We are all providing home education as homeschoolers now. The COVID-19 crisis has turned teachers into virtual facilitators and parents into homeschoolers. Not since days before the one room school house have parents had to take such a pivotal and direct role in their house as educators. We are all learning on the fly!
What can we do as parents to help facilitate the learning process? What is our role and what is not our role? Here are a few suggestions for parents to consider who are stuck in the home education role:
- Be a helpful resource to the teacher. These are challenging times and teachers need our support. They are learning, alongside with us, on how to effectively teach your child using virtual means. Keep the lines of communication open with the teacher. Share what works, what doesn’t work, and suggestions for how to improve.
- Our role is not to give the child the answers. One of the hardest things to do is to watch your children fail. But failure is essential to succeeding. It is ok for them to have wrong answers and it is ok for them to struggle a bit. Guide them and be the learning facilitator.
- Be prepared. Try to keep on top of the materials your teacher has assigned ahead of time. review them the night before, make sure you have the materials you need, learn how to upload reports and homework, and try not to ask for technical help from the teacher – they are probably learning too!
- Just do the best you can. In many cases, both parents may have lost their jobs or one of you has. If you are lucky enough to be working from home that may bring new challenges as you may be fighting for survival. It’s ok that you aren’t an amazing teacher – just be the best amazing parent you can be. Carve out time for education. Share the responsibility with your partner. Stay positive.
- Ask for advice. Many of us know someone who has homeschooled before. Reach out and ask questions. You don’t have to have all the answers yourself. Learn from others.