Extraordinary circumstances are culminating in an extended period of time for students to be out of school. Parents are now forced into a role they may not have the expertise to feel confident in and students are confused by the shakeup in their schedules and routines. This is different than a Snow Day, but we can leverage some experiences to make the next weeks positive and beneficial for our families.
With more than one child at home, you may already need to manage devices. You may have enough devices at home, but if not check with your child’s school. Some schools are checking out Chromebooks to students over the at-home period. Some libraries are checking out hotspots if you find yourself in need of the Internet.
Even if you have fewer devices than children, you can still make this work. Part of our routine can be the use of a computer and we can stagger that access.
Teachers know that routines help children behave. Consider the amount of work each child has been assigned, how much of that is synchronous/online, and how that fits into other household schedules. The goal is to outline a schedule that intersperses activities throughout the day and still accomplishes work with the least amount of resistance.
Multiple children raise the complexity the same principle applies. However, because you have a routine that you can share with your children, they can transition on their own. That is a decided advantage over classroom teachers – who always have that one student who never transitions easily… check out the wildly popular online version of below schedule.
1 hour: Good Morning Time – breakfast, physical activity, chores
1-1.5 hours: Academic Time – (align schedule to synchronous activities)
.5-1 hour: Creative Time – Consider online asynchronous tutorials on YouTube or live events online.
1 hour: Quiet Time for young learners; Reading Time for third grade+
1-2 hours: Academic Time – (align schedule to synchronous activities)
1 hour: Fresh Air Time – you will learn if your children need one of these in the morning too!
Unfinished Work Time.
Because this is a new way to teach children you can expect that schools may send home more work than for a Snow Day. You may have to extend the academic time for different grade levels, but remember to break up the academic time.
Your college students may also be coming home, and they will not likely go back this semester. The work of a college student is somewhat different than that of a K-12 student. Higher education focuses more on synchronous teacher-centric activities like lectures. Expect also that they will need to organize online collaboration with classmates which can be time-consuming. Also, they may need to sit for exams through a proctored site which requires a web-cam or a dedicated amount of time.
They may need uninterrupted online time and you may want to check your Internet capabilities with your provider – they are used to college or university level Internet.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends canceling any international travel sponsored by colleges or universities. Talk with your college-aged children about semesters abroad and holiday trips to make sure their decisions consider all factors including the best interest of all members of your family.
Room and Board
The department which controls Financial Services at the college will likely refund Room & Board costs. Reach out to your college financial department to be certain. It may not entirely fall onto you to pack your college student up, UHaul is offering 30 days of free self-storage during this crisis. While they may have to move back in maybe they can be enlisted to help younger siblings? Because after, room and board are not free.