This post about 7 ways to make distance learning easier is brought to you by Texas Instruments. All opinions are my own.
This year has been weird. We went from my kids being in school full time to them being home full time doing the distance learning this for months. I know that all of you experienced the same thing. It wasn’t easy.
The new school year brought with it all sorts of crazy decisions and schedules. My oldest, Britney, is doing most of her classes at school, but we decided to have her do a couple online. It is the same with my second oldest, Brooklyn. My youngest two are doing homeschool/distance learning. This leads to a lot of different schedules, assignments, and projects that have been crazy to get in a schedule.
With all of this – we need some things that will help make homeschooling easier. I feel like, after months of trial and error, I have some good tips to share with you.
7 ways to make distance learning easier
1. Create and stick to an actual schedule
This could easily be the one thing that will make or break your homeschooling experience. When COVID hit, I had to print out papers for each of my kids to write their school work on for the week and it makes things so much easier. It also helped us manage our time. On top of that, we set aside time for “recess” and brakes for them to have free time. It helped our days go smoother when they knew what was expected of them. I am doing distance learning with my two youngest right now, and my oldest two are doing hybrid (one half at school, half at home). I have found that a schedule is the best way even though we have been doing it for a while now. It is easy to slack.
2. Take breaks (and make them fun)
If your kids are like mine, then they work hard, but they also like to play hard. I have found they are more productive when I give them regular breaks. We love going to the park, swimming, doing activities, playing games, working on puzzles, and much more. Find something that your kids love and let them know that is the reward after they get so much work done.
3. Incorporate life learning
All of the basics (reading, math, writing, science, etc) are at the top of our list of learning every day, but I also like to incorporate life learning. We have learning canning, cooking, sewing, gardening, tech, painting, and so much more already, and have a long list of things to still do.
4. Get good equipment
With Britney being a Sophomore this year, she is starting college classes. Her goal is to get at least two years of school done (Associates Degree) when she graduates from high school. With that, we wanted to make sure she has the tools she needs to succeeds. That is why we got her the TI-84 Plus CE calculator.
Thanks to Texas Instruments, she now has a top of the line calculator that will take her through college and be an essential part of her graduating with her B.A.. She wants to be a music teacher.
It is made well so that it will hold up against daily use, as well as simple to use the basic functions as she learns the more complicated math she can do on it.
Key features of the TI-84 Plus CE include:
- 30% lighter and thinner than earlier generation TI-84 Plus models
- Vibrant backlit color screen
- TI Rechargeable Battery
- Available in a variety of fun colors
- Preloaded apps and images
- MathPrint™ feature
5. Organize your school supplies
This is something I did just before school started this year, because last year my piano ended up being the “drop zone” for all things school related and it was unorganized and messy. Plus, it was annoying to move everything whenever I wanted to play.
I got small totes at Walmart and used my chalk labels to put each of my kids’ names on them. Then I filled them with supplies like crayons, pencils, glue, scissors, etc so everyone had their own box to use for projects. I also got a paper organizer and left a place to keep the papers and books.
This small thing has already made a huge difference so if you haven’t already – organize your school supplies.
6. Limit sugary snacks and drinks
This is always a battle for me – so we have made a few changes at the beginning of the school year that I wish I had done years ago! We got a shoe organizer that hangs on the door of our pantry and we organize snacks and the kids are only allowed one a day! This also pushes them to actually eat the fruit and veggies and other healthy snacks.
7. Make distance learning fun and engaging by planning ahead
There are so many ways you can help supplement their school work if they are doing distance learning. With my kids, I have started planning one country that we are going to learn about each week. We are doing an art project that coincides with it, a meal, dessert, watch a movie about that country (like Harry Potter takes place in England), and some other things. It has been a lot of fun so far. We are all enjoying learning new things. You can incorporate science projects, art projects, music, sports/PE, etc.
I hope this helps this make your distance learning experience better. We are loving it and enjoying the extra time together. What is helping you to make distance learning easier?