I imagine that many parents may be looking to begin, transition or continue at-home learning with their little ones. So, here is a list of a few tips and suggestions for parents who are considering kick-starting at-home learning!
- Create a schedule & routines: Adults work well on a schedule and so do kids. Look at your entire day and decide how you want to organize you and your child’s routine. Build time into your schedule for indoor and outdoor learning experiences, along with meal, snack, break and nap times (for little ones). You can decide how long each routine lasts (e.g., outdoor for one hour) and in what order they fall into. Create a schedule that works for both you and your child.
- Set-up designated learning areas: Even if you have a small space to work it, try to set-up consistent and specific areas for learning experiences. If you’re using the same space/area for multiple uses (e.g., art activities at the dinning table), have it completely tidied before it is set-up for something else. Not only does this help to keep areas organized, but it also fosters the routine and teaches your little one to take care of the space and their play materials.
- Determine your approach: There are various approaches/styles to nurturing children’s learning experiences. You may have heard of the following approaches before: play-based learning, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, just to list a few. While you might be interested in researching and following one particular approach, I imagine that the overall goal is to provide an optimal and enriching at-home learning experience that is best suited to meet your child’s specific needs and interests.
- Connect with other parents: Do you have friends or family members that are leaning towards at-home learning with their own child/ren? Connect with them! Create a social group on Facebook or simply a group chat where you can bounce off ideas, tips and suggestions. Plan outdoor play dates (weather permitting and while physical distancing), or even trips to the library, if and when possible. Build a community with other parents who are on the same journey as you.
- Be flexible & have fun: It may be hard at first – transitioning to or beginning at-home learning with your child. But as with any new change or direction, it takes time and patience. Create your schedule, stick with it as best as you can (kids love consistency and routine), but also leave room for flexibility (that’s the beauty with at-home learning!). If one way doesn’t work, make the necessary adjustments and try again. Just be sure to have fun!
If at-home learning is right for you and your little one, especially during this time, it is ultimately your love and care that will make it a wonderful, memorable and rewarding experience for the both of you.