The struggle is real! Parents who are now in charge of their children’s education are feeling the stress, joy, and hilarity of trying to be the teacher’s assistant. It’s no easy task! We talked to real parents about the everyday problems that come with social distancing and trying to teach their kids at home, and we just may have a few ideas for how to help. Learn from these parent’s stories to find a solution that works for your family.
“This is so hard. I’m getting like 10 emails a day from each of my kid’s teachers about what their assignments are. And I have to work on top of that.” – Emily, mother of two
Having two rambunctious elementary-age boys at home has kept Emily and her husband busy as they try to juggle their children’s education and work from home at the same time. Not to mention all the chores that need to be done just to keep everyone sane! Emily’s chief complaint about remote learning is how hard it’s been to sort through all of her kids’ assignments while juggling her own work.
Our Tips for Emily:
If you can relate to Emily’s struggle, we have a few recommendations. With the chaos and the juggling, organizational tools are a must. This means both hardware and software than can help store, collect, and safely keep all of the materials you need for work and school while at home.
The i-3LearnHub allows parents and teachers to share assignments and homework directly and conveniently in one place. Through each teacher and student’s Google Classroom accounts, completed assignments can be exchanged, allowing educators to give feedback and corrections.
To compartmentalize physical materials, it will be helpful to have one place to store assignments and paperwork. The Folio Storage collection by Vanerum offers a variety of options where books, binders, and files can be kept neatly organized. No home office or classroom is complete without adequate storage space.
Don’t make it harder on yourself trying to remember where you put that permission slip or report card. Even when kids go back to school, it would be helpful to have one designated place to keep important materials for school and work.
“It’s difficult entertaining and stimulating a small child and trying to keep everything clean! And he won’t sit still. Even after we go for a walk and play outside.” Zach, father of one
Zach has a four-year-old son who loves to play all day long. Because of Covid-19, both are sheltering in place and not going to work or school. It can be hard to keep a small child stimulated at home. They have a wealth of energy and imagination that keeps them from sitting for long periods of time.
But Zach still wants to help his child prepare for kindergarten, continuing to work on his numbers, letters, colors, Spanish, and neuromotor skills. With his wife working fulltime from home, Zach needs some help coming up with a plan to keep up with his son and tire him out while they are social distancing.
Our Tips for Zach:
If you’re also stuck at home with an energetic and playful child, we hear you. First and foremost, at this age, engaging their imagination and getting out excess energy is key. Be sure to get plenty of physical playtime indoors and outdoors. Helping children get physical stimulation will boost their brain power and tire them out.
When it comes to being an at-home teacher’s assistant, we have a few recommendations there, too. Set up a designated classroom space so that the child understands the difference between playtime, rest (or tv) time, and learning time.
A few key items will help to complete this preschool space. Our Baby Folding Wheasel is a must-have educational tool for nurseries and playrooms. It’s a dual dry erase markerboard with trays that can be used to store books, crayons, markers, or toys. Kids with excess energy won’t sit for long periods in regular chairs. That’s why we feature seating that enables movement, works a child’s muscles, and helps them release extra energy.
Our Soft-Seated Dots can be placed on the floor to create a cozy learning environment, or our Growth Stools can be used to help a child move and learn at the same time. You can wear them out while teaching them! Complete the home classroom with a lapboard for children to practice writing letters and numbers on a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. With all of these items in his home preschool classroom, Zach will surely notice a difference in his son’s ability to focus and sleep at night.
“Being at a table/desk has really helped me work and focus on school. I love my couch and it is so much more comfortable that my desk chair, but I find I get off task more on the couch because it is so comfortable.”- Lauren, Teacher
First off, let’s hear it for the teachers! They are adjusting to a new way of doing their jobs in a crisis and adapting like rock stars! Plus, this time at home with kids has made parents everywhere more aware of just how much patience teaching requires!
Lauren is teaching from home and recently sent out an email to the parents of her students, telling them the importance of an appropriate workspace. We’ve said this before- creating an ideal home work space about finding balance, like Goldilocks. You want your area to be not too cozy, but not too stringent. Working conditions at home must be “just right” for optimal productivity and mood.
If your child doesn’t have a workspace apart from the kitchen table or couch, it may be hard for them to focus. The brain attaches activity to environment. This means that when we are in bed, our brains will attach to the idea of sleep. Trying to do homework or learn in bed or on a couch will be difficult, as sleepiness and fatigue set it.
Having a desk at home that is similar to the ones found in a traditional classroom can help motivate students to learn. The Mooreco Essentials Edge Desk features an antimicrobial urethane edge and comes in four laminate colors. It’s a compact and simple design that allows each child to work as they would at school, with diligence and focus.
We Can Help…
For all the parents serving as teacher’s assistants, we see you! Good job working hard at balancing all of your jobs in trying circumstances. We will get through this together! If you have any questions about how to design a home classroom that will help your child focus, we have 35 years of proven expertise and knowledge about environments that help children thrive! Call or contact us. We are here to help.