Bali is joining many in the world by starting online learning for the good of the community. I have many international friends who have been experiencing this online world for 7-weeks now. I picked their brains a bit and will be sharing some of their words of wisdom. Over the next few weeks, I will also share parenting strategies from my favorite parenting courses. There are tools that can be implemented easily and quickly that can change dynamics in the home quite quickly. Families are going to be in each others’ spaces more and that will be delightful at times and at other times, it will be draining. I hope these tips help you get underway in a calm, clearheaded way.
Let’s start with routines. Maintaining routines is a key way to help children feel secure. From a very young age, children can look at a routine chart and follow the steps. For little ones, I’d recommend using pictures of them doing the activities for their chart. They love seeing their own pictures on the chart so run with that.
Normally, we suggest a morning and evening routine. With online learning that might look a bit differently. A typical morning routine would include: brushing your teeth, showering, getting dressed, and having breakfast, for example. An evening routine might include: getting a shower/bath, putting on pajamas, packing bag for school, reading a book, and relaxing in bed. We will now have to help children manage their learning time. Many of you will be working and might find that you need to set your work schedule with consideration of how you can help your children and teens manage their lives. Creating routine charts for everyone in the family might help you to see how much support you are going to need.
Here are examples of routines that might work for my current school:
One of my former colleagues mentioned the importance of the morning routine during this switch to working online. It’s easy to say, “Oh, I don’t have to get up as early.” Or maybe you think, “I’m not even going to bother to shower because I don’t have any online meetings today.” Before you know it, a good chunk of the morning could be gone before you’ve even started.
Beyond routines, I highly recommend that each person in your family figure out a time in the day where you will be able to have alone time. What does that look like for each of you? Some people like quiet time in a bath, some create a little reading nook, others like a punching bag or a running trail. Set those times into your routines and stick to them.
Understand that this is not the mode of teaching that most teachers and students have experienced. Some schools honestly have no idea what platforms to even use because their students have little to no experience with devices. There is a good chance that this will be frustrating for everyone involved on some level.
Parents and teachers, here are some resources that might keep you sane:
International School Services put together links for supporting pre-K to 12 moves to online learning
Virtual field trips
Free subscriptions to educational programs due to school closings
Endless ideas for what to do with kids when they are “bored”
Infographic on Child Protection during online learning sessions