5 Essential Tools for Home School Learning During a Pandemic
Parenting in a Pandemic is challenging at best. I was recently fortunate enough to participate in a Facebook Live event where we heard from Professional Organizer Leslie Josel who specializes in organizing for students. This is a recap, I hope you find some good nuggets!
1. ANALOG CLOCK
Why? Did you know that most classrooms use an analog clock because it shows the passage of time. I started at 10:10 and I “see” it is 10:20 and I only have until 10:30. Digital clocks only show the moment in time.
Use a timer to track time. Set the amount of time you want to work on a specific task. Studies show that “Time over Task” works best. Instead of “I need to finish this whole project right now” tell yourself “I will spend 30 minutes on this project and then come back to it later.
3. PRESENTATION BOARD
A trifold cardboard to be used in a room where others are communing and working together. By supporting this on the table it keeps the student behind the board and provides privacy and helps eliminate distraction.
- Use color Post-It notes for your subjects/task. Put all notes on the left hand side of the board. Choose the task at hand and place it at the top/middle of the board. When completed move it to the right hand side. This is a good visual of what has been finished and how much you have left.
- You can also use Color Post-It notes for communication. This works well for parents working at home with have children who also need their help. Place the Post-It on the outside of the board from which you are working behind.
- RED – Very Important-no interruptions unless it is an emergency.
- YELLOW – Need privacy but available IF you need me.
- GREEN – Working but I am available
For mental privacy and motivation. Create a playlist of songs you know and love. Playlists keep you focused and not distracted from looking for new songs. Make playlists for different subjects. For instance, you might need “cranked up” music for math and more mellow music for English. Knowing where the songs are on the playlist gives you an idea of how much time you have left, or have wasted! Try not to use new songs that will distract you from wanting to listen and learn the new lyrics.
5. COOL TOOLS
Anything to change things up and put the “whole person into learning.”
- Sidewalk Chalk: Do your math on the sidewalk outside, practice state capitals, etc.
- Shoot Hoops: as you practice your multiplication tables.
- Walks: Take a walk, walk the dog, and do flashcards at the same time. Then when you back and your child says do I have to do school work you can say, “We already did!”
- Hide and Seek: Hide kids work in various places around the house. They have to find it and then that is where they do it. Under the table, in the bathtub, or the backseat of the car!
- Mystery Bowl: Put tasks on colored Post-It notes and put them in a bowl. Child draws one out and that is the one worked on first.
Kids and adults need to keep moving. Too much idle learning is wearing. One of my favorite quotes from Leslie in this seminar was “Motion helps to lay down learning.”
Well, I hope this helps and maybe sheds a new light and some new ideas to keep you all going through these challenging times. For most of us, Home School Learning was never a part of the plan, and even for those that are Home Schooled, this is not the same. We are limited with our environmental issues and have to get creative. I have to believe we are doing the best we can. Remember that and try not to be too hard on yourself. Stress is not conducive for healthy learning. If you or your child is having an extraordinary bad day, throw in the towel. There is always tomorrow.
I am a professional organizer and have worked with families and children for 25 years. Due to the times I am not out in homes organizing, but I am happy to answer any questions or brainstorm any home school parenting issues you may be having.
Just drop me an email at MonkeyDoOrganizing@gmail.com
Also, Leslie Josel at Order Out of Chaos orderoochaos.com has great info on her website.
Stay strong, Stay safe and Stay well!