Learning Coach Secrets: 9 Sanity-Saving Hints for Virtual School…
Let’s face it: families that do school at home are often super-busy! Whether managing a work-at-home job, several kids, or a lengthy list of activities, some Learning Coaches are in constant movement, without a moment of downtime. How do they do it all? Often, these busy, successful Learning Coaches have come up with simple, yet clever, ideas for managing multiple priorities, simplifying household responsibilities, or relieving stress.
Here are some of our favorite surprisingly simple ideas for staying sane despite the craziness of a growing virtual school family, gleaned from the Connections Academy message boards and super Learning Coach Denise Kale.
- Make “School in Session” or “School Time” signs to place on your doors to keep the neighborhood kids from knocking at the wrong time. (Make it a craft project with your kids. Instead of paper, use craft foam or other weather-resistant materials, so your sign will last all year!)
- Start the day with some energetic activity for all of you. Play tag, walk the dog, or dance to get the blood pumping and chase away the sleepies. Exercise helps send oxygen to the brain for extra learning power and stress relief.
- Take a “vacation day” (almost!) from meal preparation. Pick a simple recipe for the slow cooker/crock pot, and let it simmer all day. Then keep the lunch menu simple so that kids can prepare their own!
- Play music at lunchtime to lift everyone’s spirits and get the energy going for the afternoon.
- Let technology take over the “nagging” — use your student’s cell phone calendar to remind him or her of household chores.
- If your kids are struggling or experiencing anxiety before tests or deadlines, let them take a break for some “pet therapy.” Without a word, pets can provide comfort, reassurance, and stress relief in the home classroom.
- Celebrate “author days” and keep your creative kids busy. Reserve books by favorite writers at the library so you can save time searching the shelves. For extra fun for kids (and a break for you), have your students raid the dress-up box and closets to create costumes to go with the stories or time period. Visit our Pinterest board for more fun reading activities!
- If your student becomes frustrated or overwhelmed with a written assignment, try reading the questions aloud and having him or her answer verbally for a while. This will provide a nice change of pace and lower the stress level for you and your student.
- Once a week, at a time when the schoolwork is light, have “couch time,” when you plant yourself on the sofa and just talk to your kids. (The Learning Coach who shared this tip admitted that her children got distracted from school, but they loved the time they spent discussing current events, personal goals, or family stories.)
What stress-control or calming tips can you offer for other virtual school families? Share your suggestions in the comments below!