9 ways to organize and plan your kids’ homeschool or remote learning day
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By Jeanell Birk
Now that the school year has officially begun, you and your family may be adjusting to having the kids at home more often than usual. Indeed, homeschooling, remote learning, pandemic pods, virtual classes and hybrid school programs have certainly thrown a curveball into the typical back-to-school routine!
Are you still trying to figure out how to organize space for your kids to learn at home? Do you find yourself unsure about how to distribute activities, school and everyday tasks throughout the week? Have you been struggling to establish a routine during the COVID-19 pandemic? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this is the article for you!
If your kids are enrolled in virtual classes, homeschool or a pandemic pod, you can still find ways to make distance learning days easy and fun! Here are 9 ways to organize and plan your kids’ homeschool or remote learning day.
1. Designate a space for learning
Not everyone has extra room in their house or apartment that can act as a full-fledged classroom, but have no fear: you don’t need one! Just as it’s important for you to have a great work-from-home space, it’s important for your children to have a dedicated space to conquer the bulk of their school-related tasks. The perfect place may just end up being the kitchen table, a desk in a bedroom, or even the living room floor! Wherever you choose, make sure that it’s full of natural light and free from as many distractions as possible. The most important thing is that your children feel comfortable and have all of the school supplies they’ll need.
2. Organize your life!
…Or at least your child’s learn-from-home setup. Channel your inner Marie Kondo to help you and your family determine what sparks joy in you this school year. Declutter and organize by categories like books, school supplies and visual aids. Enlist the help of simple shelves and baskets that can be placed at eye-level for your children to easily access. Most of all, make sure that the space isn’t too overstimulating and that it feels functional so that your child can get their work done peacefully.
3. Be prepared
Try to complete as many of the next day’s tasks as you possibly can the night before, and have your child join in on the fun! Have them pack their lunch just as they would for a normal school day. Meal prep some quick and healthy breakfasts, pick out tomorrow’s outfits and print out any necessary worksheets in order to feel productive and keep things moving. You can even sharpen pencils and charge laptops so that they’re ready to go in the morning. This saves so much time and gets the day started on a positive note!
4. Get moving
Once you’re all finished breakfast, get your kids up and at ‘em before they even start their schoolwork. This will help them focus on the tasks ahead – plus, they might complete their physical education requirement before they’ve even started the school day! Weather permitting, take a brisk morning walk outside. If it’s rainy and cold? No problem. Your kids can enjoy a Pretzel Kids Yoga class online while you enjoy your morning coffee. For mornings when time is tight, create a daily jumping jack or jump rope challenge or simply have a quick family dance party! Afterwards, everyone will feel more motivated to take on whatever the day may bring.
5. Stay connected
Make it intentional to regroup and do something with the entire family at the start of each day. Whether it be reading aloud, sharing something you’ve recently learned, going over your daily schedule or doing a quick mindful meditation, finding some way to connect with everyone before school and work will set a calming tone for the rest of the day. Although this time may be different and tough, remember that you’re all getting through it together. As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work!
6. Establish a routine early on
Once you’ve decided on your morning activities and gotten acclimated to your work and learn-from-home schedules, incorporate all of this into a daily routine ASAP. This routine doesn’t need to be structured down to the minute, but it should center around your family’s natural rhythm. Remember, when you’re learning from home, prioritizing your child’s chore list is just as important as math and social studies. Chores teach kids the life skills that they can only learn from experience, like responsibility and accountability. Many families prefer to conquer the bulk of their schoolwork in the mornings to leave the afternoons free for extra-curriculars like sports, music education or yoga classes. What’s important is that your schedule floats alongside your family’s flow of commitments and doesn’t swim against it!
7. Get outside at least once a day
As mentioned earlier, a morning exercise routine is the perfect time to get some fresh air, but taking schoolwork and your own work outside can also be a nice break from your at-home surroundings! Encourage the kids to study nature or journal outdoors if they finish their school work – chances are they’ll love it. Reading under an oak tree? Collecting water from your local stream or pond to study under a microscope? Gathering wildflowers and pinecones for an afternoon art project? Sounds like a perfect day of learning to us! You can even take any moves you learn from Pretzel Kids yoga classes to your backyard or local park or find an outdoor pop-up class near you for an extra boost of nature-driven mindfulness.
8. Foster your child’s unique interests and passions
One great thing about learning from home is that your child might just have the time to further develop their individual talents. Every student can further their dreams by dedicating more time to their goals and aspirations. Is your child an aspiring author, future engineer or fashion designer? If they finish their work earlier in the day, they’ll be able to focus on what interests them at a personal level later in the afternoon. Still, if they don’t exactly know what they’d like to do yet, that’s okay, too! This time is perfect for exploring new things. Try out a specialized class on Outschool, or subscribe to a kid-focused company that you think your little one will love.
9. Incorporate meditation into your daily lives!
It’s a well-known fact that meditation is extremely beneficial for both kids and adults alike. Now more than ever, feelings of anxiety are present in everyday life, and it can sometimes be hard to engage with work and schoolwork when you’re feeling this way. Mindfulness and yoga, though, can help you focus on the bright side of life and get back to doing what you need to do. Meditation can be incredibly rewarding and fun, especially when it’s designed with young ones in mind. Not sure how to get started? Try a Pretzel Kids Yoga class online or make kids yoga classes a part of your homeschool community or pandemic pod today to discover the many benefits that yoga and meditation can offer!
Stay mindful this school year
With these tips in hand, learning from home doesn’t have to be a stressful experience for your family. This school year is a unique opportunity for growth and discovery!
To give your children a boost of brain energy and a much-needed physical release, sign up for a Pretzel Kids yoga class today!
Interested in learning the Pretzel Kids Method to help your kids practice yoga?
About Jeanell: Jeanell lives with her husband and three sons in New York City. Once upon a time, she was a dancer and a children’s ballet instructor, but these days she can be found homeschooling her boys while exploring all that The Big Apple has to offer. She loves learning about and practicing a life of health and wellness, and is thrilled to be able to contribute to the Pretzel Kids blog!