Times they are a changing, this is just a fact, and today as a parent, you now wear many hats! Depending upon where you live, your children may be at home learning online. If this is the case, as a parent and educator I couldn't help but wonder, how to make this an easy transition or some helpful ideas for now turning your home into a classroom. My first thought is that a child is with their teacher for the better part of a day when they're in school. I've been in the classroom and can attest that I've been called 'mom' quite a few times during the school hours!
A few weeks ago my daughters friend came over and we began talking about how e-learning is now a way of life and how she hoped she could be there for her girls on a teacher level. Then it came to me! How as a parent, we need our children to see us during the school day as the Teacher, not the Parent. And, as parents, we need to see our children as the student. When we can make this a smooth transition for both parent and child will be a beneficial process for everyone. Here is what I came up with.....
Explain to your child that as the school year begins, we are learning from our home this year and I will do the best I can to be your teacher and you will do the best you can to be the student because we want to learn and grow and be the best person we can be. What I came up with is pretty simple, make it fun and try it out! Put on your teacher hat! Or, your teacher badge and let your child put on their student hat or student badge! Here is a template get you started!
The first thing I suggest is to make a space in your home that your child will be and attend their e-learning classroom lessons. Help them design it, make it comfortable and have their materials and resources readily available for the day.
Design a space where you can start the day, transitions from home to school. Put on your TEACHER hat or badge and allow your child to put on their STUDENT hat or badge and transition into the school day. Just like you hang your keys on a hanger, hang these hats or badges on a hook to put on to begin your day and then be sure to take it off when the school day is complete and you transition into parent and your student transitions into child. Let the home life now begin! I truly believe that you'll have less meltdowns if you set boundaries, if you haven't, it's not to late. Continue building a schedule with your child, use plenty of visual clues and display these so that they understand the day ahead. There will be breaks, there will be engagement and there will be lessons, help display and discuss these activities so your child understands. They need to understand that we may be home, but, we are also at school, we are borrowing our home to learn until the classrooms are ready to go back into. Help them to own this new school year!
You know how you had to adjust during the Pandemic, your child needs to adjust during this time to learn. Hopefully, during this Pandemic you still got up, brushed your teeth, made your bed, had breakfast and jumped into your day. This is no different. Keeping as much of a routine and normalcy in your home is a good thing, there are a few things that need to be adjusted. Adjust, transition and embrace what is now the new norm, being flexible and going with the flow is a better mindset than arguing, fighting and getting yourself sick over the issues at hand.
I myself love the hat idea! During the Pandemic, Characters of Character has had to adjust as well. Still, we wanted to get our character messages into the mix so we made videos making character headbands! You can find these on our website under Character Corner. If your child is having an off day with behaviors, take the time to make a Behavior Bear headband. If your child is lacking respect, take the time out to make a Respectful Rabbit headband. If you child is fighting you with being a responsible child, take the time to make a Responsible Rabbit headband. If your child wants to give up, take the time out and make a Do'er Duck headband. If your child needs a friend, take the time out to make a Friendship Frog headband. If your child needs to be reminded about having healthy habits, take time out to make a Healthy Hippo headband. If your child is lacking confidence, take time out to make a Self-Esteem Elephant headband. If you child is forgetting their manners, take time out to make a Manners Monkey headband. Warm-Hearted Walrus headband is coming soon!
Encourage your child to write to their favorite character! Provide a S.A.S.E. and the characters will write back, great Pen Pal idea building communication, fine motor and literacy skills, too.
Hang these on a hook in the classroom or a designated space in your home to use as reinforcements to remind your child about this trait. I always said to my kids when their frowns were upside down, gosh, take that smile out of your pocket and put it on your face! They laughed, and it changed their mood. We all need reminders now and again and personally, when a task has a bit of fun involved in it, I understand and embrace it with more passion! Your child will, too!
To help sum this all up, let's make it simple:
First, create a designated area for your children to own as theirs for the class day, then, explain the separation between parent and teacher, student and child, each situation is different, these are just some suggestions, have visuals, create a schedule and calendar for the day/week/month. Next, put on your hat! Have your badges or hats readily available and hanging to be used! Finally, breathe, be patient with yourself and your children, this is a lot to handle, and I for one believe that there are lessons in every situation, so, be patient and be kind with yourself, as the ol' cliche goes, 'this to shall pass' and we'll look back at it with different views. For now, be safe, stay well and just do your best.
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We are a small nonprofit making a big difference in the life of a child. Please share our information with others and contact me at anytime. I'd love to hear how this is going in your home!
Married with children since 1981. Love working with children and sharing the Characters of Character.