By Tammie Polk
I see what’s happening here. With everything that’s going on, you want to maintain that sense of normalcy that you know and love.
You know what your strong points are and what you need help with. The Internet is a wealth of knowledge, and although it seems like an endless resource, you know that your home education plan needs balance!
Is there such a thing as balance?
Yes. Yes, there is!
When it comes to online learning, the main thing is monitoring how long your child is ON the computer.
Signs to monitor:
- Do they get up?
- Do they move around?
- Do they eat?
- Do you see them during the day?
- Does their mood change?
Believe it or not, ALL of those things impact how they learn.
Balance means that there are limits!
Don’t Forget About Real-Life Lessons
Online learning balance also means that you take time to show them how what they are learning online applies in their daily lives. Remember how we used to wonder if we were EVER going to use some of the things we learned? Your child has that same sentiment!
They need to know that what they’re learning has meaning.
Let me share with you an example. A friend’s son was having issues with fractions. He came and asked for help as she was cleaning windows. Their windows were divided into sections of eight. Armed with window paint, they worked through the fractions, and he went away somewhat happy – his mom made him clean the windows once they were done.
When we show our children how a concept applies to their daily lives, it increases their desire to learn. Help them find opportunities to use what they are learning.
Keeping Our Sanity
Having balance keeps YOU sane!
Some balk at the notion of using online tools as ways for parents to take a breather, but when used correctly, online learning can allow a homeschool parent to take a vital sanity break.
If you have reached the point where you wonder why you had children in the first place, give them time online. That gives you a moment to calm and center yourself.
Have a list of websites you know, like, and trust that your children can go to. This can keep the flow of your day on track. Allow them to choose one of your approved sites and be sure to let them know their time limit in advance.
Tips for Offline Learning
In addition to those life lessons, it could be time for your child to take the reins. Child-led learning often yields more retention of skills than any other resource. It is also essential to have offline resources at the ready for such a time as this.
Exploring outside, playing board games, making board games, making and trading lessons with their siblings, scavenger hunts, and the like can help strengthen their learning acumen. I’ll never forget the day my daughter found mushrooms in our yard – that turned into a whole project!
Take a drive…a walk…a hike….something!
With schools closing nationwide, there are more people online using more of the sites that you know and love, and new resources are being created all the time to help meet those demands. Use an effective combination of online and offline educational activities to make learning fun and exciting!
Change Things Up
Even if you’re using a set program or curriculum, find other ways to do what’s on the menu for the day- sign them up for an online class that is interactive or help them check out a new computer game that can help them learn what’s on the lesson plan.
At the end of the day, the goal is to ensure that your child learns and gleans as much as possible. It can be done without stressing yourself (and your child) out.
Reinvent the wheel. Learn something new. Find your passions. Cultivate theirs.
Online learning, such as classes, clubs, educational games, and videos, can be part of a balanced education plan.
You’ve got this!