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The Last Days of Summer are Here

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The pools are closed. The airlines have been grounded. Depending on where you are, the sunny days might not be looking so sunny anymore. These are officially the last days of summer, and back-to-school time is just around the corner. However, unlike in recent years, the fall semester might be looking a little bit different in 2020. Parents across the country are still looking for home-schooling tips and online tutors to recreate a healthy learning environment for their children.

Here at QOL labs, we have come up with a healthy list of tips and tricks to help you discover a conducive learning environment for your child.

1. Mental health check-in

With so many changes going on, it is imperative to check in with your child. Talk about everything going on in the world. Answer their questions. Reassure them. If you have young children, help them understand that, even though it has been months since they last saw their friends, nothing has changed, the circumstances are rare, and will eventually come to an end.

2. Recreate the learning environment

With several parents having to step up to act as teachers, it is often difficult to discern between being a loving parent and a focused teacher. Recreate their school environment by setting strict guidelines. Tell them that they must put their hand up to ask or answer a question, to be respectful, and to listen to their teacher. Plan your curriculum ahead of you, set intermittent breaks between lessons, and end the school day at a reasonable time.

3. Make your lessons fun!

Have you ever finished work, arrived home, and had your kids energetically tell you about a particular class? That’s because they had fun! Engaging and interactive learning has been proven to induce a chemical reaction of endorphins that allows your child to connect their emotional memory to the lesson. Introduce some fun, interactive, and engaging methods of learning, such as games, physical objects, songs, and movies.

4. Screen time (but not too much!)

Although it is tempting to sit them in front of a laptop and let them do their own thing, screen time for your young students must be regulated. Find out what the normal school curriculum is, identify some helpful online resources, and introduce them gently into your lessons. There are some incredible learning tools on the Internet, from YouTube videos to relevant websites. However, it is important to remember that your online learning cannot make up the bulk of your curriculum.

5. Get them moving
Physical education is just as important as any other education. Make sure to keep your kids active by introducing gym classes in your curriculum. If you have a garden, play a few outdoor games. If you do not have any outside space, there are several online fitness classes and workouts that are fun and child friendly.

6. Introduce your own classes

During parent-teacher conferences, the odd traitorous thought might have floated through your head that your child’s educator did not have a clue what they were talking about. Other snide thoughts might have ranged from; “I could do better” to “I wish (your child’s name) was learning this…” For the first time, you now have free reign over what your child learns. From music to critical thinking. From problem-solving to the art of adulting. If you want to introduce something new, or your child wants to learn something different, plan it into your curriculum.

7. Integrate the school’s learning plans

There are several schools across the country that have set up their own learning platforms to assign work and upload recordings of classes. Set specific tasks, lessons, and assignments for each day and work it around your own custom ‘at home’ curriculum. Although you are the teacher, you need to incorporate what your child’s school requires them to learn.

8. Learn yourself

If remembering a particular concept that you learned back in your own school days is a bit of a stretch, you need to sit down and learn it yourself. Set your child’s weekly curriculum during the weekend, and if something looks a bit murky, settle down and start studying before the lesson. There are several videos and online resources to help you learn and teach particular concepts. If you cannot understand it yourself, your child will not be able to understand it either.

9. Identify your child’s needs

Probably, for the first time ever, your child is the only student in the class. For the first few lessons, assess and analyze what challenges your child, and slow down or speed up accordingly. This is the only time that your child has a one-to-one focus, and their needs to come first.

10. Online tutors

If you are unable to teach your child, search for local tutors in the area, contact them and see if they have the time, abilities, and resources to tutor your child online. Set up an interview and go from there. Make sure to sit in with your child to ensure that online tutoring is going well and effectively for both parties.

We hope these tips help you this upcoming fall! Do you have any tips for transitioning back-to-school in a possibly new way? Let us know in the comments!

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