Fall 2020, just like the Spring and Summer of 2020 has been nothing quite like the Falls before. But, even though there are so many things that are different (like the school year) we have a lot of great things we can still count on: pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters and teachers who, whether they are in the classroom or not, love their kiddos and care about their success A LOT.
I know nothing of teaching. When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a teacher and then as I grew older I realized I have literally none of the patience required for the job. Luckily, I have some friends and family members who do have the patience and heart required for the task at hand.
When I saw Brittni Tuttle, an old friend of mine from my college days, sharing on Instagram (@building.brittni) all of the ways her and her co-workers were supporting their Kindergarten students during this unusual back to school season I knew she would be the perfect person to share some tips on how you can help your children succeed at school this Fall.
Here are Brittni's 5 tips:
Teach your children to be independents - in short, this means make sure they know how to use the necessary technology before it's time to meet for school. Practice on the weekends by using the same technology to call grandma and grandpa, or have dad/mom go into another part of the house. Ideally if you practice ahead of time your child won't need to depend on you as much throughout the day which will give you more free time to take care of things around the house or get back to your own job. An added bonus is that this definitely counts as quality time, so make practicing fun and choose someone to call that the kids will be excited to talk to.
Set up a dedicated area that they only have access to during the school day - This creates the physical and mental separation needed to separate school time from home time. This can be a room, a desk, the corner of a table. Don't worry, if you don't have a large living space just work with what you have to create any separation possible.
Teach organizational skills - It's going to be a much smoother school day if your kiddo always knows where their worksheets, pens and other tools are. So take a few minutes at the end of the day to help them make sure they have everything they need for the next morning, where they need it. Although it would be easier for you to do it yourself, it will be more beneficial in the long run if you allow them the time to do it and you supervise/assist when needed.
Be flexible and give grace (both to your kiddo and to yourself) - You guys, what you're attempting to do right now is hard. It's new and there are so many uncertainties and hurdles in one day. It's okay to get frustrated, it's okay if things go wrong. If you do something you're not proud of (like yell) or if your student does something annoying (like lay on the floor when they should be engaged on the screen) take a deep breath and remember that everyone is doing the best that they can.
Share what is working - Take some time and decompress at the end of the day. Ask your student what they liked (and what they didn't like), if they did something (even something small) that you were proud of, make sure you share it with them. And if you see something from the lessons sticking, send a quick note to their teacher to let them know their hard work is paying off.
Everyone needs a win. Make sure you help your kiddo, their teacher and yourself recognize all of the good that is happening in this season, rather than focus on all the perceived negatives.
Listen to Episode 82 of The Vendor's Daughter for more from Brittni and to find our how these 5 tips can actually apply to your work from home life as well.