Learn about options for various learning environments which can help students be successful.
- As you undoubtedly know by now, supporting your student's learning from home can be a challenging experience. If you're used to havin' a private personal workspace during the day and suddenly having your kids thumping around and constantly asking for help, might just push you off the cliffs of insanity. But take it from me, the ultimate introvert, you can adapt and find a balance that works for both you and your kids. You can have a powerful impact on your kids' learning just by showing up throughout the day, and you might even learn to like it. Let's take a look at some of the benefits and challenges of supporting your at-home learners. A huge benefit is flexibility. In a classroom, teachers are locked in to time, space, and a whole book load of rules and procedures. But you don't have to adhere to school rules, this is your castle. Instead of a locked in 30-ish hours each week, you have 168 flexible hours of opportunity. Gone is the morning rush of madness as you try to get everyone dressed, packed, and out the door. Instead, your kids can find their natural rhythm, and actually get the sleep their brain and body need. Not only that, but you can do school in your pajamas, it is awesome. Instead of trying to cram a concept into 45 minutes, you can work at your student's natural pace, moving on only when you're ready, not because the clock tells you you should be done by now. Classroom teachers handle groups of 20 to 30 kids. One-on-one teaching time is at a premium. But even if you have a gaggle of your own, you can still fit in plenty of high impact face time with each kid. All right, you may currently be finding school time behavior to be a bit of a problem, but consider looking at it this way. A classroom teacher has dozens of personalities to manage, and the reality is, the options for handling disruptive behavior are pretty limited. You only have your kids and an open book of behavior influencing options. You can make adjustments as needed to make things work for both you and your student. Some parents even have different procedures during school hours than they do at the regular home time. For example, maybe during school time you have a specific schedule and more structure, but the rest of the day is just business as usual. I've even talked to parents who have their kids get dressed as if they're going to school, they walk out the door, and then they walk back in as if they're actually going to school. Now this of course negates the whole wear your pajamas to school benefit, but do what works for you. You don't have to be trapped in a tiny room with 30 squirmy souls. Your classroom is the world. You can work in the living room, in the kitchen, at a picnic table, in the park, in the car, pretty much anywhere. Having the freedom to move and choose the right space is a big game changer for meeting your students' learning needs. Another great benefit of this situation is safety. Your kids get to learn in the comfort and safety of your own home. You can shape learning to fit into your student's world. Studying for actions or measurement? Do some cooking or build something. Biology time? Take a hike, and observe real world life up close and personal. History putting your kids to sleep? Take a field trip, find a great movie, or create a reenactment. Yes, the learn from home thing can be a trying experience. But, you have options and benefits that simply can't be replicated in a brick and mortar classroom. Explore all the options. Find what works for you and your family, and above all, be patient with both your students and yourself.