The recent coronavirus outbreak has caused schools all over the US to close and quickly adapt to an online sustainable setting. More than 90% of learners across the world are now learning from home, as schools globally shut to try and slow the spread of the virus.

As parents balance working from home themselves, they are suddenly challenged with navigating this tricky new norm, while also managing their student's continued learning.

The iDEAL Institute at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA is busy supporting schools in this challenging transition and has organized this collection of resources to further support parents and families in facing this strange new reality!

Managing At-Home Learning

  • During this time of uncertainty, your outlook is the most important thing. Acknowledge those fears, frustrations and worries that you and your family might be having, do what you can and need to alleviate them, but also do your best to keep an open mind and a positive attitude. You are a role model for your child and in keeping an open mind, you’ll find that your kids will do the same!

  • Have compassion for yourself and for your kids by setting realistic expectations. Cut yourself some slack! Recognize that schooling at home and working from home is not going to be the same, as it would in a traditional setting. So be flexible! Remember that different kids have different needs, whether at home or at school. And that you have needs as well. You know yourself and your family the best! So, lean into your strengths and set realistic expectations for what can be accomplished each day and do the best you can to meet those expectations daily!

  • Create balance by drawing the line between what is learning/working time and what is home time. Otherwise, you may begin to feel like you’re always at work or always at home and that you can’t be present for either. Create designated spaces and times to minimize distractions and promote focus. Carve out corners or places for your kids and yourself to call your own during this time and, if you can, restrict play from these areas. This will help your family focus and balance the two worlds colliding into one space.

  • Encourage consistency and productivity, while also preventing your kids from bouncing off the walls or becoming comatose in front of glowing screens by organizing each day into a home learning schedule. Kids are used to routines in the classroom, and you will need to create them at home to ensure that you are able to get your work done and manage everything that they need to get done as well. Divide the day into time blocks and create routines that work for your family into each of those blocks. Organize more challenging subjects for your child earlier in the day or when they are most on task. Make sure to include breaks for movement, creativity, and snacks! Set alarms on your phone or your home device to keep everyone on task! And remember that not every day will go as planned, but that’s okay. Each day will likely get easier and the kids will adapt to their new routine and likely drive the process after a few days in.

  • Because of social distancing, it may feel like you’re alone in all this chaos. But remember, you’re not! We may not be able to be together physically, but we can support each other through it. Reach out to your extended family, friends, your school community and your child’s teacher for support. Trust them and ask, if you have any questions or need extended time or help in understanding something... Of course, being mindful of what’s on their plates as well. We are all navigating this tricky water together and being understanding, while keeping open lines of communication is crucial!

  • Whether it’s called remote, online, distance or digital learning, you have not suddenly decided to become a homeschooling parent. You are not expected to know the content, design the course or reinvent the wheel. So, take that stress off of yourself! And trust your child’s school and their teacher. They may have been thrown into the fire and are navigating this new style of learning with little to no preparation or training, but they are the experts and are continuing to organize and assess the learning from afar. Help your kids be successful instead by helping them focus, set goals, stick to schedules and manage their work. Help them also contact their teachers, when they need more support, guidance or accommodations. Teach them to be independent, to focus and to be productive, but don’t shoulder the world when it comes to their learning! There is too much on your shoulders as it is!

  • Encourage at home collective buy-in by letting kids be part of the decision-making process! Ensure that they complete their assigned work from their teachers, but beyond these requirements let them play, wonder, invent, imagine, create and engage meaningfully in their passions and hobbies. Provide students with choice and utilize the many online resources and ideas that are both fun, and educational to fill the additional hours spent at home during this complicated time.

  • Look at this unique time as a gift and cherish it! Our lives are often busy, disjointed and all over the place. With work, school, after-school activities and responsibilities, we are some days just ships moving past each other in the harbor. Take this time to connect, to talk and to shower each other with time and love. Be present as a family! Watch movies, play games, do puzzles, take walks! Learn together, read together and simply be together! Treasure this time… although chaotic, overwhelming and a bit scary, to truly come closer together as a family.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this website is to be a resource. Loyola Marymount University (LMU) does not claim to endorse or support any of the companies or products herein. LMU is not responsible for the content within the linked resources. The teacher/administrator/parent retains responsibility for ensuring the information is accurate and appropriate.