free
The site, started by Ainsley Arment will inspirent parents to take in the best of parenting into the basics “All good things are wild and free.”They work under the premise that education isn’t just in the classroom, but home-learning is about the adventure, freedom, and wonder of childhood.
It is a perfect place to start with in an emerging group of mothers and homeschoolers who are being designed to take on the world as the next generation.
Waldorf inspired Curriculum
For this Waldorf inspired family, it’s all about finding “the sweet spot” of parenting. Whether you are new to homeschooling or youare a seasoned parent, their coaching sessions and resources have kept families learning for over twenty years.
SOME OF WIWIURKA´S TOP PICKS
As you know, Wiwiurka was founded from the roots of a family and Ana and Marek, our founders have homeschooled their girls for a while.
These are materials that we have used at home, and can confidently recommend!
Math board from @fromjennifer
It is perfect for math learners! Kids can fill it up while counting, creating patterns, practicing mathematical equations, discovering cardinal directions, and more.
Chalk boards from @chalkfullofdesign
We all know that back in the day, we learned to write in cursive, and it was fun and challenging. With these boards, your kids can learn to trace and write while they discover textures and a new skill. We love ours!
It is a quarterly print magazine that empowers kids to dream, learn, do, and become their own kind of brave. Each issue features a strong female role model who embodied a trait we want to teach our kids—from Jane Goodall’s patient attitude to Maya Angelou’s kind character. Bravery promotes these traits through engaging stories, creative activities, and hands-on DIYs.
Magnetic Tiles from @magnatiles
We can’t say enough good things about Magnatiles! They are perfect to inspire kids to build, to divide, to engineer – you name it, imagination is the limit!
Stockmar crayons and watercolors
Kids need to be artsy. These Long-lasting life saviors present a plethora of possibilities! Their pure beeswax composition makes for bright colors that are also safe for the smallest in the house!
Honey Sticks great for toddler hands
When it comes to art, kids have their ways of expressing. But as they grow up, the way they draw the world is an entry port into their minds and the way they see life. Try giving your children a task, and see their perspective: How do they see a dog? Their house? Look into your little’s imagination!