Raising kids is hard enough on its own, but now parents have to also be part-time educators.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last Tuesday that in-person learning in New York City public schools is delayed until September 21 while remote learning will begin on September 16. Schools were previously set to open on September 10th.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all of New York City’s 1,606 public schools will offer “blended learning” consisting of part in-person instruction and part remote learning during the 2020 school year.
Depending on what the schools choose for a weekly schedule model, students will attend in-person instruction in their schools between one to three days a week, while the rest of the time will be remote education.
The DOE's policy is that face masks/coverings must be worn at all times (except while eating or drinking). Those students who refuse to comply will be sent home.
On the days that your children are home and doing remote learning, what can you as parents do to manage their schedules and keep them engaged in learning? Read on to see our tips for homeschooling during COVID-19.
- Get yourself familiarized with your child’s curriculum. With school starting in just a few weeks, this is the perfect time to figure out what your child will be learning in school, what is expected from this school year, and what material is being taught. Reach out to their teachers and school administrators to find out the class curriculum. Visit the NYS DOE website for more information on your child’s curriculum.
- Create a consistent schedule. Based on what your child’s in-person teaching schedule is, create a daily schedule to create structure. Remember, consistency is key to keeping your child focused on learning during these difficult times. Build-in breaks, learning times, and other activities to keep them focused and interested. But remember to be flexible - remote learning is not always perfect and your child’s needs and pace might require changes.
- Pick a place for remote learning as well that is free from any distractions. This could be an office space, outdoor seating area, etc. If you have children of multiple ages that require remote learning, try to create staggering school start times and setting up multiple learning areas. You could also allow older children more freedom to plan and execute their learning plans while you put more of your time into the younger children.
- Look into additional teaching resources. Some of our favorite resources include:
- Storyline Online streams videos featuring award-winning actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
- Khan Academy is a free online instructional video resource covering a range of topics in math, science, history, and more.
- Learn at Home by Scholastic offer readymade lessons for pre-K to age 9 for $5.99 a month.
- The College Board has online resources to help with test prep for high school students preparing for college and the SATs.
- The Smithsonian is offering visual tours distance learning as well as free resources.
- Duolingo offers free and paid versions for students taking foreign language classes.
- Ed Helper is offering free learning worksheets and resources for parents to use with their kids.
- Fiveable is a free resource for high school students who are taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes. They also have AP classes online for a fee.
- Math Learning Center has apps for preschool to 5th-grade students that feature online versions of math games.
- Know that it will not be perfect. This year will be a learning curve for teachers, administrators, students, and parents alike. It is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Be flexible in your teaching, use the resources available to you, and keep your expectations in check.