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Here To Help: Advice From Home-Schooling Parents for Remote Learning

By Farah Miller | September 24, 2020 | The New York Times

This fall, millions of students started school from home, which can be extra challenging for families. While remote learning is not the same as home-schooling, parents who have home-schooled before have a few pieces of advice for everyone involved.

Know that it will be challenging.

“The most wonderful thing is that you’re home with your kids all the time. And the worst thing is that you’re home, with your kids, all the time,” said Karissa Parish of Sooke, British Columbia. Ms. Parish, who home-schools her five children, said she’s always surprised by “the March burnout.” “It’s when home-school moms are feeling done.”

Determine a child's individual needs.

The dynamics between you and your child are different than those with their teacher, and it takes time to learn how to best support your child’s learning. Angela Maguire of Vancouver, Wash., is a “world-schooler” who travels with her family. She believes in giving children free time to decompress — play, explore and figure out their interests. You can also join online groups with like-minded parents and figure out which learning styles will work for your kids.

Focus on what kids are learning.

The hardest part is trusting yourself. Ashley Herring, who co-founded a co-op for Black and multiracial families in Cambridge, Mass., has wondered if the kids are doing enough in science or reading some days. But she tries to focus on the learning that is happening rather than getting stuck on what’s not yet developed.

Don't let tech get in your way.

Be patient with yourself and your kids, because your experiences are new and few elements will be perfect, said Amy Anderson of Los Angeles. Ms. Anderson, whose daughter, Aubrey, was on the sitcom “Modern Family,” has realized tensions can run high, especially when technology doesn’t work. “Take a breath and remember you’re far from the only one,” she said.

Find order in the chaos.

Elisabeth Miller of Boston said the more she sticks to a routine, the better the day seems to go. Ms. Miller also admitted, “It can be difficult to be the boss all the time. There’s no buffer of ‘Well, your teacher said to do this.’”


Farah Miller
The New York Times

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