Let’s face it, teachers and anyone in charge of supporting kids during this period of distance learning are flying by the seat of their pants. Trying to figure out how to make it work for your specific kiddos – who may be of varying ages – is challenging to say the least. There is going to be a lot of trial and error.
When we say we empathize with you – we mean it! Annie Burns, the Director of our Permanent Division is a former teacher, nanny, and now the mother of two young children currently doing distance learning. We are fortunate to have Annie on staff to provide professional advice and ideas coming out of the first week of online learning; below are a few tips for you. Nannies — stay tuned for an invite to a zoom session just for you.
- Replicating Transitions: If possible, create unique settings for different classes to help replicate transitions kids would typically have in school. Moving from room to room can be helpful. Could art class be in the garage? Or even in a different corner of the room if space is limited.
- Helping Kids Understand Time: Kids don’t know what “three minutes” means. Instead of this abstract concept, have a stopwatch on the table for them. Use sand timers as well for some activities!
- Managing Emotions: Raise your hand if you’ve experienced a meltdown this week (Yours, a child’s, or both). Emotions are supercharged. We recommend setting up a “Cozy Corner” when a child is overwhelmed. Let them go to this safe space where calming items are. We suggest having a notebook there where they can write how they are feeling – even if they can’t or don’t want to say it out loud
- Managing Expectations: Allow for a range of differences in adapting to virtual learning – remember some kids have really never had to use a computer or tablet before! While the teacher is doing their best to take varying abilities into account, you are there in person and know when your child/NK is getting overwhelmed. It’s OK to take a “Brain Break” with them if you feel they need it. Reassure students that online classes are new for everyone— that we are all learning together.
- Setting Check-Ins: We always recommend that nannies and parents check in weekly. This recommendation has never been more important! In fact, we really recommend setting aside 15-20 minutes DAILY to discuss progress and challenges to ensure everyone is on the same page and supported to make the experience as positive and productive as possible for all parties.