This fall most of our school districts are allowing parents to choose distance learning from home or to go into the classroom. This is a debate I’m not getting into. I will say this once:
Whatever choice you make for your children is the best choice!
We have enough to discuss whether you are keeping your children at home or sending them to school. I’ve talked to several moms who don’t have a choice but to send their kids to school and other moms who are figuring out how to find work spaces at home for everyone in the family.
I’m the type of mom who is going to help my sons with their learning wherever they learn, using additional resources, tools, and aids – so this list was already brewing for me.
Here are the ways I’ve found to make distance learning easier for you as you’re working during a pandemic:
1. Create a schedule with both loose and tighter routines
Children thrive when they have routines, they adjust well to the structure and love when they know what to expect and how to do things. The same goes for their school day. We all know that teachers have a pretty set routine and you can create this at home as well. For us, we like to get most of our work out of the way early in the morning. I will get up before the family and knock out a few items on my to do list. Once the family wakes up I will make breakfast and print out some worksheets for my son to complete. After breakfast, my son will do his work and I’ll hop back on for a meeting or my own work schedule. After that, comes the looser routines. Sometimes we’ll go outside, sometimes we play in the playroom, and sometimes I have a work call and he’ll just sit with his dad or have some screen time.
Having both loose and strict routines gives us some flexibility in the day while still making sure we get our work done.
2. Split up the kids
So, you saw the schedule for my older son and my younger son just crawls around him. But, I also make sure to keep the children separate throughout the day. I will place them in separate rooms, or have my husband take one son while I take the other. This gives each of them some individual time while also keeping the noise level down – having everyone in one room makes it impossible for me to really think clearly! If you have older children, splitting them up might help if they have different learning styles. One child might by noisy, another might need silence, and the third might just be too young for a structured work environment. All three might need their own space in the house for an hour or two.
3. Prepare on the weekend or each morning or night
Depending on how much you need to prepare to help your child with their work, meal prep, gather some time to prepare for your own work duties, or just catch up on housework, planning on the weekend or in one block of time could be a big help. Planning ahead always takes some of the guess work and decision making out throughout the week so that you can focus on each day’s tasks and not be so flustered or have your mind cluttered with other tasks.
4. Bring in some competition or make something a challenge
Children love competition and challenges. I think that’s why the idea of challenges have taken off on YouTube! I like to pick a task that I know my son’s not fond of and make it a challenge, promising him a treat at the end of the week if he completes all the parts of the challenge. You can do the same and make it age appropriate for each of your children. For example, if you challenge your child to read 5 books by the end of two weeks, then you know you’ll get some quiet time to tend to your own tasks while they are reading and that incentive may help motivate them to really finish on time.
5. Remember this is a marathon and not a sprint
This is a situation unlike any other we’ve been in before. Work looks different. School looks different. Our social and weekend lives even look different. Make sure to communicate with everyone in your life what your situation is.
I let my supervisor know that my children will be home with me for the first 9 weeks of school and that I may need some flexible work hours and they may interrupt a call or two, but that I will do everything I can to ensure that all of my work is completed on time and with the same level of professionalism. Now, your job may not be as flexible or understanding, but you won’t know until you have the conversation. This is not going away anytime soon – so instead of trying to make it all work like it used to, let everyone know that you’re in a different place and will have new expectations.
6. Use tools, help, tutors, family and friends, anything you can think of!
Below I’m sharing some of the tools that have worked for me to make distance learning easier this fall! I have items by category and there is a mixture of items for younger and older children alike. I’m going to constantly update this list as we go along – so you may want to bookmark this page so that you can refer to it at any time! I also created it in a downloadable format so you can save it on your desktop. I’m really trying to make this as easy as I can for you.
Here are some great resources both free and discounted! I will update this list as I receive new items – so check back for updates!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Mommifaceted may earn a commission if you click through and purchase.
Outschool Use this link to get $20 off – that’s probably 2 free classes depending on the class
We Are Teachers K-5 resources for learning at home
Codeverse Learn to code from anywhere! Virtual Sessions, game development, build an app, coding kit – ages 6-13, $50 off your first month!
Reading and Writing
Virtual Field Trips
Bluprint Classes on crafting, cooking, art, etc.
Dollar Tree If you need supplies for teaching or fun activities!
Outdoors and Exercise
Have any other resources you really love? Share them below and I’ll add them!